Developing technology has completely changed the way the retail industry works. Today, a majority of retailers are on the mobile rather in brick and mortar shops.
With the busy “on-go-the” lives of the consumers today, retail shops have to look at newer avenues to stay in constant touch with their consumers. Cloud and mobile technology has helped retailers take this consumer engagement strategy to greater heights.
Smarter mobile devices, cloud computing and increased wireless bandwidth together help retailers provide their customers with ready access to information, products and services from virtually anywhere.
Consumer behavior has also changed and is further changing with the rapid development of technology. For them, the retail industry which once existed in the brick and mortar shops has now shifted to the Internet.
Retail mobile apps are on the rise and consumers prefer shopping over mobile apps instead of actually visiting stores. Let us understand in detail the role that mobile apps play in the retail industry.
Mobile has already started to have a major impact on the retail industry and is only to increase. According to surveys, more than half of consumers today own either smartphones or tablets.
Consumers heavily rely on the apps that are available on their mobile devices. There are numerous apps being developed many of which are related to shopping.
A research conducted by Portio in March 2013 indicated that there were an estimated 1.2 billion mobile app users across the globe, which they estimated would reach an astounding 4.4 billion by the end of 2017. The number of mobile apps that were estimated to be downloaded in the year 2013 was 82 billion, an unimaginable number.
With respect to the retail industry, studies have indicated that the use of retail store mobile apps varies with respect to the device the user is using – smartphone or a tablet. Survey indicates that currently around 49% of smartphone users and 45% of tablet users prefer using apps to make their purchase. These figures are expected to rise to 56% and 60% respectively in the next year.
The above statistics indicate that mobile applications for the retail industry are spreading their wings wider and evolving at an astounding pace. Initially, mobile apps had simple functionality, offering an online catalog or a scaled back version of the company’s website. However, this has changed tremendously, that with consumers wanting to manage their daily lives in real time with respect to their current place and activity.
Your company’s web presence however, acts as an influencing factor on the expectations of consumers from your retail store mobile app. It is hence important for retailers to have their retail mobile app offer facilities such as the ‘favorite list’, peer reviews, shipment tracking and direct online ordering of their products.
However, there are numerous mobile apps for the retail industry that provide most of the above mentioned functionalities. How would your app compete with these existing retail apps? To develop a unique mobile app, it should deliver a promising consumer experience when compared to other apps in the market. Your mCommerce mobile app should be able to deliver what your customer needs at the moment with just a click or two. The easy of use, clean UI and secure transactions are the 3 main factors that would set your mobile apart from the competition.
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