What happens when brand apps and in-store shopping collide?

May 9th, 2012

What happens when brand apps and in-store shopping collide?

Using a brand's smartphone app encourages people to visit the physical store.

In fact, 45.8 per cent of respondents to a new ABI Research survey revealed they visit shops more as a result of downloading a retail-branded app.

Businesses that have launched a smartphone app enjoy a number of benefits. Just over 40 per cent of shoppers said using an app means they are more likely to buy a brand's products and services, while 30.8 per cent would encourage their friends to visit the shop.

The study discovered that 37.9 per cent of people who downloaded a firm's app were encouraged to also check out those from rival brands. Businesses need to distinguish themselves from their competitors, whether through a better-designed app or more interactive features.

"Clearly consumers are using retailer-branded apps as an engagement tool.  Once a retailer can capture a consumer with one, there is a real opportunity to leverage smartphone apps to enhance customer service, deliver richer, more relevant product information in real time, shorten checkout lines and more," ABI Research's Mark Beccue said.

Does a multichannel retail presence work?

One brand that has seen just how multichannel retail strategies work is Argos. During the 52 weeks ending February 25th 2012, the organisation enjoyed 430 million website visits, mcommerce sales rallied threefold to represent six per cent of total sales and the online Check & Reserve tool is its fastest-growing channel.

Shoppers can check stock levels, reserve items online and then purchase them in-store. Multichannel sales penetration now stands at almost half of total sales. Despite the popularity of its ecommerce and mcommerce sites, nearly 90 per cent of transactions still involve physical stores.

The brand has certainly shown that utilising offline and online resources together does not mean they cancel one another out.

Further multichannel retail advice can be found here:

The positives of offline retail in conjunction with ecommerce

Don't forget about older tech-savvy customers

Mcommerce payments to soar by 97% over 3 years

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