Custom Mobile Applications for Retail Industry: A Growing Trend
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Date - 19 Dec. 2013
Information technology has revolutionized the way the retail industry works. Today, a majority of small and medium business owners are establishing a mobile presence by developing applications for their retail organization.
With the busy “on-the-go” lives of the consumers today, shop owners have to look at newer avenues to stay in constant touch with their consumers. Cloud and mobile technology has helped many retailers take this consumer engagement strategy to greater heights with the help of smartphones.
Smarter devices, cloud computing and increased wireless bandwidth together help retailers provide their customers with ready access to information like product details, delivery status, issue tracking from virtually anywhere through a retail mobile app.
Consumer behavior has also changed and is further changing with the rapid development of technology. Retail mobile apps are on the rise and consumers prefer shopping over a smartphone instead of physically visiting the stores. Let us understand in detail how mobile apps in stores play an important role.
Role of mobile apps for retail stores
Mobile has already started to have a major impact on the industry and is increasing day-by-day. According to a recent survey, more than half of customers today own smartphones or tablets. Consumers heavily rely on the mobile applications that are available on their devices to compare product prices, check availability of product at a store or just request to pickup a purchase from a store. Today, there are numerous retail mobile phone apps being developed to streamline their shopping experience.
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 apps that were downloaded in the 2013 was close to 82 billion, an unimaginable number.
With respect to the retail industry, studies have indicated that the use of retail store apps varies with respect to the device available to the user. It indicates that currently around 49% of smartphone users and 45% of tablet users prefer using retail store apps to make their purchase. These figures are expected to rise to 56% and 60% respectively in the next year.
Your mobile retail app
The above statistics indicate that mobile applications for the retail industry are spreading their wings wider and evolving at an astounding pace. Initially, mobile applications had simple functionality, offering an online catalog or a scaled back version of the company’s website. However, this has changed tremendously, with consumers demanding 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 customers from your retail mobile app. It is hence important for retailers to have their mobile app offer customer engagement options such as the ‘favorite list’, peer reviews, shipment tracking and direct online ordering for their products.
However, there are numerous mobile apps for the retail industry that provide most of the above mentioned functionalities mentioned above. 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 m-Commerce mobile app should be able to deliver what your customer needs at the moment with just a click or two. The easyease of use, clean simple UI and secure mobile payment transactions are the 3 main factors that would set your retail mobile app apart from the competition.
Providing a personalized user experience will set apart your mobile retail app from your competitions’. Offering the functionality of cache data, storing user data whenever they are out of signal range are some other another added benefits that will help give your app an edge over others.