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Social integration is least desirable app feature for mobile-savvy shoppers

According to a study recently released by Catalina, integrating social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ were the least valued features for shopping applications.

Conversely, mobile-savvy shoppers report deals, real-time coupons and reminders of what is on their shopping list from their mobile shopping app as the most coveted features. Catalina partnered with third-party research firm InsightsNow to discover what shoppers want from mobile devices while shopping.

“The takeaway from the study is that mobile shoppers want to save time and money,” said John Caron, vice president of marketing at Catalina, St. Petersburg, FL. “That’s it. Get me in and get me out.”

Voice of the people
Two-thirds of smartphone users who are their household’s primary shoppers reported already using their devices when shopping. What is interesting though is that no existing app seems to fully satiate the mobile-savvy shopper.

So what does a smartphone-wielding shopper crave from a mobile app?

Consumers want features that help them stretch and manage their budgets, according to the report. They also want to automate activities such as shopping list creation, coupon collection and tracking spending while they shop.

Additionally, shoppers desire apps that integrate closely with each other and are easy to use instead of having to use multiple applications and Web sites, as they currently do.

Per the research, shoppers want access to an app that meets more of their perceived needs simply and efficiently.

Those surveyed decidedly were not interested in anything that complicates or extends their shopping trips, including social media options, which were deemed extraneous in importance.

Leading by example
Traditional and self-checkouts cause angst and frustration, especially for a generation used to constant motion.

“If you think about the apps that are out there that are most effective, and you think about it in terms of in-store experience, a Stop & Shop and Dunkin’ Donuts come to mind where it’s not just payment – it is payment and loyalty,” Mr. Caron said. “It is enhancing the experience and driving lift.”

For example, Stop & Shop’s mobile app enables guests to bag their groceries as they shop, requiring a wave of the mobile device at the register when finished. It reads, shoppers pay and go.

The app not only keeps track of purchases, but knows where in the store the user is, thereby delivering appropriately tailed coupons based on location and preference from shopping history.

The perks of loyalty
The DD Perks program by Dunkin’ Donuts is a customer based loyalty effort integrated into the brand’s mobile app.

Guests earn five points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases when they pay with either a plastic DD cards, or via the Dunkin’ mobile app. Once a member accrues 200 points, there is opportunity to collect a free medium beverage.

Additionally, DD Perks members will receive exclusive, personalized offers to earn bonus points for specific food and beverage purchases.

Enabling users to earn rewards and pay for coffee and baked good digitally puts DD in direct competition with Starbucks, which sees about five million mobile transaction per week.

“I think Dunkin’ Donuts has done a brilliant job of embracing what matters to a consumer,” Mr. Caron said.  “There is the speed of being able to pay with mobile, not having to fuss with credit card signing or anything else. “

“But what they’ve also done is they have added rewards and coupons into the app,” he said. “So I believe they have one-upped Starbucks because what they are able to do is target you with specific offers to get you to try things.”

Final Take
Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York