How to Construct a Retail App: Key Strategies & Elements from Top Apps
Mobile as a channel is growing in importance for the retail industry. A Facebook IQ study of US internet users found that 45% of shopping trips include some mobile shopping. The increase in use of mobile as a shopping tool is having a real impact on retailers who are trying to keep up with consumers’ rapidly changing shopping behavior. Bob Sherwin, Senior Director of Acquisition at Wayfair, said they’ve seen customers’ willingness to purchase on mobile increase substantially: mobile transactions at Wayfair have doubled since 2014.
Mobile provides access to shop anytime of day or night, and as a result, foot traffic is on the decline. To stay competitive, retailers have to invest in digital strategies. But many, especially brick-and-mortar brands, aren’t sure how to bring their mobile customer experience up to speed to meet tech-savvy consumers’ growing expectations. To help retailers understand what it takes to reach the top charts, we analyzed five successful shopping apps: Kohl’s, eBay, RetailMeNot, Walgreens, and the Amazon App.
We explored what attributes might contribute to the apps’ success and pinpointed key goals all of the apps share that set them apart from the competition. We dive deep into each goal and explore the tactical approaches these retailers take to make their apps successful in our new report, How to Construct a Retail App: Key Strategies & Elements from Top Apps.
Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll learn in the report:
Goal 1: Reduce friction in the path to purchase
The ultimate goal for retailers is to increase sales. Reducing friction in the path to purchase is a common sense strategy to influence sales by enabling customers to get what they want, when they want it, with little interference. Mobile can play an integral part in reducing friction digitally and physically.
We identified three tactics retailers can implement to ensure their mobile app is as frictionless as possible:
1. Mobile pay
Streamlining the checkout process is a smart way to remove friction. Mobile payment makes checkouts faster and easier for customers because they don’t have to pull out their credit cards each time they want to buy something (or their loyalty card and coupons, in Kohl’s’ case). Amazon and Kohl’s are most notable for their investment in easy mobile payment capabilities.
Amazon’s one-touch checkout functionality is as frictionless and simple as it gets. They’ve added a “buy now” button that allows customers to skip the extra “add to cart” step, which streamlines the checkout process. After customers click “buy now,” they can purchase the intended item with one more click of a button (“place your order” in this case). Even if customers don’t use “buy now,” they’re able to place their order with one click after they’ve filled their shopping cart.
Kohl’s also employed this tactic; they recently launched their in-app mobile payment system called Kohl’s Pay, which allows their 25 million credit card holders to save their card in the app’s mobile wallet. Kohl’s took it a step further by incorporating rewards and discounts into the Kohl’s Pay program. When a customer uses Kohl’s Pay at checkout, discounts and rewards are automatically added when the in-app credit card is scanned. Kohl’s’ mobile app payment process eliminates three steps: customers no longer have to take out their credit card, coupons, and loyalty card. Kohl’s makes their in-store checkout process quick and easy with their mobile app, all while boosting customer loyalty. Retail credit card holders are among the most loyal customers, so allowing them to checkout hassle-free only sweetens the deal.
2. Functional in-app search
Customers open retail apps with a purpose; they’re looking for something specific, or they’re just interested in browsing. While it’s often overlooked, search plays a big part in helping consumers find what they’re looking for. A dismal search experience can lead to churn and loss of revenue. According to Google, mobile search is a key signal that consumers are interested in buying. They found 92% of consumers who searched for a product on mobile made a related purchase.
While Google still reigns supreme, Amazon is catching up fast. They have optimized their mobile search capabilities so well that in 2015, 44% of consumers turned to Amazon when searching for products. Aside from their extensive inventory, their search results are personalized to the customer. Search results are prioritized by relevance based on the customer’s past behavior.
A study by RichRelevance found that 83% of US consumers said a search box is “important” or “extremely important” to them while shopping, and 76% of consumers said they “always” or “often” use the search box. This is important to note, because 35% of shoppers said they’re dissatisfied with search results on mobile. Even more telling is 38% of shoppers complained they receive worse search results when shopping on their mobile device than they do on their laptop or desktop. Retailers: Don’t underestimate the power of search.
3. One Time Password
Reducing friction isn’t limited to checkout or browsing, it can be eliminated from the login process as well. eBay took this step by implementing One Time Password in their mobile app. Their customers are sent a single code via text message to login. Once the code is used, the customer is automatically logged in every time they open the app with Touch ID Authentication. No more having to remember a password and username.
While this may seem small, features like OTP reduce friction and make customers lives more convenient. Which brings us to the second goal we identified.
What are the other two goals top retail apps strive for you ask? To make customers’ lives more convenient, and to create seamless omnichannel customer experiences.
Want to learn the tactics and strategies they use to achieve these goals? Of course you do! Grab your free copy of the full report and boost your retail mobile app knowledge now.