Why do consumers like retail apps?
A new report from research group Arc by Applause finds a variety of reasons why consumers prefer one app versus another.
In its analysis of 1.2 million consumer reviews of apps from the top 50 global retailers with the most sales from mobile apps, the top-ten scoring retail apps were:
- One Kings Lane
- Rue La La
- JD (Germany)
Groupon’s app success was attributed to giving customers control over their mobile device experience to discover food, fun, fashion, wellness and professional services.
Rue La La and Gilt ranked high because of their flash sales, daily inventory updates and mobile-exclusive offers. Overstock.com earned kudos for enabling customers to create lists, see flash deals and join its rewards program. REI enables customers to find the closest store, check product stock, scan to add items to a wish list and for its customer reviews.
While many retailers on the list saw big positive sentiment swings — including American Eagle Outfitters, Etsy, Staples, GNC and Abercrombie & Fitch — Peapod was among those seeing notable negative swings. Peapod’s underwhelming score was traced to freezes, slow performance, error messages, intrusive ads, and temperamental updates.
The big potential around apps continues to be mobile sales, and it’s happening. According to the Internet Retailer 2016 Mobile 500, mobile sales from apps have grown to nearly $60 billion in 2015, a nearly 70 percent increase from the year before
Yet consumers download apps, according to a May survey sponsored by Branding Brand, largely to save money.
The number one reason to download a retail app was to gain loyalty/rewards points for downloading, 71 percent; followed by receiving app-only coupons/discounts, 67 percent; and to receive a discount on first order, 64 percent. Less miserly, 59 percent said they downloaded a retail app because they frequently purchase from the retailer.
While Arc by Applause’s list of the top 50 global retailers with the most sales from mobile apps included Apple, Gap, Staples and Toys “R” Us, many mega-giants, such as Walmart, Target and Amazon, failed to make the cut.
- How Customers Rate The Mobile Retail App Leaders – ARC
- Internet Retailer 2016 Mobile 500 – Internet Retailer
- Why Consumers Download, and Delete, a Retailer’s Mobile App – eMarketer
- Reinventing the retail app for in-store success – RetailWire
Discussion question: Why do retail apps seem to be highly relevant to the shopping experience at some retailers and irrelevant at others? What key features should all retail apps have at this point?