Close this search box.

Retailers urged to invest in mobile to save the High Street

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

Investing in mobile apps will bring customers back into retail stores, and help avoid the estimated loss of 900,000 jobs and thousands of high street stores in the next decade.

So says, app developer Apadmi, which took a poll of 1000 UK smartphone users and found that mobile apps can drive consumers back to the high street if they add to the overall shopping experience.

However, at present, retailers are failing to connect these channels effectively, and in the way that consumers want. Currently, just 31% of consumers are using retail mobile apps whilst walking around the store, yet the research found that an additional 41% of consumers would use a retail mobile app if it enhanced the in-store experience. On top of this, 29% of consumers would be happy to share their location with a retail app to receive contextual rich messages, incentives, or offers in-store.

The research also found that loyalty schemes are another good way to drive customers back to the store. At present, only 20% of UK smartphone users already interact with a retail loyalty scheme on their phone, but a staggering 80% said they would be happy to collect loyalty points on their mobile, including when they complete certain tasks as they walk around the shop.

The rise of mobile payments presents another opportunity to make mobile a more integral part of the in-store retail experience and the research found that consumers are keen to explore these new methods of payment. While only 8% of respondents said they have used apps to pay for products instore, a further 49% said they would be keen to use apps that use modern payment options such as Apple Pay.

Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, explains: “The rise of digital doesn’t mean the death of the high-street, like rumours would suggest. There is, in fact, a big opportunity for retailers to use mobile as a way to drive instore sales, especially as our research found that a massive 97% of Brits with a smartphone take it with them when they go shopping.”

He continues: “It’s time that retailers realised that consumers actually want digital channels, and specifically mobile, to complement the experience they have instore, and not see stores disappear altogether. This is why we undertook the research – to shed light on the positive impact mobile can have in all areas of retail, including the traditional shopping environment.

“According to our research, loyalty schemes are a good step in connecting these channels. But on top of this, new technology is appearing all the time to connect mobile to the instore experience, allowing customers to have a personalised and interactive relationship with stores than ever before. Take the latest advancements in location technology, which means that retailers can now use mobile apps to send push notifications directly to consumer’s smartphones, to flag to them when there is a deal on whilst they walk around the store.

“There are new opportunities appearing all of the time for retailers to push their stores sales with the help of mobile, and if the figures are showing that the high street is under-threat for the next decade, now is the time to invest in this technology.”

Consumers are already starting to use apps across platforms – and that means in-store too – with gusto. According to a study by Poq [IRDX VPOQ], data from across desktop, mobile web and app data – including two million iOS and Android app sessions that took place throughout Q4 of 2015 – reveals that app users are the most enthusiastic online shoppers, with the average person shopping from an app generating 2.6 times more revenue for a retailer than someone shopping from a mobile site, and 1.5 times more than someone using a desktop device. Customers using apps also interacted with retailers 2.8 times more often than customers using the mobile website.

Many retailers already get the idea, as we reported back in February, almost half of retailers say that between 21 and 50% of their web sales come directly from purchases made on an app, according to a study of more than 100 leading UK heads of e-commerce, heads of mobile and heads of digital within the retail space conducted by Urban Airship.

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