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Store mode significantly increases retail app engagement levels: report


Retailers who add store mode features such as in-store location to their branded mobile applications drive five times more shopper engagement than apps without these features, according to a new report from Point Inside.

Store mode capabilities include dynamic store maps, the ability to display exact product locations and the most efficient routes through the store to fulfill a shopping list. Retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Home Depot and others have been adding such features to their branded apps over the past year.

“Mobile is about taking the ‘digital’ part of retailing into the store where more than 90 percent of retail happens,” said Josh Marti, CEO of Point Inside, Bellevue, WA.  

“Now the opportunity exists to really connect mobile with key physical aspects of the store,” he said.

“Making that connection increases the shopper engagement and drives increase sales and customer loyalty.”

Leveraging shopper data
Store mode also provides retailers with customer insights that enable them to deliver personalized content to users based on their current purchase intent, past purchase behaviors and the shopper’s location inside the store. As a result, retailers have an opportunity to drive additional sales and increase customer loyalty.

Point Inside reviewed more than 1 million app sessions across 25,000 unique users for the report. A/B testing was used to present apps that were identical except in the availability of indoor location features.

Users who had access to the store mode capabilities had  five times more interactions with the app. Interactions included the creation of shopping lists, the number of items in the shopping list and the number of shopping sessions.

Other key findings from the report include that the fastest growing segment of shoppers is those using store mode apps 5 or more times in a month. This segment grew from 17 percent to 30 percent of total users, with the number of users increasing 14 times throughout the year.

Additionally, the average number of items in the shopping list increased by 1.5 times.

How customers shop
Key store mode features include indoor maps, which enable users to view store layout, services, product locations and shopping list routes; product locator; shopping lists; efficient routing; the ability to deliver contextual product suggestions and offers; in-store mobile search; shopper location and geofencing.

For example, Walmart introduced the in-store mode for its app last year. When users open the Walmart app inside a store, they are prompted to enter the In-Store Mode to see features and content that is specific to that store, including price check.

The retailer also took advantage of the in-store mode during Thanksgiving weekend to include an interactive store map enabling customers to click on items from the Black Friday circular and see where they are located, a price and item description (see story).

Point Inside is working with a number of retailers who will be introducing store mode features in 2013.

“Mobile has become a critical part of the retail experience,” Mr. Marti said. “With ‘store mode’ driving five times the customer engagement, it’s proof of how customers want to shop.”

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