Why retailers may still need an app
One of the world’s biggest fashion retailers recently asked me why they still need to have an app when most of their traffic comes from the mobile website.
I’m technology agnostic in most of my advice to customers. I try to get the customer to answer their own questions rather than telling them what’s right or wrong in terms of apps, responsive web, beacons, payments, analytics, etc. The Head of Online at the retailer told me that she was concerned that customers would rather use the storage on their mobile device for photos than the retail brands app. She also asked why customers couldn’t simply visit the website to engage with the retailer. I asked if she thought customers should keep the store’s loyalty card in their wallet or hand bag and she said yes.
Think about your mobile app as a loyalty card and it becomes obvious what you need to do to make it worthwhile for customers to download and keep it.
- Provide a good reason to download it in the first place, e.g. free wifi in the store, a discount for the next visit or a VIP membership
- Keep customers engaged through incentives whether it’s exclusive offers (read our blog about why discounts will kill your business), VIP treatment, your new products, great content or something else. Reward your most loyal customers by surprising them.
- Make sure it’s something you always want in your pocket because you never know when it will be useful.
Don’t want to spend lots of money on it?
Create an app based on your mobile website with the hybrid app tool Phonegap (Cordova) and just add one or two unique app features such as the ability to scan bar codes in the store and notifications. Or, if you are a small business, partner with one of the myriad of mobile loyalty card platforms.