How Mobile Apps Are Driving OmniChannel Retailing
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How Are Consumers Using Mobile to Shop?

Brick and Mortar retailing still continues to dominate retail sales, however, the path to purchase is now greatly affected by mobile commerce. Shoppers no longer expect an omnichannel experience, they create one themselves. Consumers are now using mobile as a catalyst to drive them into stores where they complete the path to purchase.



Statistics show that mobile is driving cross-channel purchases:

  • Mobile commerce now accounts for almost 30% of total e-commerce sales in the US (Internet Retailer)
  • Shopping app downloads grew more than 170% in 2014 (FierceMobileRetail)
  • 80% of major purchases start with online research and end with in-store purchases (Synchrony Financial)
  • A research study by Synchrony Financial found that 73% of shoppers conduct research during their in-store visit, with 87% of respondents completing the purchase in-store
  • Over two-third of Pinterest users actively use Pinterest boards while shopping in-store

How Are Consumers Using Mobile in their OmniChannel Experience?

Smartphone owners = smart shoppers. Similar to how consumers are creating their own omnichannel experience, they’ve also decided on HOW they create their own experience and mobile app usage is a big part of that.


Mobile Web and Mobile Apps are both an integral part of the shopping experience. However, mobile apps – with the power of integration, deeper analytics, and more robust technology – are in a place to do more to drive the in-store and omnichannel experience.


In fact, retail marketers who argue otherwise might be shocked to know that users spend more time on mobile apps than they do on mobile websites.  The typical app visitor spends 201.8 minutes a month in that app while the typical mobile site visitor spends only 10.9 minutes a month on that mobile site. And it’s not the fact that consumers are taking time out of one platform (Desktop, Tablet) and placing it into another, it’s simply the fact that consumers are online and connected longer than ever before.


Furthermore, a recent study by comScore shows that retail apps are surging in popularity, with Walmart, Kohl’s, and Cartwheel’s mobile apps showing 402%, 259%, and 85% usage growth year-over-year.

How Can Retailers Use Apps to Boost The OmniChannel Experience?

Keep the experience and branding consistent. From your store to your website, to your app, consumers build a perspective about your brand and expect that same customer experience every time.



Build digital experiences in mobile apps that drive customers to retail stores for purchases. Examples include:


  • Mobile ordering, in-store pickup.
  • Mobile gift carding (the ability to send and use a digital retail gift card)
  • Omni-channel shopping cart: a customer’s shopping cart is consistent from desktop, to app, to in-store


Integrate digital in-store technologies. We’ve already discussed how technologies such as beacons are set to influence approximately $44 billion in retail sales, but beacons can do so much more. Consider the use case for a customer picking up an item in-store. As they walk through the entrance, beacons can alert the customer that their order is ready for pickup at the customer service counters, and as a loyalty offer, accessories related to their purchase are 20% off. While just one example, there are a myriad of ways retailers can use beacons and other digital in-store technologies to enhance the omnichannel experience.


Customers are already accustomed to an omnichannel experience, with mobile a popular touch point in the process. Integrating online and offline channels to create a frictionless experience is key to easing the path to purchase, driving customer loyalty, and catering to the increasingly mobile shopper.

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