Online retail sales are a $4.9 trillion dollar global phenomenon, generating $768 billion in U.S. retail sales. This huge market, however, comes with an Achilles Heel: consumer experience expectations.
As consumer adoption and preference for digital shopping grows, so does the marketplace’s demand for an increasingly seamless, customized, and smooth shopping process.
For even the largest global brands, it’s been a challenge to overcome barriers to premium mobile commerce entry, including speed, cost, and the technical talent to meet demand for a heightened experience.
Even a simple app, which won’t deliver the personalization and convenience shoppers demand, can take three to six months to develop and cost $100,000 to $200,000. A full-featured native app that connects to back-end systems and content, delivering a real-time and seamless digital journey across all devices, captures data insights, includes data analytics and engagement action triggers, averages at least nine months to develop and a minimum of $500,000.
Given the traditional costs and time commitment required to create a truly consumer-friendly app that will generate downloads and conversions, how can retailers hope to compete with the m-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart?
It’s Not Hopeless: Even though it seems like the retail giants are already too far ahead and too entrenched for all but the largest competitors to catch up, it’s actually not as dark as all that.
There’s hope in the form of new and better tech that requires less time and money, and development partners that specialize in providing native apps that drive consumer loyalty and sales conversions.
So, retailers that want to up their m-commerce garden me should be considering the following:
Personalize It: McKinsey calls personalization a “force multiplier,” noting that consumers expect it and companies that deliver a personalized app can see a 10 to 25 percent lift in revenue. By securely storing personal information and preferences; integrating secure payments, cameras, and other features like face or other biometric ID; and using consumer data analytics to direct relevant content and offers, you can offer the ultimate in convenience and customization.
“The more skillful a company becomes in applying data to grow customer knowledge and intimacy, the greater the returns. For digitally native companies that forge a data-backed, direct-to-consumer model, personalization isn’t just how they market, it’s how they operate,” says McKinsey.
Go Native: Because native apps load faster, allow for content customization, don’t require repeated customer log-ins, and are more secure. According to ThinkWithGoogle, a whopping 75 percent of people who visit a brand website on a mobile device will leave if the site isn’t mobile-friendly, and 50 percent will use that business less, even if they like the business.
Ryan Terry, CRO at BILDIT confirmed the above by stating “while at Amazon, our team recognized across digital shopping platforms that for every 100 milliseconds of added page load, it cost the company 1 percent in revenue. Some estimate it may actually cost as much as 7 percent in conversions.” If you are a medium to large scale enterprise, this is an unacceptable KPI.
Use Your Data: A native app can allow you make real use of your consumer data by connecting to back-end systems and content to deliver a real-time and seamless digital journey across all devices. Use advanced analytics to gather insights from that data to help customize content, offers, and follow-up notifications. Keep tabs on all interactions across mobile apps, websites, and even in-store so that you can deliver the right content and trigger the right actions at the right time.
It doesn’t have to take a half million dollars and nearly a year anymore for this kind of customization and increased consumer engagement. So, what are you waiting for?
By: Ryan Terry, co-founder and president, BILDIT
About the Author
Ryan Terry is President of BILDIT, the leading mobile app development platform specially designed for retail and brand ecommerce. Ryan has over 15 years of experience in digital retail including leading advertising growth, brand development, and mobile app creation for retailers and suppliers in the US, China, and Japan markets. Under his leadership, he has driven over $100 million in net new revenue to date for his clients and retailers while creating strategic partnerships across hundreds of vendors in the process. In addition to his professional career, he is also an avid philanthropist with long term goals set on global youth outreach via athletic leadership curriculum.