Retailers – Create ONE branded app for your shoppers

Over the last few years, we’ve had a lot of conversations with retailers about their mobile strategies and how to drive more in-store shopper engagement.

The dominant theme is that retailers need to create their own app, one that reflects the branded experience and not a third party app that aggregates multiple retailers, provides limited service, and is loosely related to the retailer.

There are a number of important reasons for this:

  • You the retailer need to own the look and feel. It’s your brand that is expected and at risk. Your unique approach and presentation needs to be reflected through the overall theme of the app and in each detail.
  • You have many different connection points with your customers and these need to be integrated into a cohesive app experience. For example:
    • Loyalty programs let each customer know the benefits that they are individually entitled to, and how those benefits relate to that customer’s activities and purchase plans in the store. Customers who are not seeing their benefits are less likely to be long-term or loyal.
    • Weekly and daily sales need to be up-to-do date and related to the customer’s shopping list or product searches. Shoppers do not want to feel that they are missing deals that are important to them.
    • Coupons are increasing in usage and the trend is to integrate them – from discovery to redemption – into the overall experience.
  • There is a lot of data that needs to be kept up to date. Product locations that help customers find products in the store, and inventory/out-of-stock information to ensure the product is actually in the store.
  • Getting the right analytics that will help you understand how to improve shopper engagement. It’s a very competitive environment and knowing what is resonating with customers immediately is a critical component for success. Controlling the app ensures the right information is collected.

Another key consideration is the confusion created by multiple apps from a single retailer. Not only does it require additional downloads, but it also puzzles customers as to which app should be used for which purpose. Which app contains the pharmacy information? Why do I have to keep jumping between the apps to make sure I’m not missing anything?

Finally – and this is the big one – there is an almost universal apprehension by retailers to promote a third-party app. It dilutes your brand and, in fact, transfers the power of the brand to a third party. This is not something taken lightly as brands are built using a lot of resources, time and money. Brands are unique and valuable and not to be trifled with.

The conclusion reached is always that there should be a single app and it should be owned and managed by you the retailer.

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Categories: Things to Consider

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2 Comments on “Retailers – Create ONE branded app for your shoppers”

  1. July 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    http://www.indoorlbs.com shows examples of retail apps that have coupons, product search, indoor maps

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Point Inside » Retailers – Create ONE branded app for your shoppers - July 26, 2012

    […] Original post on The New Shopper Engagement blog. […]

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