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Retailers failing to offer the omni-channel experience consumers want, new research finds

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New research has found that UK retailers are letting down their customers by not investing in a quality mobile app that complements the instore and website experience.

A study of 1,000 smartphone users in the UK by leading mobile app developer, Apadmi, found that over half (59%) of Brits are not downloading retail apps because they do not complement and match up to the instore and website shopping experience.

The research also found that only 11% of consumers are interacting with their favourite retailers across all channels including its store, website, and mobile app, demonstrating the need for retailers to implement a strong omni-channel strategy and address app engagement among customers.

Nearly a quarter (22%) of consumers only shop in store, 8% solely use a retailer’s website, and 2% use its website and app without visiting the store. Only 1% use a retail app on its own, and 1% go to store and use the mobile app to shop.

For Brits who use retail mobile apps, the majority (65%) tend to use them at home, but just 31% use them while actually shopping instore, suggesting retailers could do more to interact with customers when they are shopping.

Interestingly the research found that 80% of people would be happy to collect loyalty points on their phone, including when they walk around the store and 29% would also be happy to share their location with a retail app to gain incentives and loyalty points on their phone whilst in the store.

Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, explains: “To maximise sales, retailers ideally should be connecting with users on multiple channels and touch points. Omni-channel is the new marketing buzzword, which means retailers need to provide a seamless shopping experience regardless of the device or channel. In other words, if a customer wants to browse and view a product online, buy it using their phone, and return it by dropping it off at the store, they are able to do so with ease.

“However, our research has revealed that not all retailers are using each channel to full effect and mobile apps are not up to scratch or consistent with the experience shoppers may have on the retailer’s website or instore. A staggering 71% of consumers stated there is room in the market for better mobile apps so it’s now up to retailers to invest in mobile to improve the shopping experience. And if done well, retailers should also see an increase in sales and loyalty to keep them ahead of the competition.”

This runs contrary to the growing demand among consumers for mobile-led omni-channel interaction with retailers. According to new research from ecommerce platform provider Episerver, which surveyed the mobile shopping habits of ten nations across the UK, US, Europe and APAC.

Out of the regions surveyed, UK consumers were the most likely to shop on a mobile, with 59% of respondents making a purchase via their device’s web browser in the last month. This figure drops to 50% in the US, 46% in Australia, and dips as low as 36% in some European nations (Belgium and the Netherlands).

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