Although widespread mobile optimization of web has reduced the importance of dedicated mobile app niches like retail apps, still they serve very special purpose as to retain customers and generating loyalty from them. Customers still feel being loved with loyalty programs, promotions and discount coupons devised by the retail apps from time to time for them.
There is severe confusion regarding the retailers who need mobile app and who do not need them. Furthermore, with the rigorously mobile optimized and responsive retail websites in place many people are considering retail app as no longer necessary as it was before. A steady decline in app download has further contributed to this negative vibe. While many developers and users feel that users are no longer interested in keeping touch with numerous retail apps on their mobile screen, there are others who feel the range of options provided by the retail apps is preferred by many users over the consolidated mobile web. While argument on both sides continues we can look into some retail app trends, limitations, opportunities and business needs.
But in spite of this there are great many retail apps that play invaluable role for their business and many of these apps are maintaining steady growth in respect of user acquisition, business conversion and retention. So, it seems while retail apps work for some businesses, for some it does not at all.
From various aspects, success stories and recent limitations pertaining to the retail apps, it can be said that the mobile apps still remain viable for many retailers. But with the emerging mobile web in place these apps need to offer some unique and valid solutions to their web counterparts.
We should only begin with the state of things corresponding to retail apps. These trends offer a clear indication that retail apps need to be more precise and customer centric. Rather than taking decreasing downloads and such trends as a threat to retail apps, one should see the opportunity lies in them. Yes, mobile retail apps offering unique customer loyalty programs are still popular maintaining steady growth. Creating unique proposition for the regular users is the key to stay viable for retail apps now. Here below some trends that will make the necessity of such unique proposition even clearer.
From the above mentioned trends it is clear that while the typical frenzy over downloading mobile apps is over and in general mobile eCommerce sites are being more preferred over retail apps, mobile apps for loyal and regular users are still the best options. So while the majority of users, particularly the new users are leaning towards eCommerce websites as their mobile access points for shopping, the regular and loyal users still prefer native mobile apps. Keeping tune with this trend eCommerce brands should promote mobile apps for more sustainable business conversion, promoting customer loyalty and retention.
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Many businesses and services are now seeing mobile apps as an avenue to create and maintain customer loyalty besides the so called broader access of web based eCommerce services. There are some stand-out app features that add to the user benefits and make mobile shopping experience better. Mobile payment, loyalty scheme, locality based push notifications, store finder, are some of the great app features that make users happier than with so called mobile eCommerce websites.
Moreover, as app analytics is becoming powerful presently retailers can address their users in a personalized way as per individual preference, user habits, user availability and location. Corresponding to all these individual level factors the app can send more contextual push notifications to market the products and make offerings to the users. Mobile retail apps taking over the device screen of the user enjoy more access to the specific device and corresponding user information than so called mobile optimized eCommerce websites. Naturally by utilizing this pool of device specific and user specific information retail apps on mobile can deliver more contextual messages to the users and can pave the way for better engagement and business conversion.
The present focus and leaning on mobile websites does not necessarily mean that the importance and business viability of retail mobile apps has come to an end. While mobile websites will continue to flourish, native retail apps will have a niche appeal for the regular and loyal users and they will continue to be preferred by marketers to connect individual users with contextual messages and notifications.
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