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The way we make retail purchases has changed drastically over the years. Online retail sales have taken over, forcing the brick and mortar companies out, even the larger ones. With companies like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Aliexpress there is no doubt that retail mobile apps and websites are the way to go.

Although many people use their computers to do their online shopping, mobile apps are coming in strong. With the right UI/UX experience, apps provide make a huge difference when it comes to doing it on the computer versus the phone. Mobile app development not only benefits customers but it also benefits the retailers as well.

Many retailers can also take advantage of both in-person and online shopping with mobile apps. It provides a well-rounded approach for every type of shopper.

The Benefits

1. Customers can view all the products from anywhere at any time.

2. Advanced apps can allow users to create digital profiles of themselves allowing them to test what the product will

look where the customer plans on using it.

For example, if you want to purchase eyeglasses online it is difficult to determine if it will look good on or not. The ability to upload a picture of your face and then have the glasses placed on the image allows you to see how they will look so you can make a more educated decision.

3. Of course, the simplicity of making the purchases right from the app is a key selling point.

4. If this is incorporated into a physical store a customer could request items to be looked at ahead of time. Once at the store they can easily check in and have everything ready for them.

5. In-store they can request assistance and more from a digital assistant within the store itself.

Millennials tend to prefer less human interaction so going to the stores and dealing with sales staff is not exciting for them. It’s not even just millennials, think about most people. Do we really like being bothered by associates in the store or any other company that we go to? Not so much. We like to just walk in and do our thing and only talk to someone if we have a question.

This is especially true when it comes to more personal items. If you are looking for a plain T-shirt most people won’t care to buy it in front of people. However, there are plenty of stores where purchases of intimate items can be made and having people see you buying it can be a little embarrassing. When it comes to those items most people would love to just buy from home and have it shipped.

In-store specials

There are so many options not only outside of the store but inside of it as well. It’s all about increasing the consumers’ experience inside and outside meeting their expectations. Even if all you have is a single store, building in that digital presence can help increase your customer base.

One amazing feature is the interactive map. Many times you go to a store and spend time trying to find something, then when you want to ask someone where that item is it’s a struggle to find an employee. You end up going around in circles getting frustrated.

Imagine for a moment that before you leave home you go into the app, do a quick search for the item you are looking for, click find and boom you now see a map which directs you from the entrance of the building to the exact place that item is at. This not only saves time but it provides a new level of customer experience that people find beneficial.

If you are a store selling larger items you can use technology that allows the customer to preview that item within the stores themselves. Customers can upload pictures of spaces, cars, or anything else depending on what is being sold. Then at the store, they can tap on items and see how it will look. Being able to see how a couch will look in the living room before actually purchasing it will increase the likelihood of them actually purchasing in the store. Companies have implemented this which has drastically improved their in-store sales.

The ultimate app-game

There are so many ways a retail mobile app increases your online sales.

1. You can track their searches and show certain items based on those searches and purchases. This is very common now all over the internet and within apps. It helps customers receive relevant suggestions based on their needs and wants.

2. Provides instant customer service, rather than them having to call or come to the store. They can do a chat with a customer service representative. You can use chatbots to help decrease expenses for personnel. Chatbots can also help manage customers and especially helps with answering common questions and requests. It can be done instantly and 24 hours a day which helps keep customers.

3. Retail mobile apps can show customers more products than what they can display in the physical store. There may be certain sizes and colors not available in the store but online they can order it. Many times you like something in the store but they’re out of your size or the color you like.

This is also a great option to have in the store. The ability for a customer to tap a screen and order the item in their size and/or color right in the store can yield more customer purchases. Sometimes if they wait to do it on their phone or at home later they could change their mind.

4. Provide them a customization experience. This is hard to do within the store as the stock is already there for purchase. If a user likes an item but wants to make some adjustments to it or put in their measurements to make sure it fits their body perfectly they can.

5. Similar to that of the new car subscription services, other retailers can offer this service in their app allowing users to pay a fee to receive certain items every month. Take Sephora for example, they give users the option to pay a monthly fee to receive a box of deluxe sample products so that you can try new things and determine if you like it or not. This is the best of both worlds because it allows users to try things for a low price without having to commit to the full product which is much more expensive.

Retail mobile apps provide an easy way for customers to interact with a business in a very fast simplistic way. Retailers receive information about their customers which helps them create new ways of enticing them to make more purchases and provides them with better customer service.

You can change the way customers think about your business with the use of a retail mobile app. The experiences they have can generate a new level of purchases as well as bring in new customers you may not have had before. This is your business and you should keep growing and changing as purchasing trends grow and change.

Make sure you hire a proper app development company that can provide you with all the features you need for you and your customers. If you need to discuss your business needs and what building a retail mobile app entails contact Sakshi at sakshi@sdi.la or call her at 408.621.8481.

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