Close this search box.

Keeping appy customers happy

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

This week not only kicked off with ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year (so far?) – but it also featured, today, the day when most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions. Let’s hope that among them aren’t retailers who vowed at the stroke of midnight on 1 January to treat their app customers better.

Everyone knows that app-based shoppers are typically more loyal, spend more and are more engaged with your brand. But it seems that, while most retailers have taken that part of the equation on board, they haven’t calculated that they have to treat these app shoppers better than they treat everyone else.

And it is starting to cost. As both out lead story and Guest Opinion point out this week, you have to treat app shoppers as VIPs – for they are special and need to be cossetted.

A report, by mobile app developer Apadmi, found that nearly one in five consumers would like to see retailers invest in more innovation to improve apps, while 30% would be more likely to use them if they could do more than just browse and buy.

More tellingly, as our guest opinion-giver, Andreas Hassellöf, CEO, PresenceKit, points out, being on users’ devices is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.

According to comScore, the typical user in the US or Europe downloads just one app a month, and only has between 20 and 40 apps on their phone. Of those, the majority are highly popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, or the standard Google or Apple suite.

With more and more apps being downloaded by users – yet fewer and fewer actually being used on anything like a repeat basis – the retail industry faces a quandary. Apps aren’t cheap and so far they have been sold on the premise that they will attract higher spenders, who will become more loyal.

However, if what Apadmi has discovered is anywhere near representative of the shopping population as a whole, they have messed it up.

To me it looks too much like “build it and they will come”. Many retailers have finally got and app, yet they still haven’t made them transactional in many cases – only some 30-odd percent have transcational capabilities according to our own IREUtop 500 research – and even those that do tend to offer a rather muted experience not too dissimilar from the web.

And herein lies the rub: this isn’t the wild world wide web, this is an app, that sits on the customers phone and which should make them feel special. It should be where all the cool stuff happens like one-click payments. It should be where all the new innovations around retailing happen, such as Augmented and Virtual Reality. It should be where interesting interactions with chatbots happen first. In short it should be where those that have bothered to download the app get a really neat experience at the cutting edge of what is available.

With consumers demanding more interaction and a more personal experience, the app is the place to try it – and all these many other tech trends that are going to be big in 2017 – out on the people who matter.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on