Retail apps ‘failing customer expectations’

Retail apps need to do more to deliver high-quality and interactive mobile shopping experiences, according to new research.

The report from mobile app developer Apadmi found that a third of UK shoppers downloaded more retail apps in the past 12 months than in the previous year. However, only 40 per cent said they were satisfied with the current offering.

Almost one-in-five said they would like to see retailers invest in more innovation to improve apps, while 30 per cent would be more likely to use apps if they could do more than just browse and buy.

More than a fifth of consumers said they would prefer apps that could help them make buying decisions, or recommend products based on their browsing history.

More than half said they would be more likely to download apps if they were offered specific rewards for doing so.

Only a third of app users said they had noticed an improvement in shopping tools, but more than a quarter said they would think less highly of a retailer that developed an app, but failed to update it regularly.

Apadmi chief executive Nick Black said: “These results sound a clear warning message to retailers that, while retail apps are becoming more popular with consumers, many are failing to meet expectations and deliver the kind of service customers clearly expect.

“New technology is making it possible to offer a genuinely personalised mobile retail experience, helping consumers to make purchasing decisions and even recommend new products. Apps are an ideal platform to deliver this service.

“Retailers should use these findings as a kick-start to improve their apps before consumers start to turn away.”