How Mobile Apps are Helping Retailers Improve their Business

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According to We Are Social’s 2017 Digital Global Overview report, around 66{4b8db105d51fc49c1c727c21ad8f1560ea0d09dcad6eb0845e46ab84b524419d} of the population worldwide use mobile phones. In other words, almost 5 billion people use smartphones and 75{4b8db105d51fc49c1c727c21ad8f1560ea0d09dcad6eb0845e46ab84b524419d} of those are connected with internet.

This brings the expanding number of mobile apps in App Store and Google Play for businesses and entrepreneurs globally. Among other businesses, retailers also have the opportunity to extract the maximum output out of mobile applications to improve their business performance and productivity.

Retail Business and Mobile Apps

Retailing being one of the most actively running businesses, employs the use of mobile applications as a powerful customer interaction and engagement channel. Apparently, today customers prefer online shopping over in-person shopping due to the convenience it offers.

A retail business with an existing website isn’t enough, but an easy-to-use, dynamic mobile app is necessary for a plethora of reasons.

Mobile payments

The foremost reason revolves around taking payments through online booking and purchasing. Mobile payments function pretty much the same way as applications themselves, it is necessary to incorporate the credit card feature to the service, but the setup is required only the first time.

Last year it was estimated that mobile retail purchases will likely exceed the $700 billion mark, according to the Juniper Research. While the trend is not stopping anytime soon. The Apple Pay and Android pay systems were launched in 2014 and 2015 respectively, allowing users a secure, quick channel to make purchases and payments online.

In short, the use of mobile payment allows retailers to facilitate the buying and selling process while streamlining the transactions at the same time. Consequently, the retail business will experience more purchases.

Push notifications

Retail mobile apps provide push notifications that inform customers about the upcoming offers, discounts, product line, or in-store events of the retailer. According to several researches, push notifications are responsible for enhancing customer engagement by 90{4b8db105d51fc49c1c727c21ad8f1560ea0d09dcad6eb0845e46ab84b524419d} open rates, and can be even more effective than social media and email marketing campaigns.

App loyalty programs

According to a 2017 research by Business, acquiring a new customer is around 5 to 10 times more costly than selling to your existing customer base. While the new customers tend to make 67{4b8db105d51fc49c1c727c21ad8f1560ea0d09dcad6eb0845e46ab84b524419d} more purchases against the newcomers in the retail business.

This is where exciting loyalty programs help the existing customer base strengthen their interaction with your brand, consequently, leading to a lasting relationship and eventual revenue increase for your business.

Extra-convenient customer experience

Ordering your favorite product at the comfort of relaxing in your home is a very general description of a convenient customer experience. Speaking more precisely, aspects like delivery terms, items on special offers, loyalty rewards, etc. at fingertips gives you that extra convenience in user experience without spending time in excessive inquiries and authentications.

The app comprising of a beautiful, seamless UI and communication channel calls for a rich shopping experience which in turns result in more engagement and conversions for your business.

Consider the example of Amazon, one of the earliest movers in mobile app industry and its acquisition. In 2017, Amazon registered a staggering revenue of $178 billion, being the leading e-retailer in the US market. The Amazon app is the 2nd most popular buying medium of Amazon purchasers in the US as well.

Customer support and community engagement

One of the most tempting benefits of mobile apps is the ability to provide an instant, quality customer support to the user in need—something that is out of question for retail businesses. Retailers can create an app with a built-in chat support through Helpshift, Zendesk, etc. or other customer service platforms.

The idea is to offer instance assistance for the queries from the visitors.

Furthermore, incorporating social media buttons of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. will not only create a familiar territory for the users but also provide additional information about your brand and other essential business minutiae.

Community engagement is another huge add-on that retailer apps provide to their customers. Users can start conversation threads in online forums sharing their personal experiences or word-of-mouth related to your brand or any particular product.

Geolocation technology

Geolocation is a powerful technology that many top brands use to navigate their existing and new customers. Retail giants like Tesco, Walmart, and others use the technology to aid people in locating the nearest store alongside other important information such as contact number, opening and closing times, different branches, etc.

The prospect is to integrate the geolocation feature in a retail business app.

Both iOS and Android have their respective APIs to implement such and related functionalities in their applications.

In order to integrate the geolocation technology in your retail business app, you need determine a couple of aspects: position of the object and displaying the intended subject on the map.

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