If retailers are struggling to convince shoppers to use their mobile apps, there may be a simple explanation: Consumers simply don’t find them useful.
A new study by mobile app developer Apadmi found that 59 percent of consumers in the United Kingdom don’t download retail apps because they don’t contribute to a better shopping experience. That applies to retail activity in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online.
The study also found that only 11 percent of shoppers interact with retailers across all shopping channels. That means the vast majority of retailers are struggling to build a worthwhile experience that is consistent across its retail shopping outlets.
The study’s conclusions paint a grim picture of the retail mobile app marketplace, and suggests there’s a disconnect between what consumers actually want and how retailers view their shoppers. For brands hoping to use technology to bolster in-store shopping, the study’s findings are an even more urgent wake-up call.
Retailers, Don’t Build A Bridge To Nowhere
Conventional thought has long advocated for retailers to invest in mobile app technology, and these apps have been advertised as a way of maintaining in-store consumer attentions when they use their phone to supplement their experience. Phones are frequently used to check prices, read product reviews, and gather product information while shopping at a brick-and-mortar location.
Yet retailers haven’t figured out how to enrich their experience through these mobile apps. Apadmi noted that while 22 percent of consumers shop exclusively in-store, only one percent visit the store and use their mobile app to shop.
In fact, 65 percent of all retail mobile app usage occurs at home, suggesting that these apps function more as an alternative shopping destination than a supplementary in-store tool.
Consumers are aware that the technology is lacking.
“A staggering 71 percent of consumers stated there is room in the market for better mobile apps so it’s now up to retailers to invest in mobile to improve the shopping experience, says Apadmi CEO Nick Black. “And if done well, retailers should also see an increase in sales and loyalty to keep them ahead of the competition.”
Retailers should consider a range of new innovations and improvements to bolster the value and relevance of their mobile apps, especially within the physical store environment. Supplementary shopping information has value, but retailers should consider how retail floor mapping, integration with smart shelves, location-based technology and other features can help in-store shoppers better engage with the showroom while receiving a more personalized experience.
Brands should also consider how these mobile apps could be integrated with better in-store tools, such as assisted selling platforms that can pull up consumer shopping profiles and provide more personalized assistance through the mobile retail app.
By breaking down the walls that separate physical stores, online stores, mobile apps and other retail front ends, stores can finally start delivering that coveted omni-channel experience — one that actually benefits consumers.
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