What’s still lacking in retailer shopping apps?
Suzy Davidkhanian, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, believes that, while the pandemic spurred many consumers to adopt retail app technology as in-store pickup and other omnichannel practices exploded, “many features are gimmicky or glitchy and cause more friction than convenience.”
Respondents to Insider Intelligence’s “U.S. Retail Mobile Features Benchmark 2022” survey said that the most valuable capabilities for retail apps include in-app notifications for when items are ready for pickup, scanning and saving gift cards into the user’s profile, and store stock availability. Features that enhance the in-store shopping experience — like product availability and location at a preferred store and price check — were also found to be particularly valuable.
Ms. Davidkhanian wrote in an article, “Overall, app capabilities must help consumers save time and money and make the shopping experience as frictionless as possible on the small screen.”
Lumoa’s “2022 State of Shopping Apps” study, based on an analysis of 75,000 shopping app reviews, found usability — being “user-friendly” — the single biggest reason why shoppers rate apps higher. Technical problems, such as challenges adding items to the basket or adding payment methods, were the main factor in lower ratings.
Some non-app-related variables were found to be critical to the overall success of certain categories of apps. Lumoa’s study stated, “Users of apps that sell beauty products rate positively the fact that ‘offers’, ‘coupons’ and ‘points’ are available (and easy to redeem). For grocery product buyers, it is important to have responsive ‘customer service’ and to have items ‘delivered’ timely. Apparel app users tend to provide a good rating when the vendors allow them to ‘return’ the products in an easy and convenient way.”
In a Forbes interview, Bhrugu Pange, managing director of technology services at consultancy AArete, said the best shopping apps personalize the shopper experience and merge online and offline experiences. He cited the in-store navigation capabilities within Home Depot’s app. Mr. Pange said, “This is what omnichannel must look like. Whether you are in an analog shop, on a browser or using your mobile phone. It all converges into one experience, one journey.”
- Consumers look to retailers’ mobile apps to enable seamless omnichannel experiences – Insider Intelligence
- US Retail Mobile App Features Benchmark 2022 – Insider Intelligence
- The State of the Shopping Apps Report for 2022 – Lumoa
- Mobile Commerce Is The Under-The-Radar Story In Consumers’ Flight To Digital Shopping – Forbes
- eCommerce App Marketers Spent $6.1 Billion on User Acquisition WorldWide According to New AppsFlyer Report – AppsFlyer
- S. Consumers Continue to Embrace a Mix of Online and In-Store Grocery Shopping Habits, New Acosta Report Shows – Acosta/PRNewswire
- Mobile shopping on the rise: Over 73% of US shoppers will embrace virtual cards for online purchases in the future – Klarna
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: In what ways are retail apps providing the most value, how are they falling short, and what’s their next evolution? How do retail apps help the most with your own personal shopping journeys?