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Jul 26, 2019 | By Samantha Rigg

This month in the world of app commerce – July 2019

Summer is officially here and just as the temperature is soaring, so are app downloads! This month app downloads have reached a record high and we look into the impact of Prime Day on app usage. We discuss the latest news in the world of app commerce.

The growth of app commerce

In 10 years time, 53% of sales will be online according to Retail Economics. We predict that a big player in the growth of online will not just be mobile, but apps.

The demand for mobile shopping is continuing to grow with as many as 6 in 10 consumers admitting to making a purchase on mobile in the last month and 32% admitting to shopping on mobile each week. Research from the NRF, concurs that the demand for shopping technology is growing, as shoppers become increasingly willing to download and try out retail-specific apps and are excited to embrace omnichannel technology like BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store).

Latest research from App Annie has identified Q2 to be the biggest quarter on record for app downloads, a total of 30.3 billion apps were downloaded across iOS and Android in Q2. The preference for app experiences across our mobile behaviour is becoming more evident. Recent research from eMarketer/Bizrate Insights found that Gen X (those aged 34-54) are embracing shopping on apps, as 61% claim to have browsed shopping apps and 54% have made a purchase.

Shopping app usage improved as install-to-purchase rates grew nearly 50% over the past year, taking the pressure off of performance in the November sales season.

Holiday talk

Prime Day demonstrates the importance of running promotions and sales throughout the year, relieving some of the pressure of November sales. In fact, mobile usage for back-to-school shopping is expected to grow by 60%. Planning and making the most of every sales day couldn’t be more important.

Watch the latest insights and tips from both App Annie and Poq when we teamed up to present the latest trends for mobile shopping in 2019:

Watch on demand

July means Amazon Prime Day. Billed as the biggest sales days for the company to date, outperforming Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018, other retailers are starting to cash in on the sales hype. Amazon’s Major competitors; Target & Walmart both ran their own promotional events that coincided with Amazon’s Prime Day sales. Retailers of all sizes are tacking on the new sales days by either directly confronting the Prime Days sales or by branding their sales as their own shopping days.

Now that apps have been identified as a crucial tool in retailer’s digital toolboxes. What do the latest industry findings say about app best practices?

Best practices

Keep it grounded and get the basics right

General consensus in the consumer space is that technology has improved shopping experiences, 80% said it had improved online experience, 66% said it had improved the in store experience and 63% said it had improved the mobile experience. However, the NRF found that 24% of shoppers are still being frustrated by the lack of basic functionality, like checking prices or availability. Therefore, retailers need to make sure they master the basics before investing in more complex and ‘shiny’ features. For example, Augmented Reality (AR).

More retailers are using AR technology to enhance the shopping experience following on from Nike’s announcement last month, both Gucci and Dr Martens have launched AR functionality. Quickly becoming a popular feature for footwear retailers. This AR functionality should ease the pain of shoppers in finding the right shoe size and imagining how the shoes they view online will look on their feet. If done properly, AR can be a great asset to a retailer’s app, offering app-exclusive functionality and reducing friction to purchase. However, although the demand for AR is increasing, it must only be used to genuinely enhance the shopping experience and not for gimmicky entertainment-based promotions according to Thomas Husson, VP and analyst at Forrester.

There has been a lot of talk in the press lately about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and some of the uncertainty around whether websites should be included. Apps lend themselves particularly well to being accessible to a wide variety of people and have become a useful tool for retailers to engage with those who may not be able to engage with their other channels, like visiting in store. In the spirit of inclusiveness, you can read how we’ve made Poq apps accessible to a variety of people have disabilities, widening app audiences.

Is your app accessible?

Honourable mentions

Apps bring the opportunity for all sorts of personal and unique ways for brands to interact with their client base and create exceptional shopping experiences. We particularly like what McDonald’s have done by teaming up with Waze, the GPS traffic app, by using driver’s mobile location to target adverts based on geo-location through the Waze app and actually drove 8.4k in-app actions. McDonald’s have knocked it out of the park this month with another geo-based campaign, free QR-Code enabled picnic blankets that allow delivery to individuals out in public spaces. 

Can we expect to see these sort of campaigns become the norm, and why stop at food delivery? Consumers expect the same functionality across all the apps they use and retail apps are competing with the likes of Netflix, Instagram and Uber for their time. Campaigns like this are a great way omnichannel retailers could utilise their store networks and we’re excited to see how retailers continue to connect their app and store experiences.

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