Reports out this week show just how crucial apps are becoming to the retail recovery.
Transaction data from around the world collated by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) finds that half of retailers that offer online and mobile are seeing them make up about 40% of their lost store sales.
A second piece of research from AppsFlyer shows that that, in the UK, overall shopping app usage spiked to a reported 7.6% in May 2020 and increased to 8% in June 2020 – surpassing the 7.1% of shopping app usage in November 2019.
The picture is similar in Europe, with overall shopping app usage spiked to 7% in May 2020 versus only reaching 6.7% at its peak in November 2019.
Apps are, on can deduce, leading the charge in the retail recovery.
Retail apps are growing in popularity among shoppers for two reasons. Firstly, they are much richer and more easy to use that web sites on a mobile phone and allow users to remain logged in, cutting the number of clicks needed to find thing and buy things.
The second driver is that way more people are shopping on their mobile than ever before. The pandemic and the lockdown has seen ecommerce rocket up. Many of these first time online shoppers have done their shopping from their mobile. That is how they do everything.
Together, these two things are seeing apps snatch a growing share of the online retail space than ever before.
With this consumer shift to shopping with apps growing pace, now is the time to look at investing in your own app strategy, if you don’t already have one, or to ramp up any app operations you may have already had in place.
To do this isn’t easy, nor is it cheap. However, it is increasingly essential if you want to offer the kind of experience that your customers want and if you want to keep them loyal.
As we have already covered in out Growth Post-Lockdown series, apps are a £10,000 to £100,000+ investment. However, they do offer a much richer experience, allow you to build a relationship with your customers and help build loyalty – if you get them right. The downside, is that there are already somewhere in the region of 1.8 million iOS apps and around 3 million in the Google Play store. That is a lot of competition.
But the rewards can be great: with UK retail sales on mobile up 30% in Q2 2020 compared to Q1 and 25% stronger than the pre-Covid Q4 2019, mobile is a force to be reckoned with, research suggests.
Globally, mobile is driving the consumers shift to online with shoppers spending an impressive 1.6 trillion hours on their mobiles in 2020 – and producing growth in m-commerce that would have taken “three to four years” under normal circumstances.
In fact, the average user spent 27% of daily waking hours, or 4.3 hours, on their mobile device in April 2020 — up 20% from 2019.
So, how do you go about creating an app strategy that will return your investment and help you tap into this consumer boom?
There are several key steps to follow…
As already stated, the retail apps market is crowded and competitive. There is also the issue that you are also going to be competing with Amazon, eBay and Google for the same mobile customers. There is a whole other article in how to do this, but the gist lies in the following…
Apps are increasingly vital in the new digital economy and if you don’t have one or aren’t leveraging it as well as you should now is the time to act. It isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy, but the results and rewards can be huge.