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A theory of everything

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Despite living through extraordinary political change, where an hour sees more non-linear news occur than one gets in a normal year, it is good to see that the rise of the app in m-retail goes on steadily.

We have touched on this before, outlining how more consumers are switching to apps as they get into using a brand. That march now seems to be moving with increasing pace.

As our story this week reveals, a new study by app commerce company Poq [IRDX VPOQ] finds that online shoppers are spending 6% more money on apps and 5% less money on the mobile web every month. It is a slow increase, but it is a movement nonetheless.

So why is this happening? Typically, apps offer a much richer experience for users and are usually easier to use for the whole shopping journey than a mobile website. Consumers are starting to realize this and vote with their thumbs.

The one great barrier to app use has always been discovery, but with Google now offering up the app when you hit a retailer website on mobile, along with users also mastering the internal search function on their phones is slowly seeing people search the phone rather than the web when they want to buy.

And once they have experienced the app experience, they are likely to come back – job done!

But retailers need to work out how to tap into the full potential of apps. As Poq’s app retention report points out, you need to be aware that shoppers are going to come into your app from all over the place and that the app opens you up to all manner of shoppers, often outside of your typical demographic.

It make interesting reading as it starts to see the unification of the theories of apps verses m-web and the worlds of loyalty, customer retention and personalisation.

And this is why this is such an interesting time to be in m-commerce. The move to pull everything together – much like Einstein did with linking gravity and relativity – starts to throw up all manner of new and interesting possibilities for omni-channel retailers. It also throws up huge challenges too.

But you can’t deny that we live in exciting times. I am decamping from the fray for the summer to relax and ponder some of these things, but it looks like this summer is not only going to be one where politics and society as we know it are going to be shaken up, but also the way retailers sell things and interact with their customers.

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