Retailers are struggling to offer mobile experiences that customers expect them to offer. MarketingCharts in February, 2016 conducted a survey with a base of 100,000 shoppers. People still face obstacles when it comes to online shopping. Problems found included:
• 33% of the respondents said that there are stability issues with mobile sites such as having to enlarge the order to click the item they want.
• 25% said that pages load slow and that there were other performance issues.
• 21% said that they need to go to the full site to access what they are seeking.
Small pictures, text, security problems, and lack of information all boil down to the user experience.
In the retail world, the user experience is the most important part of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. When you have usability issues this impacts success as customers want to have a seamless experience when using an app on a mobile device.
Looking at the User Experience Issues Through Apps
Mobile website can offer great user experience and many do, when they have the right execution. Native mobile app experiences are the shifting tide now. Retail Me Not conducted a survey which shows that many shoppers have a preference to mobile apps since they offer a better experience than mobile sites. When compared to mobile sites, retail apps offer:
• 63% more convenience
• 57% faster
• 40% better experience because they store user settings
• 31% more rewards and additional benefits
The millennial market is a lucrative one and they have more preference towards mobile apps. They want interactive and interesting experience with apps. Forbes conducted a survey indicating that 54% of millennials enjoy retail apps since they have abetter experience than retail mobile sites. 27% of millennials take advantage of rewards, discounts, and exclusive offers that apps provide them.
More Return on Investment When You Offer a Better Experience
Apps that penetrate the market are lucrative for retailers. The use of apps now counts for about half of all mobile sales for those retailers which have a focus on the user experience. App Annie says that apps also drive in-store visits and users buy more items when compared to the web. Mobile apps are therefore, a critical platform that retailers need to take advantage of for stronger sales, loyal customers, and a better experience.
How to Get the Experience You Want
Apps need to focus on the customer. Friction points need to be eliminated and there should be value for a better shopping experience. For version 1 of your app you should consider the following:
• Have a personalized experience
• Offer relevant product suggestions with a recommendation engine
• Reward customers with the integration of loyalty programs so you get more purchases
• Use promotions, special offers, and coupons to help users save money
• Make sure you have streamlined payments so friction points are eliminated in the payment process
• Add functionality and features so the in-store experience is improved
Once you have collected some data from shoppers that are active in your app, you can refine and improve the later versions of that app based upon behavior and user preferences. If you set KPIs for the app you can analyse, collect, and act upon that data during the revision of the app in later versions.
Consumers want more from their shopping experiences. Apps are becoming a large part of retail strategies. A company has to keep their end user in mind and have apps which reduce friction, add value, and engage customers so they stay loyal to the brand.