There is a common misconception in retail that everyone needs a mobile app. This is only somewhat accurate. What everyone needs is a great mobile app. Mobile is arguably one of the most personal ways to reach consumers and a mobile app can become one of your strongest touch points. By focusing on best practices, emerging trends and looking to some of the industry’s best in class, a great mobile app is within any retailer’s reach.
It goes without saying that an app needs to be flawlessly executed. This means more than just a pretty face. An app should take up minimal space and battery drain, deliver content quickly and be secure. While commerce is not a must for an app, there are standard, key features that can lay a strong foundation for any app. Some that we recommend are store locator, push notifications, product inventory (searchable by keyword and barcode scan) and registration that is synced with the full site. These all leverage mobile’s native capabilities and opens the door to new trends. bebe has done this with great success. They have built a strong foundation and have continued to build on this to now offer location-based promotions and local, product inventory.
There are a number of trends emerging in mobile that are continuing to build richer experiences for consumers. A great mobile app leverages new technology to remain on the cutting edge of retail. Some trends we have seen come to fruition in 2015 are hyper local marketing in the form of beacons, loyalty integration with user generated content and mobile payments, and developing in-store experiences with way finding and local inventory. One of the best examples is The North Face, who gives users the opportunity to submit their own content through Never Stop Exploring. Incorporating one or all is an easy way to make your app stand out.
Learn more about the Ten Must-Have Mobile App Features for generating in-store engagement.