Growing revenue through mobile apps and omnichannel shopping experiences

Industry Insight

Mobile devices have become increasingly integrated in the shopping experience, with many retailers striving to create an omnichannel engagement platform that utilizes the Web, smartphones and brick-and-mortar locations to reach consumers and win their sales. Smartphones and tablets are central pillars to that experience, with tech-savvy customers using their devices to research goods before buying them.

Clearly, mobile devices are an important part of the future of eCommerce. So what are you doing to drive revenue from these channels? If the answer is "nothing," it's time to think critically about the various ways you could utilize these portable devices to engage customers and secure sales.

First, you could start with a branded app that customers can download from their phones' marketplace. Think of this app as an extension of your eCommerce operations, not a replacement for them. Some retailers offer store hours and geolocation check-ins via their apps. Of course, you can also utilize apps in conjunction with your customer data to create an engaging experience that will pique the interest of first-time shoppers and regular patrons alike.

However, simply having an app is not enough. In fact, many retail brands will have a variety of apps that allow merchants to interact with customers with different intents, from loyalty initiatives to daily deal platforms. You can't just create a generic app and expect your customers to download and use it – you need to do something unique that provides them with value.

For instance, Practical eCommerce suggests creating a mobile app that can be used to make payments and buy products from digital catalogs.

"As an example, when a user downloads a mobile application on, say, a Samsung S4, that download runs in the background, and might take several minutes. In this time, a retailer may place a significant number of product images directly on the user's mobile device. So when that user wants to shop for fall fashions on her smartphone, for example, the images pop right up," the source offers. "The app should be able to accept payments and make purchases, storing the shopper's payment information right on that shopper's device."

There are myriad ways that mobile devices can be incorporated into omnichannel shopping experiences and help retailers drive revenue. The important part is that you're at least exploring how you can use mobile devices.