Twenty-Two Percent Of Shoppers Use A Retailer’s Mobile App Because Of Discounts

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Consumers love mobile apps: In fact, there were 175 billion downloads globally in 2017 — a 60 percent growth from 2015, according to App Annie’s end-of-year retrospective report.

In addition, consumer spending has more than doubled, exceeding $86 billion, while time spent in apps increased by 30 percent, with each user spending nearly 1.5 months in apps per year. And 68 percent of consumers visiting large stores are aware of mobile apps, according to PYMNTS’ Omni Usage Index. But how can retailers capture a shopper’s interest in their own apps?

Consumers love a retailer’s mobile app for various reasons, but retailers can offer a variety of features to capture a user’s attention. Here are some of the ways in which large format retailers from Sephora to Ulta Beauty are rolling out new functionalities on their mobile apps.

— A little under one in 10 — or 9 percent — of large format shoppers say the biggest reason they use a retailer’s mobile app is because they can pay for products when they are in the store. In an effort to make checkout easier for customers, for example, Macy’s is planning to roll out mobile checkout in its brick-and-mortar stores. The technology, which is powered by the retailer’s mobile app, is expected to be deployed to all of Macy’s full-line stores by the end of the year, CNBC reported.

— A little more than two in 10 shoppers of large format shoppers — or 22 percent — say the biggest reason they use their retailer’s mobile app is because they receive discounts, coupons and credits. Through Macy’s app, for example, shoppers can scan an item’s barcode as they add it to their carts. As they do so, the app will apply discounts and rewards through the customer’s loyalty account. When it’s time to pay, customers go to a dedicated counter where the cashier makes sure they scanned the correct number of items and removes security tags.

— Twelve percent of large format shoppers say the biggest reason they use their retailer’s mobile app is because they can find a product while they are in a store. In a push to make its in-store customer shopping experience easier in the face of growing eCommerce options, Walmart has introduced store maps and shopping list builders in a new version of its smartphone app, Bloomberg reported. The app also contains a Store Assistant feature, which consumers can use when they walk into the retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations, allowing them to create shopping lists and locate items.

— Thirteen percent of customers of large format stores say the biggest reason they use their retailer’s mobile app is because they can get product information. Ulta Beauty made the decision to launch its very own Glam Lab app, for example, helping to enhance customers’ beauty regimen by allowing them to apply virtual makeup before purchasing it. With this virtualization tool, Ulta’s Glam Lab app upped the game by helping customers find the right makeup while playing into the try-before-you-buy craze.

— Additionally, 12 percent of large format shoppers say the biggest reason they use their retailer’s mobile app is because they can buy products through the app. Sephora’s app, for example, gives shoppers access to Expert Looks for beauty inspiration. On the augmented reality platform, they can mix and match their favorite shades from each category, save and share their favorite looks and buy the looks they like straight from the app.

How have apps become a part of people’s everyday routine?

“In mature markets, apps have become central to users’ lives,” according to the App Annie report. And maybe with more features, retailers’ apps will become a larger part of consumers’ shopping routines too.

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