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Why Your Mobile App Is Going Nowhere

The typical retailer’s app is not all that compelling; lacking features and a discernable value proposition, such apps are typically downloaded and then deleted from a potential customer’s smartphone in relative nanoseconds.

At brick and mortar stores, the amount of time customer spends in the shop is called

There are a number of apps smartphone owners can download.

There are a number of apps smartphone owners can download, but few meet shoppers’ needs.

dwell time. For e-commerce operations, dwell time becoming a term that refers to the amount of time customer lingers within his or her phones application. Much to the chagrin of many retailers, many apps are deleted after being used only once — if at all. At that point, the retailer just has to face the fact that the customer is, “just not that into you.”

But, like forlorn teenaged friends from high school, the retailer wants to know, “But why? What have I done?” And, in fact, this time it is something you’ve done. Here’s what to know about such a picky par amour.

Remember, customers are extremely fussy about which retailer apps will be granted real estate space on their smartphones. A recent Forester survey shows that 60% of consumers who use a smartphone to shop online have fewer than two retailer-specific apps on their phone, and 21% don’t have any at all. The survey noted that, “apps that do not meet expectations are quickly removed or replaced.”

So, once you’ve gotten the picky “sweetheart” to download the app, it’s going to take work to make the relationship work. Apps need to offer a value proposition, much like text-based marketing does. Users are not going to be regular customers based on having an app only. Successful apps offer great content, are relevant and motivate the user to interact.

One way to achieve that is to send a rich pop up after the user has been on a page for a specific period of time directing them to an exclusive, personalized offer. Another is to send a thank you message to the rich inbox after registration, including an offer for an upcoming purchase.

As the holiday shopping season fast approaches, retailers should shore up their mobile app offerings. Apps that neglect the mobile economy are doomed to fail. Retail brands born in the Web era may need to rearchitect their digital strategy and launch an app that is optimized for the mobile experience.

And that app needs to not only speak to the needs of the customer, but also work reliably. If a shopper wants to check the inventory of a local store via the app and then discovers the product is sold out upon arrival, not only will their irritation be know throughout the social networking universe, but also through the app itself. Providing the ability to review a store or product through the app is necessary, but is a double-edged sword. In addition, the app store itself has become  a channel through which users share all types of brand experiences.

The best retail apps showcase dynamic experiences such as one tap to see the best deals, seamless switching across devices. In addition, content and alerts are pushed at the perfect moment. Such retail experiences are customer-centric, and come from customer-obsessed teams who understand what mobile users value.

Case in point: Taco Bell introduced iPhone ordering almost one year ago. Today, app-using customers are rewarded with the ability to skip lines, and Taco Bell has increased in-store revenue and received stronger app store star ratings.

Brands such as Taco Bell have used mobile apps to become technology forward. Some have boosted dwell time, others stressing time-saving conveniences — which may not increase dwell time, but may appeal to a larger number of customers. For those intent on delighting their customers, sales increase, user sentiment improves, more users are gained and greater loyalty is won.

And in the end, after a little introspection, you might find the customer is into you after all.

 




130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale