Any store you walk into, you’ll see folks on their phone. Yes, perhaps some are texting or checking their Instagram feed, but a lot of them are actively shopping on mobile retail apps. Today’s savvy consumer uses all the resources available on their mobile device to find coupons or discounts, compare prices with other stores, and visualize their upcoming purchase in their room, closet, or garage.
Gone are the days of catalogs, mailers, and magazines; it’s all available on your smartphone, so why wouldn’t you use it? If you’re a business, you’re losing out to your competitors if you don’t have your own native app in place. Maybe you don’t have one, or perhaps you would like the one you have to perform better. Let’s take a look at a few mobile retail apps, and see why they’re so effective.
Overstock: Surplus retail décor giant Overstock just took home the 2018 Web Marketing Association award for Best Mobile Retail Application, and for good reason. Their app is loaded with interactive features that makes shopping easy and fun. When you’re shopping online for home décor like furniture, curtains, or rugs, you need to be very confident that it will fit in your space and match your existing color scheme. Overstock’s app features a slick augmented reality feature that lets you closely examine every piece in 3D, letting you “see” that piece in your living room, as well as checking size, color, and price in real time.
They also give the consumer flash deals that match up with your search history with them, and even offer an exciting virtual “scratch-off” ticket to win even more savings. Once you’ve found your perfect piece, you can arrange ordering, shipping, and payment without ever leaving the app. They have an informative and enjoyable app that is sticky enough that consumers will use it over and over. You couldn’t ask for more from a retail mobile app.
Home Depot: We all need to fix things up around the house, but, unless you’re a general contractor, wandering into a huge warehouse can be intimidating and overwhelming. Home Depot’s mobile app is here for your inner handyman, and can help you throughout the whole process. Let’s say you need a circular saw for a project, for example. Home Depot’s app will let you comparison shop and check reviews on the dozens of saws available. Once you select one, put in on your List in the app, then use the store locator to make sure how many are in stock. Once you arrive, the app will give you the exact aisle and shelf your saw is on, so you’re not wandering aimlessly through the store. You can use the barcode scanner to double-check it’s the one you’ve decided on, or even take a picture to identify other models like it if you’re having last-minute doubts.
Chat with an online associate with any questions, because we know how hard it can be to find a live one. Check for discounts and coupons, get your saw, and browse the hundreds of how-to videos once you’re ready to start your project. And, in the unlikely event you want to return it, the receipt is there on your app to make it quick. Our weekends go fast, so save time at Home Depot with their mobile app.
magicplan: So, now we’ll shift gears from customer-facing mobile apps to ones that help you start or expand your stores, and make them run smoother. The magicplan mobile app is ideal for the new shop owner’s first steps.
Here’s how it works: you find a property you’re interested in to build out for your next store. Take a walkthrough with your smartphone or tablet, taking pictures when the app instructs you to, and voila! You have a floor plan, with no drawing, measuring or estimating. Next, you can manipulate this floor plan in 3D, letting you explore various buildouts, windows, counter placements, or dressing rooms. Once you’ve got it the way you like it, you can place virtual furniture, racks, and shelving all around your floor plan to ensure that it all fits. Then, you can use the app’s materials and building estimator feature to calculate the cost of getting your store looking like you envision. Finally, you can create this virtual 3D store and build a virtual tour, for potential partners, investors, or tenants. All in the palm of your hand!
Xero: New technology is making so many everyday retail management tasks a do-it-yourself deal. Accounting and finance management is one of those jobs, and Xero can make what is usually an outsourced position into one you can manage on your tablet or smartphone. Cloud-based accounting lets you pay and manage bills and expenses, make purchases, and get a real time expense report anywhere, anytime for multiple members of your team. Ultra-secure and fast, the cloud will protect and save your data, even if your device gets stolen or lost. Manage inventory, link up with your bank, even pay employees…this powerful app can save your sanity and your money!
Humanity: If you’ve ever owned or managed one or more retail locations, you know how much time and effort goes into scheduling. Managing time off requests, making sure employees come and go at the right time, and assuring shift trades go smoothly can gobble up hours of your work week. The Humanity mobile app lets you control all of these variables from your mobile device, and is loaded with features that lets you hold employees accountable and know your stores are well-manned.
Humanity gives you automated scheduling features that gives you the power to integrate multiple schedules every week or month with all the vacation times and store closures already programmed in. Also, it lets your employees trade approved shifts between themselves without personal requests. GPS faculties and facial and fingerprint recognition technologies let you know that every employee clocks in and out where and when they should. It even has messaging features to communicate personal messages or company policies with one or all of your employees, and it can hold onboarding and training videos to help the new hires get going quick. Now you’ve got time to focus on the rest of your business.
Are you thinking of launching your own retail app? Take a look at some of our work and see if Koombea is the right partner for your app development process!