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Notifications Sent by Retail Apps Shape Consumer Buying Habits

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 09:37 by Graham Miller

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The increasing number of British consumers who carry out safe shopping online using e-commerce apps installed on their smartphone is giving retailers a new way to engage with customers and encourage spending.

A report from GlobalData has revealed that apps are especially effective as a means of alerting customers to the promotions and offers that retailers launch in a specific time frame.

Half of those questioned in the survey said that they relied upon their shopping apps to provide them with notifications about any discounts that were being made available within a specific time period.

This means that the potential concerns over the intrusiveness of notifications can be counterbalanced by the fact that plenty of people actually value this feature.

The second most prominent reason that people install shopping apps on their smartphones is to manage their wish lists, sitting just ahead of receiving delivery notifications.

At the very bottom of the pile in terms of useful features was voice search, with just 6.3 per cent of people saying that this was something they harnessed in any of their retail apps.

Visual search was found to be far more popular, with almost a fifth of those questioned saying that they took advantage of apps with this feature on board.

The lack of interest in voice search and the comparative success of visual search suggests that in most cases asking an app a question out loud is less effective or less convenient that just typing in a search manually. Meanwhile, being able to snap a picture of a product and allow algorithms to identify it and find similar options is clearly advantageous and faster than relying on guesswork.

However mobile shopping apps are being used, the fact that they are favoured by consumers in the first place is good news for retailers.