Mobile applications have taken the world by a storm and by the looks of it, there’s no going back. Even banks have been adopting and using mobile apps to provide better customer experience and as a point of differentiation against competitors.
In order to capitalize on this new technology and increase online sales, retail stores over the last five years have built native mobile apps at an alarming rate. And from all these retail stores, the ones who carefully design, strategized, and then executed their mobile app builds are the ones who are most successful today.
There are prerequisites when creating mobile apps. They must engage in order to convert.
However, in a hurry to be present and join the mobile bandwagon as soon as possible, many retailers make rookie mistakes, hurting their companies’ ROI and diminishing much of the hard work put in. In order to avoid this, it is highly advised that you prepare your mobile app build very carefully. A little bit of preparation can go a long way.
Successful apps are born out of their ability to be dynamic enough to accommodate eager buyers’ wishes through empowering them with interactive and personal online purchase experiences.
Use These Tips To Help Kick Off An Uber Successful Mobile App
Accept The Fact That You Need One
Yes e-commerce creates sales, but the fact currently stands, that most sales take place physically, inside brick and mortar retail stores. This does not mean people are on their phones less. Just the opposite. Once you know mobile’s powerful marketing abilities, you’ll have no choice but to jump in…Sooner the better.
A recent Propelic mobile marketing Slideshare revealed that internet traffic worldwide is going mobile. The research shows the rise from 08 to 2013, and in the 2 years since it has only continued its exponential upward movement. It’s more than a trend now and will only become more prominent and accepted as smartphones become more and more available.
Choose The Correct Technology
Between iBeacon technology, native application builds, browser-based mobile apps and more, you have a lot of choices. Marketing Land’s Allan Haims gives some sage advice over on the Marketing Land website, saying:“Branded native mobile apps are best suited for retailers’ most loyal and frequent customers as these consumers are more likely to see the value in keeping such an app on their smartphone, especially if it keeps track of loyalty program points and offers special discounts, a la Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s or American Eagle Outfitters.
These mentioned retailers are prime examples of mobile apps executed right. They engage users through use of various native-mobile app features like loyalty point tracking, in-store product locators, push notifications, self-checkout and more.
Using various technologies ensures you have something for everyone.During this app development phase a few things you should look into are:
- Mobile marketing strategy – Set clear Goals
- Design/UX – what type of feel and user experience are you trying to put across?
- Will you be doing this in-house or through an outsourced team?
Leverage Native Mobile Capabilities
While multiple device coverage is important, go a step ahead by taking advantage of native features in mobile app technology first.Some examples of native capabilities include thumbprint logins, like featured on current iPads and iPhones. Going native means improved engagement with customers, more sales and a growing fan/customer base.
When you have a native mobile app, you wield some heavy duty marketing power.You can provide up to date product information, product availability, in-store aisle location, to the minute news and much more.
A Hubspot article written by Kipp Bodnar states, “…users prefer mobile games, social media, maps and music in the form of an app, as oppose to a web based interaction. There is a sense of security with an application that is installed and trusted by a relevant source on your mobile phone.
Maybe the “sense of security” in mobile apps is what’s helping their cause.Or maybe it’s the money-creating features mobile offers as a whole: SMS coupons and discounts, QR Codes, location based advertising, mobile websites, e-commerce and more.The potential is still flourishing and what’s to come in mobile for retail is an exciting thing to think about.
Make It Easier With Location Based Advertising
If you’re a retail store owner or marketing manager, then you will love geo-tagging. It will let others in your area find you that otherwise would have never tried or thought to look.All GPS-enabled phones are able to be advertised to based on location if push notifications are enabled for it.
This is done through geo-tagging within your mobile app.Some of the most successful companies that have paved the way with geo-tagging and made it what it is now are Yelp, FourSquare, Uber and Starbucks.These companies are just a sample of the many that use geo-tagging to get people in their stores. These GPS technologies also function together with the sales process, letting customers pay with their phones, or use them as discounts.
Get The Internal Basics In Place
Mobile strategy should be in tune with your enterprise strategy. The internal operations should support the mobile app programs as well as all future updates.According to Kony Research, establishing a mobile ‘Center of Excellence’ can help in the process of ground knowledge transfer and design assistance for departmental teams.
These centers provide mentoring and best practices that integrate departmental projects and enterprise strategy.
Integrate Social In Your App Build
Think of ways to infuse socialization into your apps.. especially on product detail pages. You can add features like number of times the product is bought/liked/shared, highlight your favorite reviews and customer Instagram product-selfies. This in turn engages other followers, and makes it much more engaging and interactive to the user.
Customer Loyalty Is Number One
Connecting commerce to loyalty will be the essence for retail in 2015 and beyond if you are to take a clue from growing trends.Starbucks has been ahead in this game with their offering of Starbucks Card Mobile that allows shoppers to view transactional histories, rewards points, barcode purchases on the card and help with locating mobile payment Starbucks nearby.Deals, coupons and personalized offers also lead to higher in-store foot traffic and sales when carefully crafted into the mobile app strategy.
Learn From Other Apps
There are a growing number of retail stores building high quality apps. They are topping their game with scrutinized data collection and state of the art tools which utilize the latest technological advancements.
These help capture customers’ attention and holds their hand throughout their whole store experience, whether there or not.For example, it helps to learn how CVS Pharmacy has used GPS in their product-browsing feature, or how Macy’s or Walgreens are now trying to improve shopping experience through use of iBeacon technology.
You never want to jump in blindly with these newer advanced strategies, but once you find one that adapts best to you and your customer base, it will be noticeable.Keep in mind what Nielsen Company said,“Brands that decline to invest heavily in mobile are bound to get surpassed by competitors.
For retailers who overcome the challenges of mobile app development, there is no ceiling as to how far a successful mobile application build can take them.
Is your Retail Store prepared to rock the world using a mobile App?
If you haven’t started yet, the best time is now.
If you have already, is there anything you would do differently if you were building an app from scratch right now?
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