In July 2008, Apple unveiled the App Store, followed a year later by the creation of Google’s Android Market (now Google Play Store) and RIM’s BlackBerry App World. In the seven years since the launch of these mobile markets, apps have truly taken off to become a key part of everyday life. From slingshotting disgruntled avian creatures, through to banking on the go, apps perform a range of functions for the modern consumer, both inane and invaluable.
There’s virtually no industry that has not been disrupted by the introduction of mobile apps. Retail is no exception; fashion brands and high street stores alike have embraced mobile channels to better serve their shoppers. However, there is clearly still work to be done – a study in December 2015 of 1,000 smartphone users in the UK by app developer Apadmi found that a whopping 71% want more from the retail app market.
Poor functionality was the biggest bugbear among shoppers, with 56% finding this flaw in retail apps. Other notable pet peeves include apps not being catered to the shopper’s needs (44%); complicated or non-existent payment methods (43%); the need for more offers or a loyalty scheme (34%); or that the apps are too slow (21%). The message is simple: up your app game, retailers!
The survey also uncovered that a substandard app could prove worse than not having one at all – 26% of consumers would think less of a retailer if its mobile app was poorly designed and stated they would actually go shopping elsewhere.
With 97% of shoppers saying they take their smartphone with them as they peruse the stores and 85% of smartphone users in the UK using retail apps, there is massive scope for apps to enhance the shopping experience. However, as this research highlights, retailers themselves (by-and-large) are yet to fully realise the app’s true potential and deliver mobile solutions that win over the consumer… but we are confident this will all change very soon!