In this article, we’ll discuss a bit about how retail business can use mobile apps. Recently we’re seeing a perceptible increase in the mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS, popularity in general and mobile applications on these platforms, in particular. Properly planned mobile application with intelligent design has the widest possible use in business, specifically – in the retail sector.
The rapid mobile technology growth combined with the changes in the modern retailing trends has a serious impact on our buying habits. Regardless of whether we use them to compare the order prices of the different shops or searching other buyers reviews on the Internet – smartphones have a significant impact on our usual shopping views, and retail mobile apps can bring immense benefit to retailers.
Modern buyers are the technically savvy and thrifty persons. When it comes to shopping, they expect the speed, ease and convenience, innovation and service excellence. If they don’t get the desired from one vendor then in just a few moments, they can find the required elsewhere. That’s why we provide our development team to develop a mobile app for retail.
See also: average cost to create an app
Gradually, mobile apps replace the familiar browser to users. They already adopt a lot of features, to access which only just recently one had to open a browser and visit a specific site. More and more we turn to convenient and efficient applications that make our lives easier and not require too much effort to accomplish a specific task.
Helpful advanced technologies used in modern mobile apps
The most interesting technologies used in retail mobile applications:
The significant research in the field of mobile technology integration into a modern retail is the QR-codes – two-dimensional bar codes. Customers can scan the QR-code to view product price, information and benefit, discounts, interact with the brand or make a purchase.
Retailers are using this technology to pinpoint the location of customers to advertise new products and propose offers that are suitable for a specific customer’s purchase history.
Beacon is a room positioning system based on the Bluetooth. It allows retailers to send push notifications to the customers’ smartphones (if they have the appropriate application).
• Plastic card scanning;
By a single touch to the plastic card, the smartphone can read its number, expiry date, owner name, as well as the information about the latest transactions conducted with the card.
• Augmented reality;
Augmented reality complements the world in real time with a digital elements, such as informational messages, sound or graphics.
• Mobile Payments.
Mobile payments offer the customer maximum flexibility – the ability to pay for goods and without cash, with the help of what is the most constant consumer’s companion.
Such technologies are suited for the best retail mobile app.
Reasons to create a mobile app for retailer
Before ordering the retail mobile app development, one should consider some pros and cons. The main reasons to create a mobile app for retail business are as follows:
• Current growth of mobile segment surpasses all the other areas of e-commerce;
• Consumers expect to have the continuous interaction with the seller;
• Native applications frequently provide competitive advantage;
• Mobile apps are often the catalyst to corporate structure upgrades;
• Native applications increase customer loyalty and stimulate their spending aspirations;
• Diversity of retailer’s distribution channels gives them a unique asset, allow for products’ cross-promotion and brand image enhancement.
Original source Clearbridgemobile
One of the challenges retails seek to solve with the use of the retail mobile app is a representation of what the modern buyer is looking for by the combination of mobile technologies with excellent retail offerings. Many have already made some steps in this direction, but in a major trade only a fraction of the possible is used still.
The most technologically wise in the retail sector in terms of mobile services are online shops. These enterprises are accustomed to working in electronic format, they establish a new customer communication channels with much ease and reduced cost.
Another group of companies that hire developers to build mobile apps extensively are establishments that provide the public catering services: restaurants, fast-foods and a variety of food deliveries.
Classic retail is represented in mobile direction relatively weakly yet. Quite often, the development project initiation in many companies is spontaneous. The decision makers’ initiative can be based on the existence of such an application from competitors or even on global trends and prospects for growth.
Original source Businessinsider
Both sides of the counter: salesperson apps
In addition, to customer applications that allow users to view catalogues, learn basic store information, participate in promotions, etc., mobile services providing the retail business processes mobilization are in demand – above all in the fields of inventory control and sales representatives management.
It is necessary to distinguish between the use of mobile services on the trading floor and in the warehouse. At the trade spot level, salesmen are the main users. With the help of mobile application, they can quickly get information about the product, its reminders, status, and reserve the commodity bids.
Possible implementation problems
In some cases, there’s no evident increase in the sales after the application introduction. Changes in the customer loyalty and customer service satisfaction levels are often also recorded fairly low.
However, the results could be more significant. Analysis of mistakes in mobile applications introduction indicates that in most cases these errors are not concentrated in any department of the retailer and are complex as a rule. They are eligible to the entire chain – from the decision makers to marketing, project management unit, sales, logistics, advertising, PR and down to the contractor.
Major errors when creating a mobile application:
• An attempt to oversaturate application with functions;
It is extremely tempting to cram every possible catalogues, promotions, offers and loyalty programs into a single application strip. Usually this leads to a glut of perception, bulkiness and the abandonment. It would be correct to introduce additional features gradually, with each release, carefully structuring the experience of use.
• Web site duplication;
The main objective of mobile apps is to offer the customers unique experience and options, rather than duplicate existing company site. In the latter case, consumers lose all the incentive to download the mobile application.
A complex authorization;
One of the main advantages of mobile applications is an authorization simplicity, availability of necessary information and topological binding.
• The lack of promotion budget;
You can cut the advertising expenses if you’re satisfied with the fact that the release of your cool new customer application knows not a soul besides the visitors of a single store. It is extremely important to order search engine optimizations, contextual and banner advertising, mobile advertising, ads and reviews in social media, holding of shares and special projects with your application.
• Lack of application features training for the company sellers;
Strangely enough, your sellers and sale representatives are often the best promoters of your mobile application. If you exclude them from the communication chain and pretend that the app now replaces customer’s live communication with the seller, the result may be that your employees do not know how the app works at all (or that something like that exists) or even pretend to not know.
• The lack of the application post-release support and development;
Some companies cease to engage their application the moment it is released to the application store. The customer-centered mobile application must be regularly updated, provided with technical support and adaptation to the users’ needs, feedback and requests. If no such measures are taken, the mobile audience quickly loses the novelty interest and would return to the usual shopping methods.
• Disregard to the apps’ intelligence gathering capabilities;
One of the power sides of the mobile applications is their ability to collect sufficiently detailed data slice of the activity, habits, and consumer basket average receipts of buyers who use it to make purchases and pay at the sale point. If you ignore all of the information that is given by a mobile application and do not change the range of product offers, the structure and timing of shares – you are making a grave mistake.
• Lack of strategy in attracting application build contractors.
Mobile application development must be led by professional developers with relevant experience, not just student freelancers, who are taught to some extent the use of some online constructor. You must lay a separate strategy and budget to attract developers. Establishing the regular contact between retailer management and contractors, that will develop and maintain a mobile application, is also crucial.
Erminesoft is an established development company with vast skills in mobile and web apps planning and development. By our experience it takes around 9-12 months to develop such an app and the development prices start from around $40000. An example can be one of our cases – a commercial application for a big trade centers. Usually we use ReactJS framework to create native mobile applications for retailers. It allows us to build efficient scalable applications with relatively short development timeframes. We offer to create a custom mobile app development for retail business.
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