Ninety percent of shoppers have a mobile phone on them when in-store; however, 73 percent have two or fewer retailer apps on their phones.
Meaning, many retailers are missing fundamental features within their app to truly draw in loyal customers and ramp up sales.
The traditional loyalty program no longer retains the interest of shoppers seeking personalization. To engage customers and offer an efficient experience, branded retail apps must provide the following five features. Add them, and it can transform your retail app and increase sales conversions.
Virtual aisles: Virtual aisles allow shoppers to browse and buy from an expanded inventory of products that are not carried in physical stores. If they spot a phone case they like, virtual aisles could make a much larger variety of colors available, instead of the handful displayed on the shelf. This capability enables physical retailers to offer the same breadth and depth of products as online retailers, without needing to invest in more physical space. More options translate into increased sales conversions and bigger cart sizes. It also allows for retailers to gather important data points on items shoppers are interested in in the physical store, and to help manage inventories.
Personalized content and offers: Nearly nine in 10 consumers say that personalization has some impact on their purchasing decisions. By personalizing content, retailers can help present shoppers with the products and/or deals that are most relevant to them, and that they are most likely to take advantage of. By recommending products based on previous shopping history or coupons that are tailored to that person’s needs, retail apps can drive quick conversions and decrease drop-off rates. For example, if someone is buying a router, that customer could be a prime candidate for discounts on Wi-Fi extenders.
Dynamic pricing: Ninety percent of millennials use their smartphones in-store while they are shopping, and often they are comparing prices. Today’s shopper is price sensitive. Retailers can make their app a “must-have” with features that give customers confidence that they are getting the best deal. There are a number of ways to do this. They can offer instant discounting on products that are moving slowly that day to get rid of inventory, or gamify the price so that you can get a surprise deal based on your user profile. Retailers can also offer automated price matching and remove the friction involved in the current implementations. Automating price matching prevents shoppers from looking at an item in-store, and then buying it from an online retailer offering a lower price. Retailers can also take a leaf out of Amazon’s playbook with pricing that change throughout the day, which keeps prices competitive in real-time, optimizes inventory, and keeps customers interacting with the app.
Omnichannel cart: The shopping journey now extends across many platforms. People may research items on desktops, check them out in-store, and then make the purchases on their mobile device, or any other combination. Retailers can drive sales conversions by ensuring customers stay with them throughout the entire journey, regardless of which platform they are on. Omnichannel carts bundle in-store, online and virtual transactions to keep the experience consistent, so customers don’t go elsewhere and can buy when and how they prefer. As an example, they can combine their in-store items with online items in one single transaction. Or they can come to the store through a BOPIS transaction (by online, pick up in store) and add more items to the already open omnichannel cart and complete just one purchase transaction.
Seamless checkout: Retailers can also drive sales conversions by creating more seamless checkout experiences that remove the need to wait in a long line. Mobile devices open up all kinds of possibilities for how people can pay — whether it’s paying in advance and picking up in-store, or a mobile check-in whereby shoppers walk into a store, check in with their phone, pick the items they want buy, and walk out of the store. Mobile checkout is also an opportunity to engage shoppers in other ways, such as presenting suggestions, recommendations and tips that can lead to bigger carts.
Amitaabh Malhortra is chief marketing officer of Omnyway (formerly known as OmnyPay), a contextual digital commerce platform that can create a single touchpoint for all m-commerce interactions and transactions, which can increase sales by increasing engagement.