It’s been a while since mobile phones were used solely for making calls and sending text messages. These days most of us use them for all manner of everyday processes and entertainments.
But as retailers, what’s so great about mobile apps and why might they be useful in helping you reach out to new and existing customers? Let’s take a look.
1. Customers want them
Perhaps the most obvious reason why a retailer might aim to design and deliver a mobile app is because customers are generally becoming more inclined to shop via their smartphones and tablets.
It is worth realising that not everyone who has a smartphone is suddenly ready to use retail apps on a regular basis but, and here’s the point really, many of those who do will end up engaging with them in a major way.
2. Speed and simplicity
At the heart of what’s good and positive about mobile apps is their potential to deliver services and experiences quickly and with a worthwhile degree of simplicity. In short, shoppers can find and order what they want from retailers easily and almost-instantly through mobile apps.
Of course, speed in placing orders and receiving delivery is not the only factor to consider when it comes to ecommerce and online shopping. People still want experiences and they want their interest to be retained through innovation and freshness, so really good apps will be designed to deliver all that too.
3. Communication potential
Retail apps are usually designed primarily to perform basic functions such as viewing items and placing orders for certain products. But they can also be useful for retailers themselves as means of communication and of keeping customers up-to-date with new offers and upcoming deals etc.
4. Apps can boost customer loyalty
For retailers there is a clear incentive to win customer loyalty wherever and for as long as possible. A key attribute of apps is that they are often very successful in engendering that loyalty in customers who can often become habitual users of well-designed apps that offer something new as well as easy methods of engagement.
5. Apps can enhance in-store experiences
Much of the way in which mobile devices and apps are being utilised in retail contexts relates to improving in-store experiences rather than streamlining existing processes as might initially have been the focus.
In fact, by this point it is obvious that the future of retail apps will have as much to do with integration of in-store and online customer experiences as with making it possible to place orders on the go.
Keeping the right focus
When it comes to retail apps it is important, certainly in the initial stages, not to expect too much and to realise that there will always be plenty of people who download mobile apps and leave them entirely unused.
But, it is also well worth realising that the full usefulness of mobile apps for retailers is still to be realised and the only way to find out what will work for your business is to take the plunge and start offering the best apps you can possibly create.