Competition in the retail sector is fierce, with each brand fighting to adapt, attract more customers, and keep up with developments in technology. With the major increase in popularity of ecommerce, brick-and-mortar have had to consider new ways to attract people into their stores.
The solution can be found in marketing on mobile devices. 78% of American men and 75% of American women own a smartphone, and this figure increases to 92% for young people between the ages of 18 – 29. Thus, enlisting native app design and mobile devices to drive sales should not be overlooked.
Although many retailers have apps to help customers browse products, their functionality tends to be limited. As a result, in-app purchases are low and fail to drive people into stores. Here’s what you can do to develop a mobile app that helps convert customers from the device to your store.
Make your app appeal to consumers
Since 2008 when Apple launched their App Store, mobile apps have evolved at light speed to become must-have pieces of software. They are prized for offering users greater convenience and easier access to multiple areas of our lives.
Retailers who introduce quicker, easier, and cheaper shopping to their customers through an app vastly increase customer loyalty by tapping into the basic desire of an app user. If designed right, these mobile apps encourage purchasing intent by making a brand’s products more appealing and streamlining the buying process.
Functionality such as the ability to check in-store stock levels, pre-order out of stock items, make in-store collections, and return items in-store is key for clothing retailers. Consider these when developing your mobile app in order to provide your customers with the most seamless, efficient experience possible.
Developing a retail app
The development process for an app can be complicated, and there are a few common mistakes that retailers make. Allowing customers to view products but not make purchases is a major one. Extending the time between seeing something you like and being able to buy it increases the potential for the customer to change their mind.
Another no-no is to have the app exist as a separate catalog from your actual store. Mobile apps should be an extension of your brand and business. Therefore, consumers expect to be able to see the items you would actually have in your store, and collect or return items purchased via your app to your stores. In not allowing this you create a disconnect in the consumer journey and make the app less convenient.
Some stores avoid developing apps, which is the biggest mistake of all. Research shows retailer-branded apps increase the purchase of products and services by as much as 40.4%.
Collecting customer data
Apps usually request access to various elements of a customer’s social media accounts, giving brands a number of benefits. However, the level of access requested can spook some consumers so must be handled carefully with an explanation of why you are requesting this information.
Customer profile information allows retailers to create personalised offers, thereby increasing customer loyalty and purchase intent. Linking with social media accounts can also grant you access to other demographic information such as location, interests, birthdays, and friend networks.
Apps and mobile marketing techniques are powerful tools that can increase sales, customer engagement, and referrals. By ensuring your app responds to a customer need and makes shopping with you more convenient and entertaining, you’ll greater conversions to in-store sales. Developing a good mobile app is opening a door to opportunities for a deeper understanding and connection with customers.