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26 Features Your  Mobile Shopping App Needs

Posted by Julia Morrissey on Jun 10, 2022

Through our recent survey of 610 Americans, we found nearly 9 in 10 consumers have at least one mobile shopping app installed on their phone. Interestingly, 1 in 3 consumers say it’s their preferred way to shop. That’s more than on websites and in stores. Given the increasing adoption and usage of apps by consumers, the time is now for your brand to invest in one.

But any old app won’t do. Consumers have exceedingly high expectations for the apps they use and want them to have unique features that aid or enhance their buying experiences.

In this post, we discuss why you need a consumer app and highlight 26 must-have features based on our research.

Why Your Brand Needs an App

Your customers are on mobile, there’s no denying that. While you absolutely should have a mobile-optimized website, especially to acquire new customers, a mobile website is not a stand in for an app. Simply put, progressive web apps (PWAs) cannot deliver the high-quality and engaging experience that an app can

Due to the superior user experience, consumers are adopting shopping apps at an accelerated rate, and many actually prefer shopping in-app to all other channels. You need to meet your customers where they are and you can do so by offering a great native consumer app.

A native consumer app allows you to offer consumers a feature-full shopping experience. One that is highly personalized and connects them with your brand on a deeper level than ever before. It seamlessly adapts to the customer journey and can radically enrich both the digital and in-store shopping experience. 

Below, we cover which features are essential for your app to include. 

Most Important Mobile Shopping App Features 

An app should deliver significant value and provide a great customer experience. Afterall, it’s essentially your digital flagship store. If you want to meet consumer expectations, it’s vital that your brand’s mobile shopping app contain 10 particular features.

The top 10 features every mobile shopping app should have: 

  1. Detailed product information, such as colors and sizes
  2. Coupon and discount code management 
  3. Loyalty or rewards profile management 
  4. Store locator with hours, location, services, etc.
  5. Detailed, real-time inventory information for products in every store location 
  6. Store inventory locations on the product detail page
  7. Accessible personal account information, such as purchase history, loyalty profile, size preferences, and payment information 
  8. Alerts for shoppers’ arrival to pick up a curbside or in-store order
  9. Special promotions, such as early access to online and in-store promotions
  10. No account creation requirement

You may have noticed that 6 of these top 10 features are about access to information. Shoppers value being able to quickly learn about a product, and if they decide it’s right for them, they want to know how to seamlessly get it into their hands. Sparse or missing product, inventory, or store information will inconvenience customers and drive down satisfaction. Your app should make it easy for consumers to access the information they need.

Additional Key App Features

Seamless in-store experience

Consumers want an app to seamlessly integrate with and even improve the in-store experience. A great app bridges physical and digital retail and offers shoppers a new level of convenience. For customers shopping in-store, your app should have:

11. Associate assisted check out
12. Self-checkout
13. QR code or barcode scanning to learn more about a product
14. Live associate help requests
15. Curbside pickup option

Interactive shopping

Consumers value interactive features that allow them to engage with their favorite brands on a whole new level. They want to be able to get a feel of your products and how they can be styled without having to go to a brick-and-mortar location. To personalize the experience for virtual shoppers, an app should offer:

16. Interactive product videos and lookbooks 
17. Informational brand and product content that supports shopping  
18. Outfit assembly
19. Virtual “closet” creation
20. Lookbooks that are shopable by tapping on products in the images/videos
21. Creation of shareable wishlists

Virtual support

Scheduling appointments and receiving support should be easy. Customers are fickle with their time and don’t want to have to jump through several steps before making contact with your brand ambassadors. Your app should provide helpful services and support your customers with these features:

22. In-store shopping appointment scheduling with a store associate
23. Virtual shopping appointment scheduling and meetings with a store associate
24. Store associate support via chat, voice, or video in real-time

Notifications and perks

Your customers want to remain up-to-date on your brand. From new arrivals or celebrity campaigns to discounts and deals. Make it easy for them to know about all the latest happenings and get access to exclusive campaigns. Features, such as the following, are important:

25. Push notifications about promotions, order updates, new products, and store updates
26. Early access to new products and limited releases

A Consumer App is a Must-Have

To compete in the retail world today, brands need to have a mobile shopping app. However, customers aren’t likely to be interested in an app that doesn’t contain useful features that genuinely improve their experience. They also don’t want just another version of the website. 

Learn more about how a native consumer app from NewStore can give consumers a can’t-be-beat key to your brand.

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