Around two-thirds (65%) of consumers are using eCommerce apps mostly to receive offers and deals, according to research by Clutch.co, the mobile app developers.
Based on the answers from 501 shopping app users, the survey found that 40% of eCommerce sales came from mobile devices in 2018. This figure is expected to grow to 54% by 2021.
eCommerce app users primarily use pure online retail apps (42%) such as Amazon or Overstock as these ease the online shopping experience.
Target and Walmart were also among the frequently used retail apps by US app users.
Consumers prefer to use pure retail apps because it allows them to shop with greater convenience of not having to enter credit card details every time.
However, Clutch advises that retailers looking to create their own apps should not just turn their website into a mobile app. Instead, there should be a reason for building an app.
Mobile apps are primarily used to check prices (71%) and make purchase (62%). Another 34% of users also used shopping apps to reserve items for store pickup and 22% used them to navigate a store.
Clothing retailers in particular could use the opportunity to list their items in stock to indicate to shoppers whether an in-store visit is worth it.
Target for example integrated mobile payment options and launched its own Wallet that offers customers 5% off their purchases.
Users of pure online retail apps use the apps predominantly to make in-app purchases, check prices, review products and check availability of products.
On the other hand, retail app users often check prices (71%), make in-app purchases (62%) and review products (38%).
Restaurant apps have managed to combine functionality to their products particularly well, reflecting how customers would engage with a restaurant in a traditional manner. Indeed, most people use restaurant apps to make purchases (79%) or view menus (75%). However, just 9% use them for recommendations and only 28% review items.
The findings demonstrate that businesses must be aware of the purpose of their app and how customers ordinarily interact with their business in a non-mobile way.
With two-thirds of consumers (65%) now using mobile apps to receive deals, Alex Levin, founding partner of design and mobile development firm Levin & Riegner, warns:
“If I were a retailer, I would not feel good about seeing [that most consumers use mobile apps to receive exclusive deals and offers in the app]. You’re in a price war with everybody else rather than trying to compete on experience…[or create] a meaningful connection with your customers.”
By incentivising people to primarily download an app to receive a discount, the chances are high that app users may churn once there are no more discounts to be redeemed.
Instead, businesses should encourage shoppers to explore more products. With 54% of shopping app owners using an app to compare products and prices, there’s a huge opportunity for product discovery. Many shoppers still enjoy an unexpected product find and certain retail sectors such as fashion thrive on unplanned purchases.