By now, most retailers know they need to incorporate mobile as part of their overall omni-channel strategy. At GPShopper, we covered the impact mobile had on last year's holiday season and dove into consumer trends to craft a successful mobile strategy as a result. But now comes the tricky part. You want more than a cookie cutter solution, you need an app that will fit your needs specifically. As retailers start to think about building a mobile app, what do they need to consider?
Native mobile apps are a wise choice as they provide the most functionality, integration and security for retailers but it's also important to consider your brand's image. You want to make sure that your mobile app delivers an on-brand experience that fits the needs of your customers and organization - in short, you need to stand out! No two-retailers are the same and mobile app needs will vary as a result. Many mobile providers will claim to not deliver a standard, template solution but that's what you'll end up getting if you don't know the right questions to ask. We've done the work for you and outlined a few things to consider when you want to build a mobile app and do it right.
1. Security & Scalability
During peak shopping times - such as a promotion or a holiday event - your app needs to be able to support the influx of traffic and handle that load. Black Friday isn't the day you want to find out that your app could crash in a traffic spike. You also want an app that can grow with your business. Common with cookie-cutter template apps - design is sometimes favored over security and scalability features, which could make your app more vulnerable and less likely to scale as needed down the line. Remember, your app should also be PCI compliant and your provider should have experience with app-specific security.
2. Full Functionality
This is a big one. A lot of times, template app providers will quote you a bargain deal, give you an app for free and promise you incredible launch times. Wow, sounds too good to be true! Well, it is. They do this to get you in the door but - how much functionality will this mean for your app? Are you really getting what your business needs? There could be a lot of hidden costs not quoted in the first go-around that you may not even realize you need. Such as an integration build to your e-commerce system. Those 'add ons' which are actually vital to the success of your app, don't just add up financially - it takes added time to build and could push your launch date back or leave you with an app that can't do everything you want it to.
3. Measuring Success
With omni-channel, attribution modeling is key to understanding how all your marketing programs and systems work together for the common good - the revenue of your business. To do this you'll need full and dedicated support, ideally in the form of an account management team, reliable content management system and deep analytics and reporting. Proper measurement is different for a mobile app than it is for web, so you'll want a support team that understands this so you can accurately measure and track your success. Without these vital tools that don't come standard with most run-of-the-mill apps, you won't know how to most effectively target your customers, develop effective campaigns and more to really take advantage of all the benefits a mobile app can bring.
4. Creating On Brand Experiences
You want an app that distinguishes you from your competitors. In an intense market, where everyone is vying for a shoppers attention, retailers need to stand out from their competition on all fronts. Every experience needs to be a branded one, including the physical store, website and mobile app. Customers shouldn't go into your app and think it looks, feels and acts just like every other retailer (including your competition). What makes your app design different? Does it accurately reflect your brand? How does this fit into your overall business goals and objectives?
We know this is a lot to consider but these items are important. You don't want to move down the mobile app build process only to find out you didn't really get what you bargained for. Building a mobile app is an investment in your brand and you want it done right the first time.
Our experts at GPShopper will be at this year's Demandware XChange event to talk about the benefits native mobile apps have over template, cookie cutter options. We're happy to share the knowledge we've learned from pioneering this industry and detail how to create the right mobile strategy with commerce, loyalty and engagement, to extend the benefits of existing loyalty programs to mobile.
Meet with GPShopper at Demandware XChange and find out why Demandware clients like True Religion, PacSun, JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels only trusted GPShopper to build their mobile app and platform. Book a meeting today.