How many people use apps? The answer may be surprising

Industry Insight

Retailers have begun implementing omnichannel shopping experiences, allowing customers to shop from a wide breadth of different but equally relevant channels, from brick-and-mortar stores to smartphones. Of course, this is a big challenge for many retailer’s eCommerce operations, which need to be able to serve customers across multiple mediums. However, it is a challenge many retailers are rising to meet.

Mobile has been a particular focus of many omnichannel initiatives, as there is a lot of data out there regarding how frequently people use their phones. In fact, one study conducted by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers found the average person checks his or her phone 150 times per day – that is a lot of opportunity for engagement.

Although omnichannel initiatives often revolve around mobile devices, it is important to note many merchants simply leave it at optimizing retail sites for smartphone and tablet Web browsers. This is an effective catch-all way to establish a mobile presence, as it allows merchants to simply and easily present their products and services to mobile shoppers. Apps often go unforgotten as a result – many retailers have mobile optimized websites but not all have apps.

App engagement
According to a new report from Internet Retailer, forgoing mobile apps may actually be a significant mistake. The industry site recently released the 2015 Internet Retailer Mobile 500, which found nearly 42 percent of mobile commerce sales are generated through apps. Apps are clearly providing merchants with opportunities, retailers just need to ensure they are capitalizing on them.

“It’s now an old story, and by no means confined to retail: Many apps wind up downloaded, used once and forgotten – or worse, deleted,” added Internet Retailer’s managing editor of mobile commerce Bill Siwicki. “When it comes to mobile commerce apps, retailers need to figure out how to keep shoppers engaged with their apps so shoppers keep coming back for more.”

At the end of the day, people are looking for valuable, convenient shopping experiences. Mobile apps often give them that if designed correctly – perks such as store locators, coupons, deals of the day and other features will keep customers engaged and shopping through these platforms. Merchants need to keep the customer in mind when crafting mobile shopping experiences.