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Top 10 mobile commerce apps of Q2

In the second quarter of this year, marketers have rolled out engaging and useful mobile applications that helped them better reach consumers. Mobile apps are a great way for retailers to increase sales.

Here are the top 10 mobile commerce applications of the second quarter, in alphabetical order. The apps were judged on creative, form of engagement and execution.

Amazon has been a game-changer in the mobile commerce space for some time now.

Last month, the company bought its augmented reality bar code scanning app Flow Powered by Amazon to Android devices – a reflection of mobile’s growing importance for the in-store shopping experience.

Amazon’s bar code scanning app has been a hit among consumers and a fear among retailers.

While customers are increasingly using Amazon’s app to price compare, showrooming has become a challenge.

By bringing the app to the Android platform, Amazon is aiming to reach a broader audience.

Via the Android app, consumers can scan bar codes on the items on store shelves or simply point the device’s camera at a book or DVD and get an augmented reality overlay showing product information.

Users also see how much an item costs on Amazon and can click on buttons to purchase the item directly from Amazon.

The app also provides user reviews from Amazon and audio previews.

Bloomingdale’s has taken huge strides in the mobile space. Previously, the department store giant used SMS and QR codes to engage its in-store shoppers.

Earlier this year, Bloomingdale’s rolled out an iPhone and Android app to let fashion-savvy consumers shop the latest trends, as well as check prices and read product reviews.

Using the app, consumers can locate the nearest store to learn more about in-store events and special offers.

The app also features bar code scanning capabilities that let consumers create and manage their wedding registry and shop from the registries of their friends and family as well.

A mobile app such as this is a great way to not only increase sales, but drive in-store traffic as well.

It is important that that retailers have a mobile-optimized presence to better reach on-the-go shoppers.

Capital One
It is important that marketers revamp their mobile applications and Capital One is a great example of a company that did it right.

Capital One updated its mobile banking app to enhance the customer experience by enabling customers to receive special offers from retailers such as Whole Foods and Starbucks.

The updates to the app were intended to provide customers with new and easier ways to manage their financial lives that they are looking for.

Through the new revamped app, consumers are able to redeem rewards for previously purchased travel, account credit and gift cards.

Crate and Barrel
Bar code scanning technology has become increasingly popular in the past few months.

Crate and Barrel added a new mobile application to its repertoire last month to increase the company’s in-store traffic, as well as accommodate consumers who are looking to manage their wedding and gift registry.

The Wedding & Gift registry iPhone app lets consumers create and edit their own registry, as well as scan bar codes in-store to add items.

Users can also see purchases made from their registry in real time and search for products using voice command.

An app such as this is a great way for retailers to get rid of registry scanner guns.

Consumers always have their mobile device on them, so by giving them an option to use their mobile device to scan items they want, it proves to be effective.

Denny’s recently stepped into the mobile space with a new app that celebrates the restaurant chain’s limited-time menu and offers consumers rewards when they complete challenges and check-in to the company’s locations.

The app was a smart move for the company as it invites consumers to take part in its 50 State Challenge initiative that offers one lucky winner a chance to win multiple loyalty-based rewards including free Grand Slams for life.

When consumers check-in they will be able to unlock a digital state souvenir and a variety of badges, as well as special in-store offers and redeemable coupons.

Denny’s is encouraging diners to check-in to as many locations as possible and accumulate milestone prizes.

By using a mobile application, Denny’s is able to build engagement and drive awareness of its brand.

Additionally, mobile check-ins are a hot commodity right now.

Rewarding consumers is a smart move on the company’s part and is a good incentive for them to continually use the mobile app.

While it is very important to have a mobile presence in the United States, it is just important to have one internationally.

The pizza giant launched a mobile application that rewards consumers when they use it.

The Domigoals mobile app lets football fans vie for a chance to win prizes when goals are scored.

To vie for a chance to win prizes such as Domino’s voucher codes, users can tap the app once a goal has been scored.

Having consumers interact with an app is essential and rewarding them every time they use it is a good way to keep them coming back.

Lowe’s has been building its mobile portfolio to better accommodate on-the-go consumers.

In its latest effort, the home improvement retailer introduced an Android app that lets consumers shop the company’s products.

The Lowe’s Android app lets consumers find nearby stores and integrates with the company’s My Lowe’s program to let users buy items.

Additionally, the app lets consumers comparison shop and research while in-store and also includes a mobile bar code scanner that works with QR codes, UPC codes and Microsoft Tags.

It is important that marketers have a mobile presence on a variety of platforms, not just Apple’s iOS.

By expanding its app to the Android platform, Lowe’s is reaching a bigger audience.

Similar to Capital One, Orbitz relaunched its popular iPhone booking app to make it easier for consumers to book flights, hotels and car rentals via their smartphone.

The online travel agency’s new app now features two filtered options that let users search by price, distance or ratings.

Additionally, through the updated app, users can view their itinerary, add an event to the device’s calendar.

It is important that companies listen to customer needs and constantly look at ways to better their mobile offerings.

P.F. Chang’s
It took a while for P.F. Chang’s to enter the mobile ordering space. However, the company proved that it is never too late.

The fast casual restaurant chain’s mobile app lets hungry diners order food from their handsets.

In addition to mobile ordering, the app is part of a bigger initiative that is aimed at building P.F. Chang’s Warrior Rewards loyalty program. Consumers who download the app and sign up for the Warrior Rewards program can receive a free appetizer.

A mobile ordering app helps cement P.F. Chang’s position in the mobile commerce space.

Nowadays, consumers do not want to wait in line to pay for their meals.

P.F. Chang’s is able to accommodate its tech-savvy customers.

Whole Foods
Whole Foods Market recently upped its mobile commerce game by rewarding shoppers who practice an ecofriendly lifestyle with mobile coupons.

The initiative was part of a bigger campaign that aimed to increase awareness of poverty.

Whole Foods Market shoppers can earn the mobile coupons from companies such as Organic Valley, Stonyfield and Nature’s Path by completing tasks via an iPhone application that is run by Whole Foods Market-owned nonprofit Whole Planet Foundation.

The mobile app is designed to help end world poverty through microcredits.

Using a mobile app to drive awareness is a smart move for the company, especially given the fact that more consumers are bound to participate if it is for a good cause.

Additionally, by providing an incentive – in this case coupons – mobile shoppers are more inclined to keep interacting with the mobile app going forward.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York