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As shopping becomes an increasingly mobile activity, there’s one question on many online retailers’ minds: To make an app or not to make an app? Luckily, a new report from RetailMeNot and Forrester provides insight into when and why retail apps apps are used, how frequently consumers use them, and what makes these apps successful. Here are just a few takeaways from the report that can help retailers determine if creating a shopping app is the right move:
Smartphone use (both mobile web and apps) comes into play throughout the buyer’s journey. As the report highlights, consumers use mobile devices during the entire lifecycle of a purchase, from researching the product to when it actually arrives on their doorstep. Those moments don’t always occur in the same context either. The rising popularity of mobile means that consumers can research and buy products in their own home, or while out and about in any imaginable environment.
Takeaway: Everything consumers can do on your desktop site they should also be able to achieve on mobile, so it’s especially important that your website is optimized for smartphones and tablets. If you do create an app, make sure it includes all the same capabilities as your site.
When it comes to most shopping-related activities, surveyed users say they tend to visit the retailer’s mobile website over using an app. In fact, the report shows that mobile web beat out apps for shopping activities like reading customer reviews, comparing prices with other websites, purchasing, checking the status of an order or finding coupons. However, consumers who say they do prefer using retail apps over mobile web gave the following reasons:
Takeaway: Make sure you attract prospective downloaders with the streamlined experience they value most. In mobile app install ad copy, emphasize your app’s ease-of-use, personalized experience and the exclusive promotions that are only available for app users.
A consumer downloading your app is not a guarantee that it will be used. In fact, Forrester reports that most surveyed shoppers use retail apps rather infrequently.
Takeaway: Users need an incentive to use your app, and ads are a great way to give them a reason to open it. Target people who have recently downloaded your app with re-engagement ads featuring limited time sales, exclusive products, or coupon codes. Make sure those ads run on mobile devices; that way you can use deep linking to drive users directly to your app.
Thinking about building a retail app? The Nanigans SDK allows you to understand customer lifetime value, retarget and re-engage consumers across devices, and more! Learn how in our blog post.