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How a Consumer App Can Elevate Your Brand

Posted by Julia Morrissey on Apr 14, 2022

Last updated on May 12th, 2022 at 04:04 pm

Retail apps are not new concepts. They’ve long been the future of online and in-store retail as mobile shopping continues to gain popularity. But few brands are getting this channel right, and they’re falling short of offering customers a consumer app they love.

Shoppers expect to be able to interact with their favorite brands more frequently and throughout their shopping experiences. It has never been more important for retail brands to create digital engagement across the entire customer journey.

The future of retail looks more connected than ever. And for the first time, shoppers have what effectively amounts to a remote control for their favorite brands – consumer apps. 

Why Consumer Apps Are the Way Forward

With so many of us tethered to our phones almost 24/7, apps have become an integral part of the day-to-day.

As of 2021, 4.15 billion people were active on social media via their mobiles. Many brands are already taking advantage of the large-scale use of social media and are using it as an opportunity to increase awareness, reach, and engagement with their brand. 

However, the brands that are thriving are furthering these relationships by deploying consumer apps. While consumer apps may once have been a ‘nice-to-have,’ they’re now the new digital storefront with which the mobile web can’t compete. Consumers spend 88% of their time in apps when on their mobile instead of on the mobile web. 

These days consumers don’t even need to go through the effort of searching, finding, and downloading an app from the Google Play or Apple app stores. App Clips were developed to offer the benefit of a native app experience, without the download barrier. Customers can instantly get a lite version of the app using NFC tags or QR codes displayed in magazine ads, out-of-home ads, and in-store on display cases. 

To put your brand in your customer’s pocket, you’ll need to go beyond creating a mobile-optimized website. A consumer app is a far better option because it can engage customers with a more seamless and personalized experience throughout their journey. The payoff? Improved mobile conversion rates, customer loyalty, and overall customer satisfaction.

Consumer Apps Enhance the Customer Journey

Done right, consumer apps slot seamlessly into the customer journey, putting your brand in the hand of customers whether they’re at home or on the go. Through product exploration and customization, direct communication, or sales, a consumer app can redefine the customer experience

Like beautifully designed stores, a beautifully designed app is a brand’s opportunity to tell its story and make shopping a joy. Smart navigation, detailed product information, and interactive features, such as augmented reality and video lookbooks, let customers explore products in new and delightful ways.

When integrated with a powerful back-end such as an omnichannel order management and inventory management system, brands can use branded mobile apps to notify customers about new products, offers, and even product availability in real-time as they browse in-store. 

With a consumer app, brands can send personalized messages to customers about their loyalty points, order status, vouchers, and rewards. And with modern location-based technology, associates know when to prepare online orders for customers who are on their way to pick them up.

It’s these highly immersive experiences that convert regular shoppers into deeply engaged fans. With an excellent consumer app, brands can increase the number of touchpoints and time spent with consumers, complement their omnichannel efforts, drive purchases, and contribute to overall brand growth.

3 Reasons Your Current Consumer App Is Not Working For Your Brand 

A great consumer app will have a huge payoff. But like all technology, apps can be complicated to pull off. 

Some brands that have invested in this space are struggling to engage customers. Becoming aware of common pitfalls can help brands make the necessary changes to their consumer app to turn it into a potent marketing and commerce platform.

Below, we discuss three common reasons brands may be struggling to engage and connect with customers through their consumer app.

1. Designing for your brand over your customer

Pride in your brand should be encouraged and applauded. But be wary of focusing too much on designing your app to show off your cool branding and not focusing enough on appealing to your target customer. 

To create positive engagement, new revenue opportunities, and high user retention, aim to conduct market research to ensure the design and development of your app meets your customers’ needs and expectations. 

2. Your app doesn’t work across channels

Many retail apps currently focus on one thing–mobile shopping. But customers don’t just shop on your app, the same way they don’t just shop in-store or online. They shop everywhere and all at once.

Instead of designing an app to only be used for mobile shopping, offer customers an app experience that works across channels. 

With a feature like “Store Mode,” shoppers can use the app in-store to scan products, pick up orders with one tap, and interact with store associates. The app is a shopping channel at home and a customer service tool in-store. 

3. Lack of in-app communication

Building connections is important to your customers (digitally or in-person), and driving customer loyalty is important for your brand. An app should be for more than just transactions. 

Think about including functions like in-app chat. Through a consumer app, store associates can chat with shoppers and send product recommendations, build carts, and complete orders. This is an easy way to ensure there’s a human touch, even if it’s a fully-digital experience. 

Consumers want a personalized experience. And a modern one that can be conducted both online and in-store. 

NewStore Consumer Apps

NewStore offers a native consumer app built to radically enrich the store experience. The app fully integrates with the other components of the NewStore platform to successfully bridge physical and digital retail.

To learn more about the value of apps, checkout our Consumer App eBook.

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