How to make a retail mobile app they'll actually use.

By Marc Hummel

August 13, 2015

The first step: Figure out what your customers want. According to research by Dynatrace, mobile app users want:

  • Fast access to product info
  • Store locations and hours
  • Ability to communicate in real-time

They also want:

"proactive and relevant information and services within the context of their location at a particular time.

"An app has to push out personalized content, offers and perks based on their interests, while providing the ability to share offers, news and product recommendations virally on their social networks. The caveat here is that bad experiences will also be shared. This is actually reason enough to ensure apps perform at as high a level as possible."

Add to that list of requirements an intolerance for shoddy execution:

  • 79% of app users would give an app two chances, tops, if the app fails to load the first time
  • 78% expect apps to load faster than their mobile-web counterparts

And since 62% of users have experienced a crash, freeze, or error—and 85% of users prefer apps to mobile websites—it's really important that you get this right. High expectations + small appetite for mistakes = challenge for all but the most forward-thinking, tech-savvy retailers.

OK enough stats. Let's get to some real, tangible things you can do now.

The first thing: Really get to know your customers. It's important because the ones who take the time to install your app are extra special. They’re your most loyal customers, so get to know them as well as you can. Make sure your app is able to offer a rich profile of all your users.

Here's the level of detail you should be able to see, as we recommended in the recently released guide (aptly titled) Retail Mobile Apps: There's a guide for that.

Mobile retail app analytics

 

Another must-have way to address the above points is to iterate. You should test and optimize your mobile app constantly.

Luckily, a good mobile testing vendor should make it easy to tweak and experiment with everything in your app, including:

  • Welcome messages
  • App flow
  • Buttons
  • Banners
  • Navigation
  • Overall look and feel

retail_cover

For more about these areas and for real-life ideas from retail mobile apps from brands such as Polyvore, Home Depot, and ModCloth, get our new guide.

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Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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