Mobile edged out desktop for the most traffic years ago. As of February 2022, the global share of traffic was 56.05 percent for mobile, 41.52% for desktop, and 2.43% for tablet. While not all mobile traffic is app-based, much of it is, as consumers continue to adopt apps over browser-based mobile sites. That’s especially true for mobile shopping. With consumers ready to migrate to mobile, is your retail app ready?
Retailers Using Mobile Channels to Engage with Customers
New data shows a spike in the use of mobile channels for communication between retailers and consumers. Retailers pivoted to mobile in 2020 and continue to invest in the channel. They also rely on digital notifications (such as push) to be more than transactional. The report stated that retailers were finding success with messages like, “Your item is ready. View new recommendations for what to order next.”
Shopping App Usage Remained High Even with In-Store Shopping Resuming
It’s easy to think that the adoption of shopping apps was a consequence of the pandemic. And that everything will go back to pre-COVID rates. That’s simply not the case. Consumer behavior changed so significantly; it’s not going to go back. It’s a different world, where people appreciate the convenience of shopping in apps. In fact, the use of retail apps increased by 30% in 2021, even as stores were open and available.
Consumers Prefer Retail Apps for Shopping
According to a survey, 57% of shoppers prefer mobile apps to other channels. Usage of the app almost always leads to purchases, as that’s what users defined as their intent. So, why do they prefer them?
- 57.5% said it was more convenient than other options.
- 41% said better pricing and promotions on the app.
- 44% said the easy user interface.
Additionally, 86% of consumers said that if the app has the features they love, they’ll stay loyal. That puts the spotlight on UX. Some of the dislikes of mobile shopping app functionality are inherent because it’s mobile and digital (e.g., screen too small, can’t touch products); others focus on UX. Mobile retail shoppers hate:
- Clunky interfaces
- Apps that don’t save data from previous sessions
- Hard to navigate and browse
- Too slow
Those are all attributes you can improve on your retail app if you want to convert users. Now that we’ve discussed the state of the mobile app shopping landscape, it’s time to discern if you’re ready.
4 Things to Ready Your Shopping App for More Users
There are obvious advantages to converting a shopper to your app. They’ll be more likely to engage and purchase more. However, you need to ensure your app is optimally operating. Otherwise, investment in CPI (cost per install) or CPE (cost per engagement) campaigns could be a waste.
Review UX Feedback and Make Changes
UX is critical to a user staying on your app. You’ve likely tweaked it many times. For this exercise, go directly to user feedback. Scour your reviews and any data related to customer questions. You can even solicit this from your users with rewarded advertising. They provide their opinion in exchange for a discount or promotion.
You’re looking for user interface complaints, navigation challenges, image clarity concerns, loading time, and other UX attributes.
Identify patterns and trends, then present those to your dev team. They can then advise how long such improvements would take and their value versus cost. Prioritize the most impactful before launching UA (user acquisition) initiatives. You can even highlight these changes in ad copy and on your app store profiles.
Look for Friction in the Processes
Do you have a lot of abandoned carts? That’s normal for retail, but it could indicate an overly complex checkout process. For example, do you force users to create an account? That could be the reason. Others could relate to the form being too long or hard to complete. Another could be if they have to save a credit card, which can cause hesitation. As indicated above, apps not saving previous interactions could also inhibit purchases.
Evaluate your user flows and pinpoint any areas of friction you can improve upon.
Offer Instant Communication Tools, So Shoppers Make the Purchase
As discussed, retailers are using more mobile communication channels. That needs to be part of your retail app. You can use a chatbot for simple questions, but you’ll also need human agents to take over for more complex queries. Having this conveniently within the app allows customers to get quick answers. Once they are informed, they may move to purchase.
Test out your communication tools to ensure they can withstand greater volume. You may also need to staff up to meet customer demands.
Give Mobile App Shoppers Exclusive Deals
Those who shop on apps cite that the promotions are better, making them stay. Leveraging exclusivity is a great strategy for UA. It’s also something you need to prep in advance, answering questions like:
- How will they be different from other offers? (e.g., higher discounts, special BOGOs, etc.)
- How will you present the offers? (e.g., in-app messages, push notifications, email, offerwalls)
- Are there any caveats to accepting the offer? (i.e., Do shoppers need to complete an action to get the offer?)
- When will shoppers receive these? (i.e., Is it at a certain day of usage? After an event like registration?)
Answering these questions helps you plan out what these deals look like for the next six to 12 months.
Meeting Shoppers Where They Are with Your Improved Retail App
The retail app ecosystem is large but thriving. To accelerate shoppers to migrate to your app, you’ll need to make sure it delivers. By reviewing considerations, your app will be ready for those shopping sprees.
Looking for more strategies for your retail app? Read our article, How to Get Your Customers to Use Your Shopping App.