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Don’t Just Have an App – Apply It to Your Customers

Shopper using smartphone

As retailers begin to create their own apps for consumers, it is important not to create one just to have one or to sell your product. You need to apply your apps to your customers and what they are seeking out. A recent survey conducted by Apptentive found that 71% of shoppers browse retail apps before buying in-store. That’s right, they are using apps to help them once they’re in the store versus using the app to buy your products.

View the graph below to understand how consumers use retail apps while in the store:

Top cases for using retailer’s app while in-store

Image: Top cases for using retailer’s app while in store (couresty of marketingland.com)

What do the stats mean?

So what does this mean for you? It means that if you have an app you shouldn’t just be tracking the number of purchases through the app itself, as many consumers use it as another window into your store. Instead you can use your app to measure rating and reviews, retention rate, and number of monthly users.

How can you apply this to your strategy?

Are you seeing a large uptick in the number of people downloading your app, but are not seeing in app purchases skyrocketing? Try checking your store numbers and see if there is a correlation. Is a new sweater not making a hit like you thought it would? Check the reviews to get consumer input. That’s what your customers are doing, so you need to think like them.

But that doesn’t mean you need to abandon your app strategy if you’re already using it mainly as another platform for customers to buy your products. You will want your app integrated with your inventory management system and point of sale. In other words, you’ll want an end-to-end system. That way, when someone does decide to go in your store to purchase (or purchase using your app) they will know if the product is in stock at that point, what colors are available, what sizes, what the current pricing is, and any other relevant information. You’ll also want to have that financial data going straight to the relevant person, no matter where your consumer is buying your goods.

What next?

So what can you do? If you already have an app, add in the new metrics discussed above to make sure you’re tracking all of the available data from apps. If you’re thinking about implementing an app for your retail business, talk with a retail professional about how you can implement the right technology to help with reports and inventory.

We’re always willing to help discuss your retail needs, reach out to our ArcherPoint for Retail team.