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Need and advantages of mobile penetration in retail

Retail apps making life easier for consumers

By Michail Dimitriou*

Mobile is clearly the present trend with a roaring future. Mobility and portability has always been embraced by mankind throughout evolution - people simply love doing stuff on the go (as it makes their life easier). No statistics is required to justify the steep hockey stick growth of Mobile as everyone reading this (including you) will have for sure used a smart phone and apps for getting things done or for entertainment purposes – so the importance of smartphones and applications is self understood. So the interesting topic we are going to discuss today is the impact of Mobile apps in one of the most biggest industries in the world: The retail!

Why is this discussion so important?

Because retail is something that touches everyone of us in our everyday life. Be it the Old, Young, rich or the poor everyone spends on retail everyday from grocery, Food, Utilities, consumer electronics, cloths etc. to countless daily needs. So when technology is injected into such a vertical there is for sure going be some huge positive impact and its good to be aware of what this impact will be. This brings us to the discussion on the impact of retail mobile apps in the present world.

woman on smartphone

What can Mobile applications do for retail industry?

I guess its better to reverse the question to “What can retail mobile apps do for the consumers“ – as the advantages gained by the retailers are far less compared to the advantages gained by consumers . Here are some of the fascinating benefits for consumers:

- Topical intelligence: Based on your preference, location, season etc. retail mobile apps can keep you informed of products available. Eg : Your mobile app can remind you to get woolen wear in the nearby store sensing the cold weather that’s approaching soon.

- Location: Based on where you are, you can query your Mobile app to suggest you the best store nearby to get the product you wanted to buy at the moment .

- Convenience : You don’t need to walk out to all the retail stores to see the best version of the product you want. You can use your mobile app to hop store after store and search for the best ( as you also have the reviews, ratings and experiences of people who have already been there and bought it). With so much information, you get to make a super informed decision. Now you can spend all this saved shopping time with family and friends ☺ - Cool ain’t it?

From the retailers point of view these retail mobile apps are gold! Here are a few advantages:

- Notifications: Mobile is the closest device to your customer that is always with him . You can reach your customers effortlessly via. notifications . New product information can be conveyed in a snap.

- Location: Retail mobile apps are intelligent. You can get it to sniff customers as they pass by a location and reach them instantly . Just imagine if you can reach anyone who is passing by your store and giving them an offer coupon to be redeemed instantly !

- Leads & metrics: Every user browsing your app is a potential lead and you can easily capture his information . Based on the usage patterns you can study the demographics and generate interesting metrics on the likes and dislikes of consumers and make intelligent business decisions.

- CRM: Retail mobile apps can also be the best Customer relationship management tool you can get . With appropriate modules in it you can listen to your customers closely and service them better.

- Sales & delivery: You can get orders directly via. mobile and also receive payments from mobile devices. A lot of human labor can be saved - by the automation you enjoy via. your mobile app. Similarly you can easily locate where your customers are right now and deliver them the products they have ordered for, in a timely manner. They will love you for this ☺

All in all retail mobile applications are a boon for both the consumers and the retailers .


Michail Dimitriou profile picture *Michail Dimitriou is working as a digital marketing executive for Think Design Ltd. in the exotic Malta as well as he supports several advertising companies and digital agencies around the world.
Also he is smart and handsome.

17 June 2013