Despite the universally agreed-upon notion that shopping apps are the future of retail, it’s alarming to think that 44% of the world’s leading retailers still don’t have an iPhone app. That’s right - all talk and no walk. So what’s the hold up? In a word - misconception.
One of the most common reservations we hear from retailers when it comes to implementing an app as part of their omni-channel shopping experience goes something like this: “Well we already have an ecommerce platform, and our site is mobile-optimized so we’re all set.”
In reality, this notion makes little sense and is, in fact, completely wrong. Let’s talk about why.
Apps are a Simple Extension of your Existing Platform, Not a Replacement
With apps, you’re not repaving the highway, you’re adding another lane. Apps serve as an additional shopping avenue for your customers, and having a pre-existing ecommerce platform like Magento or BigCommerce actually makes it easier to implement this new channel.
In fact, it typically requires zero effort on your end to set up an integration between your existing platform and an app solution, with zero maintenance thereafter. Using Shopgate as an example, we’re partnered with over 60 platforms, so it becomes a matter of our Customer Success team accessing your cart, installing the Shopgate plug-in, and that’s it. From there, all products, categories, price changes, inventory changes, etc. are automatically synced and updated between platforms. No coding and no additional effort needed whatsoever.
App vs. Mobile-Optimized Site
Now let’s address the incorrect assumption that a mobile-optimized site is just as effective as an app. Simply put, apps convert 120% higher than mobile web. Additionally, consumers using apps are more valuable, producing 55% more revenue than mobile web users.
The reason for these staggering discrepancies in effectiveness come down to the quality of the experience. Higher loading speeds, personalized contact via push notifications and increased customer retention are significant advantages that apps can provide over a mere mobile-optimized website. Furthermore, from a branding perspective, a dedicated app on your customer’s smartphone acts as a constant reminder of your business and the products/services you provide.
To put it in perspective, think of it as using a taxi versis using an Uber or Lyft. (Side note: Apologies. I’m from Austin and am still a little bitter.)
Start Walking the Walk
Retail is the fastest-growing app category in the App Store. Retailers understand the importance of providing this channel to customers who are becoming more and more reliant on mobile when shopping. Yet merchants are getting cold feet, which stems from the incorrect assumption that the adoption of an app is cumbersome, costly and complicated.
Apps are proven to convert higher than mobile websites, and encourage more valuable customers who are more inclined to remain loyal to your brand. Furthermore, with app solutions like Shopgate, the integration of a shopping app with your current ecommerce platform couldn’t be easier.
Shopgate DataCriteo State of Mobile Commerce Report
Author: Andrew Chase
Marketing Communications Manager | Andrew is an experienced ecommerce marketing professional, with a background in content writing, event management and social media. Andrew is passionate about fitness training, live music, and Boston sports.