Mobile Apps: The Key to Retail Success During the Holiday Shopping Season

As the holiday shopping season approaches, retailers are gearing up to adapt to evolving consumer behavior, with a pronounced focus on mobile app shopping. Shoppers today exhibit a more deliberate approach, with a staggering 74% meticulously planning their purchases, managing budgets, and conducting thorough research. Moreover, 42% acknowledge that apps and websites have made holiday shopping significantly more convenient. These insights stem from a survey conducted by Google and Ipsos, comprising 450 retail app decision-makers. Let’s delve into the key findings.

Investment in Mobile Apps: A Retail Imperative

Retailers recognise the pivotal role of mobile apps in driving profitability, with 74% firmly agreeing that apps contribute to higher profits, while 42% credit them for bolstering online sales. App users tend to exhibit a higher average basket ring, a fact acknowledged by 72% of retailers, making apps a top return-on-investment (ROI) channel for 44% of respondents.

It’s no surprise that a significant majority (85%) of retailers consider investing in mobile apps crucial for long-term success. These apps play a vital role in nurturing customer retention and loyalty, particularly during uncertain economic times.

Versatile Omnichannel Solutions

To succeed in holiday retail, reaching customers where they are is paramount, and mobile apps offer a versatile omnichannel solution. A resounding 77% of retailers believe that apps drive both in-store and website traffic. Intriguingly, 93% reported in-store app usage for various tasks such as accessing product information, making payments, comparing prices, and reaping loyalty rewards. These seamless omnichannel experiences contribute to brand building and customer satisfaction, with 75% of app-enabled retailers believing that their app users are more content.

Furthermore, 90% of retailers plan to either increase or maintain their mobile app promotion investments, viewing it as a pathway to future revenue growth and customer loyalty. By seamlessly integrating online and offline channels, retailers simplify the customer journey, aligning with evolving habits and lifestyles. Prioritizing investments in mobile apps becomes indispensable for retailers navigating the holiday season amid economic uncertainty, ensuring enduring value for their marketing channels.

The Focus on Loyalty

Retailers aiming for long-term success understand the significance of brand loyalty, with loyal customers often evolving into brand advocates. When customers trust a company, they readily recommend it to others (88% agree). Notably, retailers perceive a direct link between app users and brand loyalty, as 85% reported that app customers exhibit longer-lasting loyalty. App users not only make more purchases but also indulge in repeat purchases and acquire a greater number of items. These customers offer immediate and long-term value, showcasing their loyalty even when prices fluctuate (62%).

Mobile apps also serve as a valuable avenue for retailers to collect consented first-party data, facilitating personalized shopping experiences during the holidays and beyond. This data enhances customer insights, refines future marketing campaigns, and ultimately drives sales. With stricter privacy regulations and shifting user expectations, retailers increasingly rely on consented first-party data rather than third-party data to understand customer behavior. Mobile apps provide a direct channel for customers to willingly share personal information, offering retailers invaluable insights into buying habits without compromising privacy rules.

While some retailers are already utilizing mobile apps for data collection and customer feedback (39%), those who recognize its value are poised to invest more in mobile apps in the coming fiscal year (34%). This approach gains relevance as consumers adopt a more deliberate approach to spending.

Maximizing the Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches amid economic uncertainty, retailers can thrive by placing mobile apps at the forefront of their strategies and investing in effective promotions. Paid promotion methods, including social media ads, search engine ads, and app store ads, offer advantages beyond organic methods, with 85% of retailers already allocating resources to paid promotion. In a budget-conscious landscape, mobile apps emerge as exceedingly valuable (75% of retailers concur) and essential for customer retention (88% agree). Retailers should boldly embrace paid promotions to unlock the full potential of their apps, nurturing loyal customers, gathering first-party data, and establishing a commanding market presence.

Source: Business of Apps

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