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Bridging the store and online

Effective mobile apps and click-and-collect services distinguish Leading brands when it comes to linking up different channels

Customers shop via fast mobile websites and efficient mobile apps when they buy from the European brands that lead in the Mobile & Cross-channel Dimension.

They can use services that effectively link online and offline sales channels, enabling customers to pick up their online orders in store using click and collect, or returning those online orders to a shop if they are not wanted.

“Almost a third (30%) of the brands assessed offered mobile apps to customers.”

InternetRetailing researchers went about measuring Performance in this Dimension by assessing whether leading brands had mobile iOS or Android apps and the breadth of the features offered. We measured the speed of websites through a Google PageSpeed score, and established whether the brands enabled shoppers to use click-and-collect services and return to store.

Brands that generated less than €1m in retail revenue were not included in the analysis.

How the Top100 perform

Almost a third (30%) of the brands assessed offered customers mobile apps. Of those that did, 69% offered both iOS app and Android apps, 23% had only an iOS app, and 8% had only Android apps. The strongest affinity for iOS over Android was in Switzerland, where one in five (20%) brands offered only iOS apps. Switzerland was also the market with the highest presence of transactional iOS apps with features including store finder, zoomable product images and a wishlist.

In Germany, 15% of brands only had iOS apps. In the Netherlands, almost two-thirds (63%) of iOS apps were native – written specifically for the platform on which they run. Native apps run faster than a web app because there is no translation processing taking place. The Netherlands had the highest proportion of native apps, compared to other markets in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Some 76% of EEA brands that had an app offered a transactional iOS app. That’s 38% higher than the average retailer in IREU Top500 research. Of those that had an iOS app, 66% had push notifications, 81% had a store finder feature, 63% a wishlist and 36% a store stock checker.

Seven in 10 (70%) enabled customers to see several images of products; the same proportion enabled customers to zoom in on images.

Four in 10 (40%) of the brands assessed in this Dimension offered click-and-collect services within the EEA region. The service was found most widely among UK brands. Of the brands that had mobile apps, 62% enabled customers to pick up their purchases from the store.

“Topshop has both iOS and Android apps. Its iOS app is both transactional and native. Topshop’s mobile web performance scores highly.”

What the leading brands do

Womenswear brand Pimkie offered customers in Italy, France, Germany and Spain both iOS and Android apps. Its iOS app was not transactional but enabled customers to find a store, add a loyalty card, scan it in store and to save a product for later. Its German, Spanish, French and Italian websites offered click and collect, with all enabling customers to return unwanted online orders to the store.

Dutch clothing brand Hunkemöller offered customers both iOS and Android apps. Analysis of its iOS app showed that the transactional app was available in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and France. It was among the 3% of Leading brands in this Dimension that enabled customers to create a new loyalty account from the app. Its features also included a store finder and stock checker. Customers could switch country or language from within the app settings. Shoppers in Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands could use click-and-collect services, or return their online orders to the store.

Topshop had both iOS and Android apps. Its iOS app is both transactional and native. It was among the 18% of brands in this Dimension that offered a barcode scanner and among the 10% that had a store stock checker. Its app also enabled customers to create a quick checkout profile.

Topshop’s mobile web performance scored highly, with a PageSpeed score of 77 out of 100. Click and collect and return to store were both available in the UK.

French childrenswear brand Obaïbi-Okaïdi enabled customers to collect purchases from the store and return unwanted goods to store. UK homewares to fashion brand Laura Ashley had a PageSpeed score of 75 out of 100, while customers could use click and collect, and return to any store.

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