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Mothercare nurses app, bringing mobile into bricks-and-mortar

British family-care retailer Mothercare revamped its mobile application to serve a more streamlined and convenient experience via new features such as digital receipts, scannable email addresses and a new design.

Mobile commerce apps are extremely important for retailers, but it is imperative that the technology and interface are continually upgraded to be sure to stay relevant in the eyes of consumers and further integrate within bricks-and-mortar stores. Mothercare’s update underscores the need for retailers to frequently update their mobile efforts to continue driving sales and bridging the in-store mobile experience.

“Mobile is a crucial channel for Mothercare,” said Chris Bertin, group mobile commerce product manager at Mothercare. “We see our apps and our mobile sites as equally important.

“Although from the outside the two channels seem very similar, when you delve into the analytics you see a very different picture,” he said. “We see that customers who use apps are more loyal, spend more per transaction and convert better.

“Whereas our mobile site is used more for research and to locate our stores, therefore we see slightly lower conversion and higher traffic. We therefore make sure we do not compromise on any channel whether it be mobile, desktop or tablet.”

Caring for mothers
Mothercare is appealing to its key demographic with its mobile app update introducing features, which make shopping for parents with hectic lives much simpler. The new additions remove complicated lag time between transactions, and streamline the checkout experience.

For instance, users shopping through a mobile device or at a bricks-and-mortar location can now receive their receipt through the app. This makes for a faster checkout and removes the necessity of fumbling with extra papers.

Many shoppers become frustrated with the excessive amount of paper receipts with little space to store it all. There are also a substantial number of consumers with environmental efforts at the forefront of their concerns, and the removal of excess paper receipts will instill positive brand sentiment for the retailer.

The retailer is speeding up the checkout process even more by scanning users’ email addresses through the app, eliminating the need to manual enter and dictate the spelling. Users simply bring the scannable page up on the device and the store associate will scan, and the digital receipt will be delivered to the customer’s account.

The app also incorporates gift receipts as well, allowing users to seamlessly share receipts with friends and family if needed following giving a present from the store.

Mothercare’s app upgrade is an example of bricks-and-mortar further integrating with mobile. While it has been slow to catch on, mobile offers up a unique opportunity for retailer’s to further connect with customers within stores.

Bricks-and-mortar and mobile
Similarly, in a reflection of how mobile is transforming shopper marketing, Mondelez paired its brands as well as retailers such as Albertsons, Meijer and 7-Eleven with eight startups that each takes a slightly different approach to leveraging smartphones to engage shoppers with offers and information before, during and after a store visit (see more).

Also, the fitting room is shaping up as the next frontier in the mobile transformation of in-store experiences, with Macy’s test of a program in one store and other retailers exploring similar strategies (see more).

“We try to achieve synergy between our channels creating a seamless experience in the knowledge that customers often make numerous touch points with our various channels throughout the purchasing decision,” Mr. Bertin said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily