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Apps: What your customers want but might not be telling you

Apps: What your customers want but might not be telling you

Have you noticed that a number of grocery retailers have recently launched or enhanced their mobile apps? 

  • Jewel introduced My Mix, an app that brings the store’s online ads together with the added savings of digital coupons and the capability to create shopping lists.
  • Price Chopper recently launched an integrated platform that supports both their new website and mobile apps and strongly emphasizes personalization.
  • Lunds and Byerly’s added new app features that provide personalized notification, much more store-specific content, and it alert shoppers when they enter the store.

Raising the bar

Experts like R.J. Pittman, chief product officer at eBay, think that growing interest in apps is driven by that fact that shoppers can get a better experience with apps than other platforms. He believes retailers are starting to understand this and beginning to build more sophisticated and interesting apps. To me, this says shoppers are seeing a lot of good options out there, so you don’t want to be caught with a sub-par app that completely underwhelms.

Faster is better

4G wireless has certainly done its part to improve the app user experience, and as more and more folks upgrade their phones, that improved experience will become widely available. In 2012, 4G’s share of market was 14%; by 2020 GSMA Intelligence predicts it will reach 78%.   

How will you respond?

From where we sit, competition for the customer’s attention on mobile devices is increasing rapidly. If you do nothing else in the digital world, you need to deliver a strong shopping experience via mobile apps — because that’s where shoppers are spending their time.

Here are my questions for retailers: If you don’t have an app, when are you to get one? And if you do have an app, how are you making sure that it’s serving the needs of your best customers?

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