Mobile Apps - A Unique Proposition

Rachel Toner
Marketing Manager

We always bang on about optimising your mobile web experience before investing in a native mobile app. We’re not going to go into that right now (but, do that).

52% of retailers surveyed in our latest Mobile Retail Report don’t have a mobile app. Of those that have at least one mobile app, 39% have a primarily transactional app, 9% have a shopping app and another type of app, and 35% have only a non-transactional app.

Native mobile apps for ecommerce or branding don’t have to be transactional. They can support the ecommerce journey by creating rich experiences to meet specific customer needs, such as integrating a camera so customers can ‘try on’ makeup.

Five non-transactional mobile apps or features within transactional mobile apps stood out as fun, useful or unique when we were doing our research. Here they are:

  1. Adidas Confirmed allows customers to reserve new release trainers and complete the purchase in-store.
  2. Capitalising on the emoji trend, Anya Hindmarch offers iMessage ‘sticker’ apps, as does Smiggle and Farfetch.
  3. The Fragrance Shop’s MyFragranceApp includes a visual, BuzzFeed-style quiz to suggest fragrances to customers, for themselves or gifts.
  4. JD Sports has a separate native app for women’s fashion.
  5. Bathstore has its Silent Loo app that plays white noise to cover up unwanted bathroom noises, and save water.

A retailer revealed to me recently that the real benefit of app users to their business is that it costs nothing to send a push notification. As someone who rarely enables push notifications, this potential benefit of developing an app passed me by for years.

Whether you’re building a shopping app for your most loyal customers or a branded app to augment your marketing efforts, making sure that your native apps are updated often will ensure they don’t get buried in the App Store or Google Play graveyard.

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