Digital transformation across verticals has forced retailers to rethink their strategy. With mobile phones and devices becoming an indispensable part of the modern buyer’s life, retailers have to redefine how they engage consumers and convert the sale.
Consider this: Average time spent with mobile apps (127 minutes per day) is uncomfortably close to television (168 minutes). Yet mobile budgets aren’t nearly as high as TV. (Tech Crunch) And ninety-two percent of retailers are struggling with online/offline integration. (RSR Research).
Catch up quickly or lose out to competition. Businesses have to embrace the digital wave – both in their online and offline approach. Mobile commerce and mobile strategy are inevitably linked to this approach. And one proven way to boost customer engagement is the use of apps. Apps are not only a subtle visual reminder of your brand on the customer’s phone, but they can also push your sales effectively. In fact, mobile commerce now constitutes 30% of all US eCommerce.
But it is 2017 and your strategy needs to be a cross-channel one. Hybrid cross platform apps can achieve a seamless and snappy UI to create an engaging user experience. PhoneGap apps development is one of the popular technologies to develop a cross channel application.
How can retailers leverage apps to serve their audience better and improve the bottom-line? Here are a few tips to optimize your customers’ in-app experience:
- Push Notifications: Push messaging is a very simple and effective way to connect and re-engage with your customers. Your user doesn’t even have to be in the app to be able to view the message. Your app might be forgotten or lost in the sea of apps, but timely messaging can deliver useful updates and boost engagement. Inform them about the flash hourly sales, or special festive stock, using this effective tool.
- In-App Messages: Unlike push notifications, in-app messages are delivered to users while they are active in the app. These are useful to push real-time updates and the benefit is users don’t have to opt-in to receive these.
- Beacons: Beacons are a great example of integrating online and offline for an exceptional customer experience. Used effectively at malls and stores, these tiny devices wield proximity-based marketing and personalized marketing like none other. Paired with mobile apps, beacons are also data gold-mines that provide insights into what’s working and what’s not. What’s more with geo-location, it is possible to determine when your customers are in store and then attract them with the right offer based on their shopping history and taste (data already provided by app and beacon).
- Digital Payments: With in-app payment, buying has become truly digital, cash-less and convenient. Biometric-driven Apple Pay and Google Pay have blended into the retail mobile apps to create a seamless payment process.
- Geo-Targeting and Personalization: Apps enable geo-location and allow retailers to promote products, deals and discounts based on consumer proximity to any of their physical stores. Add to this mix, the analytics and you have valuable insights on what to pitch to the customer based on shopping history and wish lists.
The cost of developing a retail app is now significantly lower than the past. Retailers can take advantage of this to reap high benefits on their investment and stay ahead of competition. Do you agree that apps enhance user engagement and help predict consumer behavior? Do share your views and tips on this with us in the comments section.