Retailers fail to hit the spot with apps


Customers not liking shopping and smartphone apps

Many British shoppers feel that apps for shopping and marketing of goods could be far better than they are today. Over 70% of UK smartphone users think that retail apps need to be improved, according to new research.

A study of 1,000 smartphone users in the UK by Apadmi, a UK mobile app developer, found that a sizeable 71% think there is a gap in the market for more improved retail apps.

When asked why they thought more could be done to improve retail apps, respondents stated that functionality could be better (56%), that retail apps need to provide more offers or a loyalty scheme (34%) and current apps are too slow (21%).

Consumers also said that apps could be better tailored to their needs (44%), payment methods could be easier (43%), and apps could offer better information and advice (27%).

Despite 53% of customers mainly using current retail apps to browse products, 27% admitted they would want a retail app to do more than just display products that they can buy.

The biggest bugbear for mobile users is when a retail app is slow and unresponsive, with 61% saying they would delete the app if they came across this problem.

And if shoppers experienced an issue with a retail app, 27% would abandon the task rather than try again. If an app was poorly designed, just over a quarter of people (26%) would think less of the retailer and go shopping elsewhere.

The research found that customers really value a tailored retail experience and get exasperated with retailers who are sloppy in their marketing efforts. 44% of people surveyed said that they would get annoyed if an app sent them irrelevant content or offers, and 40% would even go so far as to delete an app if it sent them lots of promotional messages that were not relevant.

Altogether, 67% of consumers said that if an app sent them message and deals they would want them to be personalised to their preferences, and 38% would be happy for an app to recommend similar products to ones they may have bought.

The study was conducted as part of Apadmi’s Retail App Report around the importance of integrating mobile into a retailer’s business model and how more must be done to develop a retailer’s omni-channel strategy. The report explores whether retail apps and technologies are really hitting the mark with consumers and looks into how mobile apps and technology can help reshape the retail industry and how this can help retailers engage with customers at all points of sale.

Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, said: “Based on the findings of our survey about retail mobile app usage, we’ve learnt that it is essential for retailers to focus mobile on real business touch points, such as customer acquisition, loyalty and marketing. With so many consumers using retail apps, it’s important that retail companies have an app that stands up to the brand’s reputation and contributes to its success.

“If retail companies don’t invest in quality mobile apps, for example they have a slow app or it is not innovative in its approach, they’re missing out on countless opportunities to interact with their customers and drive sales. And it’s clear from our research that customers think more can be done to improve the mobile retail experience.”

He continued: “It’s clear that user experience is extremely important, and retailers would benefit from investing properly in an app to ensure it provides a seamless, quick and intuitive experience. There is no reason why apps, in today’s ‘mobile first’ society, can’t become the key delivery mechanism for consumers.”


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