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One-click purchasing the key to successful retail apps?

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11th Feb 2015
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It’s become the perpetual question of the mobile age - how do you create an app for your business that’s engaging enough to warrant downloading, using and keeping?

In retail, Kantar Retail and App Annie’sTop Retailers & The App Economy in the UK’ report suggests the best mobile apps are those that offer ease of use over any other functionality, with one-click purchasing features proving most popular among those apps ranked highest.

Amazon and Argos, ranked number one and two in terms of combined downloads for Q4 2014 in the retail sector, both offer simplistic routes to purchase through their respective apps.

Both also offer Click and Collect, which the report states became the top trend for retail apps in 2014, with 60% of retailers now offering the service.

All retailers listed in the top 25 apps offered this feature, with the exception of apps from Lidl and ALDI, neither of which offer any in-app shopping feature.

“It is clear that apps are no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ for retailers in the UK, they are instead a vital part of effective sales, customer engagement and brand loyalty strategies,” explains Steve Mader, director of digital insights for Kantar Retail.  

Multichannel retailers that can manifest their brand equity across both physical and virtual points of shopper interaction are poised to capture higher share of mind and loyalty; a necessity when faced with fast-growing competitors.”

Apps from certain retailers, including John Lewis and Topshop, follow Aldi and Lidl’s lead in offering no in-app shopping options whatsoever; but have gone further to enrich their customers’ in-store shopping experiences with features like unlockable content and barcode scanners for reviews and recommendations.

“The primary role of mobile apps in in-store shopping is to elevate the customer experience beyond what can simply be offered through physical stores and high streets,” says Olivier Bernard, VP of EMEAR at App Annie. “But, as technologies such as beacons and mobile payments develop further, we expect large retailers to go even further to provide an omnichannel experience that can’t be matched by online or mobile-only competitors.

In terms of app store distribution, all of the top retailers’ apps appeared on both iOS and Google Play, with iOS providing approximately 35% more downloads than Google Play in Q4 2014.

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