By 2015, one third of consumer brands will incorporate payment into their branded mobile apps.
That’s according to new predictions from Gartner, which said the development of this trend over the next few years will see brands selling more directly to consumers and enhancing the customer experience as a result.
Outlined in its new report, Predicts 2013: Businesses Will Take Consumer Apps to the Next Level, the analyst firm forecasted that brands most likely to demonstrate this trend will be retailers in the fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment sectors.
Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, explained: “Many consumer brands have launched branded apps that focus on marketing activities such as offering product information, checking loyalty points, and collecting coupons and offers. A few early adopters have integrated payment functions into their apps. Brands need to help consumers make purchasing decisions in an efficient and personalized way.
“Branded apps should be good shopping apps in the first place, and payment is only the final step before making the sale. To achieve this, they will use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and web browsers to engage customers and increase sales. In developed markets, apps will lead the way, whereas in emerging markets text messages are likely to dominate initially.”
But Gartner warned that brands preparing to roll out payment within their brand apps will have to compete with aggregator apps – a single app from which they can access multiple brands. Such apps can be online marketplace apps or specialist apps dealing with location information, promotional offers and travel.
Branded apps must deliver compelling value and lasting user experience if they are to win over the consumers’ choice, said the analyst house.
In the same report, Gartner also predicted that by 2016, most pay-TV operators in developed markets will have launched "pay-TV as an app" on smart TVs.