It is February, and Cupid has prepared a quiver full of arrows for the most romantic holiday of the year. Nobody knows how many of his arrows will reach their targets, but one will surely hit the heart of the retail industry. Carved on the wood of the arrow will be, curtly, “m-commerce.” The relationship between the two is promising — everybody loves mobile, especially the customers, who increasingly prefer shopping with their smartphones via apps for retail. According to TPoll, the number of consumers in UK who said they will purchase a gift on Lover’s Day with their smartphone was at 26% in 2015. In the following year, 48% of searches on this day on Bing were made via mobile devices. Valentine’s Day becomes a mobile holiday, a trend that a lot of world-class brands started embracing a few years ago with their creative usage of m-commerce apps, including Walmart’s spot-on messaging and Uber’s flower delivery.
Best Valentine’s Day technology for retail apps
When it comes to the retail industry’s shift from e-commerce to m-commerce technology, the future is promisingly sunlit. The industry will have an opportunity to leverage and experiment with a lot of advancements to amaze the customers in new ways with their retail apps. Some of these technologies are big, complex, and brand new. Still, a simpler solution that is tried-and-true is often the most effective option. With retail apps it is push notifications, which can be paired with spot-on messaging and beacons for maximum effect. Here, companies could follow the example of Walmart — they make the most of this m-commerce technology and put their customers in the mood for the day while reaching out to them with the right offers. In 2017 and beyond, companies should consider leveraging the notifications and adjacent tech more frequently. A lot of customers live on a busy schedule, and can be notified of buying presents at the right time and place.
Apps for retail with AR are here
When Pokemon Go was released it left people all over the world baffled: it was an experience both old and new, a rare kind of digital entertainment that demanded going out into the streets of your town and discovering it anew. Retailers were more practical and promptly started leveraging the sensational technology to their advantage, attracting customers to physical stores. Now, the retail industry will be first to adopt AR on a large scale. We mentioned the mind-bending sales experience of BMW that was announced in 2016, but Starbucks tried the technology in its retailer app as far back as 2012, albeit in a simpler way. As for the future, GAP has already showed its deeply elaborate AR shopping experience, which will leave naysayers as amazed as customers — some of them will save time, and some will no longer worry that an item order outside their country won’t fit. AR is bound to become the most meaningful m-commerce technology for retail.
Most inventive usage of retail apps on Valentine’s Day
Since the most romantic holiday of the year is about universal concepts of love and relationships, companies offer incredibly creative ways for the customers to surprise their loved ones. In 2013, Uber transformed its ride-hailing service to a flower-delivery service. Until the biggest social media become somewhat overused, Orange encouraged pairs to tweet their love stories in 2011, and in 2012 one beverage company used the paired power of Facebook’s and its own m-commerce app to help shy users reach out to their love interest with a custom serenade.