Back in July, I shared how a new wave of mobile retail mobile business apps allows customers to use their smartphones and tablets to receive in-store promotions, marketing and purchasing services. In just the past few months, how retailers are using mobile business apps is changing dramatically.
Last June, Sig Ueland wrote an article for practicalecommerce.com on 15 Mobile Retail Apps that Enhance Customer Experiences. In the story. He shared what benefits he found at 4 different retailers. He also takes a great look at how APPS will make a difference in catalog and coupon marketing. I encourage you to read all of Sig”s observations.
- Apple Store. The Apple Store app helps you get the most from your visits to the Apple Store. It does this by allowing you to make reservations for Genius Bar one-to-one assistance and sign-up for workshops and events. When in an Apple retail store, you can request help, check in for reservations, receive meet-up alerts, and get free iPad and iPod engraving and signature gift-wrapping for select Apple products.
- Redbox.This app enhances your experience with the Redbox DVD kiosks. The most intriguing way it does this is by allowing you to reserve a movie from your phone, so the DVD is waiting for you when you get to the kiosk.
- Starbucks Card Mobile. With Starbucks Card Mobile, you can display your Starbucks Card barcode and make purchases at Starbucks. View your transaction history, track your reward points, and locate a mobile payment Starbucks near you. In addition, Starbucks also has another app,myStarbucks, that has a drink builder, coffee and food menu, store locator, QR code scanner, and gives you access to Starbucks Digital Network for free music and news content on the web.
- Target. Target’s app helps you find the right products, making your shopping trip quick and easy. The best way it does this is with a My Lists feature. Make a list before you shop. Manage your lists and registries or find a friend’s. Search your store to get item availability and aisle location. Features also or add product to a list, and coupons for weekly and daily deals.
He also mentioned going to a local mall that offered an interactive mall map with every retailer’s website, map location and phone number. You can save your parking location with a text or voice note. Their APP allows you to create a shopping list. You can see what movies are playing and check show times. For the mall”s walkers, they offered the walking distances available.
Among other retailers mentioned, Sig talked about APPS that allowed you to scan QR codes in the store to access reviews and compare product specs.
In an August 27th article in USA Today, Roger Yu shared how box retailers are developing indoor navigation tools to help shoppers find what they want. Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot are all among the retailers who are working on this service.
Some retailers are also working on APPS where you can input your shopping list and the APP will provide you with directions on how to navigate throughout the store in the most efficient way to locate all of your items.
The human resource department of nearly all large retailers have moved their application process to APPs for both full-time and part-time jobs.
In his New York Times article, “Stalking the Retail AislesWith a More Focused Purpose“, BOB TEDESCHI shares his experiences shopping with his daughter. After his experience, he concluded “From now on, before making a significant purchase at a big-box store, I will download the store’s app so that I have quick access to their online prices.”
Graham Charlton from econsultancy.com, summed his thoughts on why retail must have their own APPS in two significant points.
- Price comparison is usually the main reason for using mobile in stores
- Looking for reviews is another common reason, which retailers should embrace as it is a sure sign of purchase intent.
Clearly, regardless of whether you are a chain of retail stores or a retailer with a single location, regardless of which line of products you sell, or what consumers you cater to, it is essential customers can find your APP include you in their shopping experience, and receive all of your promotions – both on the go and while they”re in your store.
Using Snappii”s free on-line visual WYSIWYG editor, you can build, test, and release your store”s APP before the official holiday season begins. Check out what you can do at http://www.snappii.com. There are a Rich library of industry specific templates that can excellerate your APP development even more quickly.