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Impact of shopping apps studied

15 April 2015 - 20:09 by Graham Miller

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Search giant, Google, recently published the results of a survey in which UK consumers were asked to document their experiences of and feelings towards apps which allow them to carry out safe shopping online with a specific retailer.

Many companies have adopted smartphone and tablet apps as a way to engage with customers and let them complete transactions, without having to open a web browser. And there are plenty of benefits of the app experience from the point of view of retailers, because of course, with a standalone app they can keep audiences captivated with no other distractions available, at least in theory.

However, a fifth of the apps that people install on their devices get completely forgotten about after a short period, suggesting that there is still plenty of competition and that retailers must do more to stand out.

The good news is that half of respondents to the study said that apps benefitted from offering more intuitive interfaces compared with mobile sites, while a similar proportion said that they were more likely to turn to a mobile app when seeking out product information before making a purchase online.

Forty six per cent said that they felt that apps offered faster loading times than mobile sites, with 51 per cent citing the benefit of always having their e-commerce accounts logged in as being the biggest selling point of using apps.

Of course, consumers have the freedom to choose how they use their handsets and so retailers are going to need to keep up with demand for mobile apps, while also ensuring that their portable offerings are memorable in order to fight back against the competition. Catering to tablet users is particularly important because conversion rates on this type of device tend to be higher.