Stores failing to exploit sales power of retail mobile apps

CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: A member of the media inspects the new iPhone 6 during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Investing in mobile apps will bring customers back into retail stores, and help avoid the estimated loss of 900,000 jobs and thousands of stores in the next decade – according to a leading mobile app developer.

The latest research by Apadmi found that mobile apps can drive consumers back to the high street if they add to the overall shopping experience. However, at present, retailers are failing to connect these channels effectively, and in the way that consumers want.

Currently, just 31% of consumers are using retail mobile apps while walking around the store, yet the research found that an additional 41% of consumers would use a retail mobile app if it enhanced the in-store experience.

On top of this, 29% of consumers would be happy to share their location with a retail app to receive contextual rich messages, incentives, or offers in-store.

The research also found that loyalty schemes remain an efficient way to drive customers back to the store. At present, only 20% of UK smartphone users already interact with a retail loyalty scheme on their phone but a staggering 80% said they would be happy to collect loyalty points on their mobile, including when they complete certain tasks as they walk around the shop.

The rise of mobile payments presents another opportunity to make mobile a more integral part of the in-store retail experience, and the research found that consumers are keen to explore these new methods of payment.

While only 8% of respondents said they have used apps to pay for products instore, a further 49% said they would be keen to use apps that use modern payment options such as Apple Pay.

Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, said: “The rise of digital doesn’t mean the death of the high street, like rumours would suggest. There is, in fact, a big opportunity for retailers to use mobile as a way to drive in-store sales, especially as our research found that a massive 97% of Brits with a smartphone take it with them when they go shopping. It’s time that retailers realised that consumers actually want digital channels, and specifically mobile, to complement the experience they have in store, and not see stores disappear altogether.”

Black suggested more retailers needed to embrace advancements in location technology, allowing them to send push notifications directly to consumer’s smartphones that flag up deals as they walk around the store.

“There are new opportunities appearing all of the time for retailers to push their stores sales with the help of mobile, and if the figures are showing that the high street is under-threat for the next decade, now is the time to invest in this technology,” he said.



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