Article

Greta Paa-kerner
Greta Paa-kerner 13 March 2015

Consumers Not So ‘Appy

Consumers are too fickle for retail apps.

Consumers are notoriously fickle and, in today’s world, armed with a mobile phone and more data, they are empowered and emboldened to make a switch.



Brand and retailer loyalty is at an all time low as online shoppers are trying to get the best deal in terms of price and convenience. So if this is the case, why do retailers keep on trying to push consumers to use their mobile app?

According to research conduct by commerce platform Mozu, 50.3% of retailers believe that consumers ranked having a mobile application as “Important” or “Very Important” while shoppers didn’t rank it in their top list of priorities. Retailers ranked it as one of the top three needs they believe consumers want and customers ranked other criteria such as offers, discounts and product recommendations delivered through their mobile device as part of their top three.

Hmmm, there seems to be a mismatch.

Of course an app benefits retailers, in the app they have a captive audience. Within the confines of an app the retailer controls the consumers’ user experience and surfing among competitors is difficult. Also, it is highly unlikely you will be served a competitors’ ad within the app.

Personally I’m only loyal to a brand’s app if I am a captive customer, like my train line app or if I am a habitual user and I get something out of it, like discounts or convenience. In my world fashion doesn’t fall into either of these categories and so it is unlikely I will download a fashion retailer’s app. Much less niche retailers, like New Look or Primark.

What’s next? Consumers are suffering from app fatigue. According to a report by Forrester, US & UK consumers use an average of 24 apps per month, but spend more than 80% of their time in just 5 apps. The solution is building an ecosystem rather than discrete apps. Better yet, weave this ecosystem into a consumer’s regular mobile usage habits rather than having to go into an app.

For example, building it into maps, social media or instant messaging. The department store Liberty London recently did just this by partnering with the an innovation consultancy that has developed a shopping browsing app based on Instagram “likes” and purchase history called Tapestry.

Viewers can sign up, browse and be rewarded all through the Tapestry mobile ecosystem. The only issue with this marriage is that your average Liberty London shopper isn’t the target market for Instagram. But this point is neither here nor there, the fact is that the retailer understands that online shoppers don’t want to be confined to a Liberty-only shopping experience through a retailer-specific app, but rather consumers want someone to procure product ideas on their behalf and reward them too.

That idea makes me ‘appy. 

About Author:

Greta Paa-Kerner (@gretapk) is a guest lecturer on digital and affiliate marketing and a management consultant through Ganduxer Consulting. Visit her blog and LinkedIn profile

FREE EVENT: Join Digital Doughnut in London on March 31st, 2015 for an evening of networking with speakers reviewing Digital Transformation


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