Retail companies large and small have been embracing mobile apps in recent years. Here are some important things to consider before jumping in and commissioning an app for your retail business.
Gamification – the transformation of everyday tasks into fun achievement-based games – is currently rampant in the retail app industry. Gamification is not always the correct route to go down. You need to carefully consider the demographic makeup of your target audience before attempting to gamify their shopping experience. Some consumers prefer a more straightforward interaction with an app.
The best retail applications use consumer data to create a tailored experience. This can involve using location data to suggest nearby stores, purchase history to suggest products and search history to create similar suggestions.
For the most part, applications can only offer consumers tailored content once they have already been using the software for a certain period of time, so it is important that they are given a broad range of options from the moment they open the app for the first time. This will enable them to make browsing decisions that influence future tailored content.
Type Of Retail App
Tech consultancies such as Make IT Simple will be able to advise a company on the specific type of retail application that would be the most appropriate choice for development. Social shopping applications, deal generators, augmented reality applications and creative content-based applications are all immensely useful for different purposes.
The key to developing the correct kind of retail app for your business is always market research. Knowing the market you are entering into and the needs of the consumers you want to appeal to makes a huge difference in business.
Big data is increasingly important for the building of marketing and product development strategy in our ever more networked world. Retail apps can be a valuable source of consumer data – providing that they collect data in an ethical and transparent way. Consumer details and purchasing habits can be recorded and delivered automatically by applications. Retail apps are now considered to be one of the most effective ways for companies to collect data from their customers.
Apps can also be developed to collect data about how consumers operate when they are in the physical stores owned by a company. Many stores have taken to surveying consumers that make purchases in their stores on communal tablets. This is especially popular in the fashion retail industry.
Cross Platform Compatibility
In order for a retail app to connect to the largest possible consumer base, it needs to be compatible across multiple devices and operating systems. A surprising number of companies fail to make their applications available on both the Android and Apple app stores, and still more make their apps too complex to run on low-cost hardware. A good app development consultant will always suggest simplicity over complexity in order to make software available to the largest possible amount of mobile users.