Consumers’ shopping behaviors are evolving as technology, and specifically apps, continue to give consumers greater access to store and brand information.
According to one study, about 85% of consumers reported using their smartphones in-store. These apps have, in a way, become GPS locators for finding the products they want and need within brick and mortar locations.
As mobile-assisted shopping continues to increase in popularity, retail stores must evolve as well. Retailers must find a way to use innovative apps to help their customers find the favored brands they’re looking for, as well as help lead them to discover new products. Retailers looking to expand their market share can find powerful partners with third-party shopping apps.
Retail as an industry is facing a major shift; this is undeniable. More and more consumers are turning to online stores for their daily necessities as well as specialty items. And even when consumers enter a physical location to browse the inventory, they’re still turning to internet-based technology to assist them with their purchasing decisions.
The conclusion that can be derived is: when retailers make their locations more accessible via proximity marketing and mobile app technology, they can improve their market share and increase connection with existing and new customers. By understanding your shoppers’ behaviors—and leveraging apps that support them—you can more easily entice consumers through your doors, pulling them away from the competition.
How to Increase Market Share in Retail by Understanding Shifting Shopper Behaviors
There is one compelling reason to offer third-party mobile shopping apps to in-store retail customers: it’s what they want. Mobile platforms and apps aren’t designed simply for directing online sales anymore. About 71% of customers who used mobile browsing for product research state that their smartphone is very important to their in-store experience. These apps can be the deciding factor in whether or not your target audience chooses your retail store over a competitor’s. Innovative apps seek to understand shopper behavior by examining:
- Where consumers shop: While online shopping has expanded its reach, it is still not yet the primary venue for making purchases for consumers. About 85% of consumers report they still prefer in-store retail shopping experiences over online ones. This means that your store’s mobile app must be optimized for that. Rather than heavily focus a mobile shopping app on mcommerce, it needs to take a physical-first approach as a guide to in-store browsing and purchasing.
- When consumers shop: While online shopping occurs overwhelmingly on weekdays from 9 to 5, showing that consumers tend to do their web-based shopping from the office, peak retail store hours occur outside of traditional business schedules. Weekends are still king for brick and mortar shopping; this is the time you should schedule mobile events for in-store sales.
- Why consumers shop: You must consider why consumers would choose to shop at a brick and mortar location over purchasing an item online. About 62% of shoppers choose to buy items in-store because they want to try them out before they buy, while almost half want to be able to bring the item home immediately.
The consumer desires noted above should be the key to creating an engaging and insightful mobile app experience. Offering consumers a shopping app that gives them timely notifications, information, and offer details specific to brick and mortar locations can act as a powerful converter. The challenge here is developing a program based around these key factors while limiting costs and maximizing adoption. This is where third-party partners can offer retail locations new and exciting opportunities to draw consumers into their stores.
Choosing the Right Third-Party Shopping Apps to Increase Retail Market Share
Many retailers seeking to leverage mobile advertising to increase market share choose to go with third-party apps over branded, in-house options as they are generally less expensive and have higher rates of adoption. However, it’s important to note that not all third-party apps are created equal.
For the purpose of gaining market share for your retail business, third-party apps need to be able to entice users who either haven’t shopped in one of your locations or who shopped once but, for whatever reason, chose not to return for additional purchases. To maximize your conversion potential when partnering with an existing shopping app, seek out the following attributes:
- A shopping app that is technically sound: The best performing apps are simple to use and have a clean interface. About 48% of consumers will uninstall apps they consider slow. If the app crashes more than once, 86% of users will also uninstall it. Any third-party shopping app you choose to partner with must be technically sound if you’re going to gain new customers from it.
- A retail shopping app with genuine usefulness: Any app must be useful in some way to the user but, in the case of shopping apps, it must be repeatedly useful. An app that’s designed around a singular event or a one-time discount isn’t going to see active use. The highest performing apps for retailers are ones that work around rewards and loyalty programs, which have been proven to engage consumers again and again. About 71% of individuals will use mobile apps to take advantage of loyalty or rewards programs from a specific retailer.
- An app that gives users control over their experience: Users don’t want to share any more data with an app than is necessary to gain the best experience. As such, the best shopping apps clearly explain to users what data will be used and offer them the opportunity to opt out.
A third-party shopping app that takes each of these factors into account, and has an active and engaged user base, is going to be the best ally for a retailer looking to increase market share. Trusted apps can act as an endorsement for the retailer. When a consumer uses an app they trust, engaging with a featured retailer, the experience creates a positive brand impression.
When seeking out a shopping app partner, you want to focus on one with a high amount of active daily users, but you also want the users to be active for a substantial period of time. Rather than an average use time of minutes per month, you want to see an average use in the range of hours per month. This tells you that the consumer is engaging with the app throughout their entire shopping trip, and not simply to download a one-time offer or deal.
Mainly, you need to pick a partner that understands how, why, and when consumers shop and offers an app that’s technically sound, useful, and trustworthy. With the support of the right shopping app, you can grow your market share and introduce your company to a new target audience of consumers.
Shopkick has an engaged and active user base that, on average, spends 2 hours per month on the platform. For more information on how you can partner with Shopkick to gain a greater market share for your retail location, contact our team today.
Image courtesy dolgachov