Mobile shoppers want to do much more than just browse and buy when they use retailers’ mobile apps. They also want access to special offers and deals, loyalty rewards programs, personalization features and augmented reality capabilities, according to a survey of 505 e-commerce app users by B2B research firm Clutch.
The majority of survey respondents used mobile shopping apps to "receive deals and offers," with 68% of respondents citing this as their top reason. Meanwhile, the "flexibility to buy at any time," the ability to "compare products and prices," and the chance to "save time at the store" garnered 64%, 62% and 54% respectively.
Asked what kind of features they most want from a mobile app, 85% of respondents said they wanted "discounts on products similar to past purchases," followed by "purchasing directly through the app" (84%), "discounts from push notifications" (84%), "syncing loyalty rewards" (81%) and "product recommendations" (70%).
There were a few other interesting findings from Clutch's study, including that nearly 60% of consumers want e-commerce apps that personalize the in-store experience, which reinforces the notion that many customers already use their mobile phones in-store as part of the shopping process. This may mean that consumers are ready to go a step further and transition from using their phone to compare prices to using mobile apps in-store to see what special offers or experiences await them.
Also, the survey found that more than half (54%) of consumers would use augmented reality features on mobile commerce apps. That finding again reinforces what we have seen from other studies, and is great news for retailers like Sephora, Gap, Lowe's, Wayfair and perhaps one or two others that have been ahead of the game when it comes to investing in augmented reality and virtual reality mobile app features.
Overall, the message to retailers with mobile apps is: don't skimp on the details. Retailers may want to give mobile app users a clear path to purchase, but consumers also want more tools and features, and most notably — they expect the mobile app experience to be something special. They want a reward for using the app, whether that's a special discount or the opportunity to use a new augmented reality tool.
Multiple industry studies have noted that the percentage of online retail sales coming from mobile devices continues to grow. Mobile is becoming the important linchpin in the entire omnichannel experience, but it is also becoming more of a shopping destination in its own right. Retailers need to prioritize accordingly and put a little more effort into creating rich mobile app experiences.