December 9, 2016

Two Cornerstone Features of Top Retail Apps

In our previous post we looked at how mobile apps will carry retail businesses over to a new, better age where retail chains thrive and customers are deeply satisfied.

Retail applications help chains go digital and reap a wide array of long-lasting benefits. However, most of the benefits are connected to crafting a tailored customer experience for your shoppers that also ensures their data is secure. Moreover, according to Forrester, companies that are “customer-obsessed” and protect their customers’ data will become future market leaders.

Personalisation is a priority

Personalisation should be at the heart of every retail app bound for winning over more customers and getting five-star reviews from them. Every customer wants to be front-and-center: they want their opinions pronounced boldly in comments under products, their choices accounted for and reckoned with, their names and birthdays remembered — and a world of other small, but significant wants and needs.

In order to cater to the exact desires and individual nuances of your target customers, you will need a custom-made retail application. Here, there are plenty of design and functionality decisions that can shape your customers’ mobile experience.

For example, you might turn your head to a completely different industry for inspiration. Give your users the ability to like or dislike products in the fashion of Tinder. You won’t have to experience pathfinder’s anxiety — both Mallzee and Moxy, personalized shopping apps, have already implemented this feature.

Don’t forget about push notifications, a feature that, if used smartly, never fails to grab users’ attention. Reach out to your customers with new products, seasonal sales, limited offers, discounts for their birthdays, and more.

Going further, you can combine notifications with geolocation technologies. For example, the use of iBeacon. Place beacons in the areas where your stores are located and remind your customers of hot offers when they stroll nearby — even if they are offline.

Of course, you can and should pepper in other convenient and helpful app features — rating systems, curated catalogs, robust in-app live chat support, etc.

Security is a chief concern

Retail App Security

Choose what you deem necessary, but there is one thing you probably wouldn’t want to ignore: security of your customers’ data. In the age when data of governmental institutions and big corporations gets leaked, everybody would definitely prefer to stay as private as possible. So, your retail chain should make sure the personal data your customers share with you does not fall into wrong hands.

According to a 2015 report by SecurityScorecard, a security-risk benchmarking company from NY, primary discussions about retailers by hackers concern the usage of stolen credit card information: monetising through the resale of purchased gift cards is a common hacker practice. In addition, the same report shows that retail industry is suffering from a proliferation of malware, indicating that all surveyed retailers showed web application and server configuration security issues.

Last, but not least—a certain degree of transparency can go a long way in your company-customer relationship. Be clear about your privacy policy, be vigilant in the protection of your customers’ contact information and passwords, and let them know if their purchase history is shared with advertisers.