Martin Shaw, Senior Researcher at Internet Retailing, sat down with Sarah Stagg, Director of Digital Product at House of Fraser, to talk multichannel retail apps and mobile strategy.
In short, Sarah recommends that retailers invest in apps for 3 main reasons: the rich and engaging experience, the great business performance, and the extensive future development opportunities. We’ve compiled the other key takeaways below the video.
Sarah points out that “one of the important factors with the mobile app is that the benefits outweigh the mobile site from a functionality perspective for customers. Customers can get access to a barcode scanner on an app that they can’t currently do on most mobile sites, and we can also push them lots of great offers and information via push notifications – again, which you can’t achieve on a mobile site. And those two particular reasons are why we continue to invest in them and differentiate them from our mobile site strategy.”
House of Fraser has years of experience in mobile, offering a highly advanced award-winning ‘touch first’ responsive mobile website. So it’s no surprise that Sarah knows how to measure the success of mobile. When evaluating mobile performance, it was found that customers who use the apps buy more readily. “Downloads are important and engagement in those apps, but more importantly we look at conversion data. […] We’ve seen some really encouraging stats – on average our conversion rates on apps are more than twice the mobile site.”
“The most challenging part about driving activity in-store is getting your store staff engaged and getting them to buy into the application.” To overcome this challenge, House of Fraser implemented strong store wifi and gave staff app induction sessions. Now sales assistants have embraced the apps and use them not just to check stock in real time, but also to help to convert in-store sales.
To stay ahead of the curve, House of Fraser is working on ways to extend the reach of its mobile apps. “Another focus for our app development is around deep linking and making content very relevant and easily accessible, so when we’ve worked hard to drive downloads we want to ensure that those customers who are perhaps searching on Google are then deep linked straight into the app at that particular page.” Amazon is another retailer that has started doing this successfully.
Read more more about this and about plans to introduce beacon technology to apps, in our recap of Andy Harding’s speech at Demandware Xchange.
Sarah is the Director of Digital Product at House of Fraser. Her role covers new routes to market and she looks after international ecommerce expansion, mobile app development and digital in-store.