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Retail apps with store mode drive up to 5x more interactions

New data from a couple of sources underscores the increasingly important role mobile apps are playing inside bricks-and-mortar stores, with both consumers and retailers benefitting.

The demand for more mobile inside stores is being driven by both consumers and retailers, who recognize how smartphones can make shopping and retailing more efficient and bring value through savings. For example, a new report from CFI Group found that the use of mobile applications for in-store shopping purposes nearly doubled in the past year while data from Point Inside shows that shoppers who use apps featuring its in-store mode display a four to five times increase in interactions compared to users of apps without indoor location.

“Retailers are keenly aware of the importance of engaging their in-store customers, where over 90 percent of their business is derived,” said Pete Coleman, executive vice president and manager of StoreMode at Point Inside.

“Millennials, in particular, prefer digital engagement versus store associate interaction during their in-store path to purchase, thus challenging retailers traditional store operations models,” he said.

In-store mode
One way that retailers are leveraging mobile inside their stores is by providing a separate mode for in-store shoppers that leverages the phone’s location technology to provide relevant information based on where they are located inside a store.

Point Inside, whose StoreMode offering is used by retailers such as Lowe’s, reports that shoppers who engage with the location-based offering are twice as likely to use a retailer’s app versus those who do not use StoreMode.

Additionally, shoppers who use StoreMode features such as shopping list creation, product discovery and digital coupons show a four to five times increase in interactions compared to users of apps without indoor location.

The Lowe’s mobile app

Point Inside also reports that the fastest growing segment is customers who use apps more than five times in a month, indicating the increasing utility and habitual potential of apps with in-store features.

Comparing prices
Whether or not a retailer offers an in-store mode, consumers are increasingly engaging with their smartphone inside stores.

CFI Group’s research finds that consumers prefer to shop through mobile apps to compare prices and for a personalized shopping experience.

Key findings include that 41 percent of consumers actively use mobile apps to access relevant information while shopping, up from 21 percent last year.

The numbers are even higher for consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old, with 67 percent using mobile apps during their shopping experience.

However, mobile’s importance extends to all age groups, with consumers of all ages having two to four shopping apps installed on average.

Other findings include that 47 percent of mobile app usage is dedicated to checking product prices at competing retail brands, which emphasizes the need for retailers to engage digitally with in-store shoppers.

Mobile checkout
Additionally, 45 percent of consumers redeem coupons and offers received via mobile, suggesting that this is an important area for retailers to focus on.

Looking ahead, the report also suggests that mobile checkout is an important area for retailers to further enhance the in-store experience as 51 percent of respondents indicated they would be very likely to use mobile apps to speed-up the checkout process when they become available.

Additionally, almost half of all participants reported that they would favor a store with advanced mobile capabilities and that this would encourage them to shop with the retailer more, buy more per visit and even pay slightly more.

“Integration with the enterprise lines of business – merchandising, space planning, store operations, marketing – is a requirement for success,” Mr. Coleman said.

“Engaging in-store customers, on any platform – physical or digital – is not a typical digital project born out of the e-commerce teams where physical context is not essential,” he said. “Applying the correct physical context to an interaction will drive the usage and engagement that leads to the conversion retailers are looking for.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York