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Why every retail brand needs a great mobile strategy.

Mobile App Development
Mobile is the name of the game in retail. But brands still struggle to balance their in-store and in-app experiences. Here’s how we think you can find it.

Going mobile is no longer an option. It’s a necessity. Changing customer preferences and rapid digitalization have encouraged more brands than ever to not only incorporate mobile into their strategy but to also make it their primary offering. 

Retailers are investing in personalizing their shopper’s retail experiences. Unlike most other industries, the retail industry is closely tied to the market’s forces. Going digital helps them evade market-induced challenges and still offer shoppers tremendous value. 

But there’s a fundamental disconnect that plagues the industry. 

56% of retailers said that they don’t personalize more than half of their shoppers’ journey while, on the other hand, 72% of consumers informed McKinsey in a sweeping survey that they wished brands recognized them and personalized experiences to their taste.

Why going half-mobile kills your brand

Although brands scaled new peaks in personalization technology during and after the pandemic, there’s still much left wanting.

True personalization demands data from all customer-facing arms of the business. However, most retail brands still remain siloed

This could lead to a half-baked customer experience. For example, a customer could still receive an email with a coupon for a product they recently purchased in the brand’s offline store. 

Such a lack of clarity leads to redundancy. And redundancy leads to unhappy shoppers.

Why retailers need a mobile strategy.

Worldwide, mobile use has seen a constant upward trend for almost a decade. In fact, users today spend almost 4.5 hours a day on their smartphone! And smartphone-driven online retail, even more so. 

A good mobile strategy opens retailers up to more markets and shoppers than ever before. It helps create new revenue streams, capture user feedback sooner, and even make better inventory decisions.

The ideal mobile strategy works in close collaboration with in-store realities, helping shoppers switch from one format to the other without a hitch. 

Here are a few stats that make it clear why brands should care so much about their mobile strategy:

  • Mobile retail sales are expected to touch $510 billion this year. 
  • Industry analysts expect the figure to cross $700 billion by 2025.
  • Time spent on retail apps reached 100 billion hours globally.
  • By 2024, there will be about 187 million mobile shoppers in the US alone.

The ideal mobile strategy for retail

Brands like Amazon and Apple use AI and Machine Learning to tailor mobile experiences to their customers. They create customer journeys that feel uncannily personal. And despite how different their services are, both their digital retail experiences share 5 qualities in common:

  • Always on 

Available and responsive to customers even outside conventional business hours across multiple channels.

  • Consistent across channels 

Reflecting the shopper’s latest purchase by recommending similar products.

  • Content-rich 

Content that’s tailored to the shopper’s taste and guides them to smarter deals.

  • Mobile-friendly 

Online shopping experiences designed specifically to shine in the mobile format. 

  • Predictive and proactive 

Anticipating the customer’s needs and recommending products that could help them.   

The 3 secrets of a great mobile retail strategy

Building and growing a retail brand with a mobile-first approach takes a lot of creativity and exploration. That’s why its most successful players have only 3 key ingredients in common. They are:

  • Data and insights

Marrying data across retail and e-commerce channels to create a comprehensive customer profile. This, in turn, allows brands to create radical customer experiences that build trust in the brand. For instance, a clothing company can recommend styles to you based on your weather data, inventory, and your recent purchases. 

  • Content and collaboration

Creating content with multi-departmental inputs to show customers you truly understand their problems. Content can include videos, interactive web pages, ebooks, images, or good old social media posts that help the brand appear accessible to their shoppers. And if it’s content optimized for smartphone scrolling, then brands can reach their shoppers on their favorite devices. 

  • Customer milestones

Buyer journeys today are less a straight line and more a web of criss-crossing jumps. So it’s important for brands to understand how shoppers are influenced by content on their smartphones and position themselves in a way that every jump point becomes another chance to jog the customer’s memory about what they offer. 

4 reasons why every retailer needs a mobile app

Keeping the above in mind, most of us would agree that every retail brand needs a good mobile app. But the app can’t just be a working template. Instead, it needs to sync with a customer’s offline shopping to create a seamless brand experience.

If you’re still not convinced, here are 4 undeniable reasons to get you to agree that a well-designed mobile app is the best gift a retail brand can give itself: 

  • Customer loyalty

In an economy where companies lose $1.6 trillion every year because of customers who switch, customer loyalty is paramount to keeping revenue stable. Mobile apps help the business stay in touch with their customer’s needs and pain points, and also boost adoption of new products and services. 

  • Personalized shopping

Remember your customer’s preferred color, size, and patterns with a shopping app designed to feel personalized. You can guide your user from start to finish, including better communication, brand-standard design, and a seamless shopping experience. This creates higher conversion rates and opens up new revenue channels.

  • Marketing, marketing, marketing.

Having your own mobile app lets you open a direct channel with your users. Push notifications, emails, and messages keep your brand at the forefront. It also allows you to offer them personalized discounts as well as target them with helpful ads on a more granular level using past engagement history and location.

  • Convenience 

Apps let your brand care for users in ways you believe in. Customers can be more flexible and worry-free when ordering, especially if your app allows them to return products or reach out to support easily. In fact, this focus on keeping it easy for users helped mobile-based orders go up by 18% between 2021-2022. 

Reasons why you shouldn’t go mobile.

In conclusion

Yep, you read that right. There are none.

With zero reasons against it and every reason for it, going mobile is the best bet you can place as a retail brand. But getting started with mobile, or reinventing your mobile strategy, is not easy. 

However, as we like to say, early movers have all the pros and none of the cons. Choosing now to reinvent your business allows you to make your mark in the market before competition heats up. 

Having helped brands like Nike, Under Armour, Walmart, and H-E-B up their game with in-app retail, our team is well poised to guide you to creating better overall experiences for your users and shoppers. 

Perhaps your next big breakthrough is just a conversation between you and us away?

Siddharth Maganty

Content Marketer

Siddharth is a copywriter from Hyderabad, India. He loves F1, cats, long runs, eBooks, and writing articles on tech he would have loved to find online

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