Retail Mobile app Development. 10 Features That Enhance Customer Experiences

“I could give up Shopping... But I’m not a quitter”(c)

You remember that time when the Big Bang had happened and the web-stores and online marketplaces took over the shopping niche? Well, the new era has come – the era of mobile gadgets and mobile apps. As we mentioned in one of our previous posts "How to Build a Food Delivery App Like DoorDash", nowadays our life is more like a high-speed race.

We like to save time and money to spend it on something valuable rather than running around the city, looking for some products or clothes. And if we buy favorite food online, why forget everything else? And when it comes to shopping, we seek for the speed and convenience, innovation and great service.

These days you don’t need advertising billboards and hours to visit dozens of shops across your town because we have a super handy and comfortable service just in our palms –  retail mobile apps in our iPhones and Smartphones or iPads. You can buy literally anything in just a couple of clicks, using only your login and password.

It's easy to by in the app

And if we check some statistics, we’ll see that the tendency for gigantic retail companies to build themselves mobile apps are only increasing with each day! In the past three years, the percentage of the retail mobile apps users jumped up beyond the reasonable number.

Let’s be honest, shopping – is a very, very important part of our existing and everyday routine. We can’t avoid it and the only thing we look for – is how to make this process fast and easy as much as possible. Modern technological opportunities allow any developer to create a unique retail app that will satisfy even a demanding customer as well as the retail business owner. This relationship is highly profitable for both parties and definitely mutual.

With the help of couple professionals and some useful mobile app development tools you can build an app that will boost your retail business to the killing level of success and revenue numbers. Believe me, you won’t see it coming, when the victory will strike you down.        

Okay, but this is lyrics. How about facts and arguments?

  • People find retail apps more convenient than web markets;
  • Customers consider the apps much faster than online stores;
  • User settings stored in the app is a really appreciated thing;
  • Benefits and rewards offered in the apps for loyal users attract a huge number of customers.

Still not sure? Fine, time to proceed further!

Why should you develop a mobile app for retail business?

“Stay home and shop ONLINE. You’re too pretty to look for parking spots” (c)

Every reasonable person would like to know the advantages before developing such mobile app. First of all, a retail mobile app enhances the market presence of the retailer and pulls the marketing strategy of the company to the next level. How?

The reasons why you need a mobile app for retail business:

  1. Shoppers like mobile apps. They’re useful and popular. A huge part of our society prefers mobile applications that make their shopping experience interesting and interactive.
  2. Sellers has a constant connection with their buyers via push notifications etc.
  3. Retail app will promote the brand and encourage more people to purchase from you.
  4. Then you’ll easily build customer loyalty list.
  5. By using your app during holidays your customers will decrease their stress levels on shopping tours.
  6. You’ll give the purchasers the ability to check the products assortment without a visit to the store.
  7. By implementing the user loyalty programs in your app you’ll have yourself a very satisfied and willing to constantly buy from you customers that would feel themselves valued.
  8. The development of a mobile app isn’t as hard as it seems. And it’s not that expensive and time-consuming.  
  9. You can create a unique and useful application for any retail niche. It doesn’t really matter what the company offers to customers.
  10. Your competitors most likely already got an app for their business. You should catch up and fast.

And what the profit and the opportunities mobile industry brings for retail business?

Why should the retailers fight for their spot in AppStore and GooglePlay?

  • First and most important – it saves a lot of money, time and efforts not only for a buyer but for a seller as well.  
  • Retail app helps to promote your brand on the market.
  • Mobile app will increase customers retention and loyalty, therefore, your sales rate will only grow.
  • While demonstrating your products or services, you would have the constant connection with your clients.
  • You’ll give users an enhanced customer experience.
  • Thankfully to mobile app customers would be able to use your app even offline. Which is a real benefit for the seller.
  • Valuable analytic data. Using the special tools integrated within the app you can easily see the statistics of one’s purchases and how the customers use your app.
  • All the digitized content of your store will definitely cost less than a product of someone’s without a retail app to sell their goods. Win-win for you.
  • For a solid market presence, you can develop an app for multiple platforms: iOS, Android  etc.

The profit and the opportunities mobile industry brings for retail business

So, if you want a promising project for a startup, we recommend you to really consider custom retail mobile app development. And for your first steps on this field we like to help you. Please, check our advice it the next paragraph.  

Retail Mobile app Development. Your way to the top

“Treat yourself a little retail therapy” (c)

So, what does it mean exactly? Such fancy words, teoretical marks and stuff... Well, pretty simple actually, and anyone can get successful if one try hard enough in this field.

Retail Mobile app Development – the industry that provides useful mobile apps for sellers/retailers and buyers/customers of all kinds.

Mobile app represents a real progress way for retailers. If quickly took over the market, it delivers constant shopper engagement, usage data and revenue results. Many retailers achieve bigger success with mobile retail apps than web-stores. In addition, customer apps allow buyers to view catalogs, learn needful information about desirable items and participate in promotions, which leads to the satisfying customer experience, therefore, helping the business manager to see the benefits and pitfalls of the marketing strategy.

The challenge that retailers try to solve every day is that the retail mobile app needs to represent whatever the customer is looking for, using the latest mobile development technologies, while providing an awesome retail service and offerings.

“Classic retail is represented in the mobile direction relatively weakly yet. Quite often, the development project initiation in many companies is spontaneous. The decision makers’ initiative can be based on the existence of such an application from competitors or even on global trends and prospects for growth.”

And to achieve a real success, you need not only to build a retail mobile app, first of all, you need to find your specific target audience, think of your end goals, and get to know everything you can about your future customers to be able to solve their problems and fulfill your purpose. Gather as much information as you can, research the market to find out what your competitors accomplished with their apps – after this thorough investigation you’ll be able to design a bit fun and pleasurable shopping app for your customers to really enjoy.

Based on the preferences of your users you’ll be able to keep in touch with clients disregarding their physical location and send them some handy reminders, notification or build an efficient loyalty program to reward the most loyal customers.

10 Features Of The Retail App That Enhance Customer Experiences

“Peace. Love. Shopping.” (c)

To attract as many new customers as possible you’ll need to improve and advance the functionality of your retail mobile app. Want to know how to solve this problem? How to build a mobile app more efficient for the clients than the competitor’s apps? Here are the features appreciated most by customers around the globe:

1. User account & Profile

“An app has to push out personalized content, offers and perks based on their interests, while providing the ability to share offers, news and product recommendations virally on their social networks. The caveat here is that bad experiences will also be shared. This is actually reason enough to ensure apps perform at as high a level as possible.”

There must be filters and preference lists. To be able to please your customer you should know what he or she prefers. Make them feel comfortable and heard. By providing good profile options you’re ensuring yourself a very promising future intelligence data, based on which you can improve your app and make some updates to show your buyers that you hear him/her and try to meet their expectation.    

Must-have features in retail mobile app  

2. Product description & Store information

Your customer should be able to check the necessary data about the desirable product and the store location or working hours. The ability to search for the nearest shop using your mobile app will be highly appreciated by customers. Also, provide your users with easy-to-use catalogs, including price and product description (color, size, collection, item number) and make it that way in which it will be faster for the user.

Create some welcome messages to guide the buyer through your store assortment. Store navigation and interactive images – your best friends.  Besides these, instructions and datasheet materials are absolutely must-have options in this feature. And don’t forget to make your catalogs available in download mode so that user can check it if offline.

3. Geolocation function

Geolocation is a highly useful and appreciated technology in many other apps that allows to navigate your potential and already existing clients, show them a way to the nearest store (suggesting working hours also) or make different personal proposals to specific clients. Based on their current location your users can get a really proactive and relevant information about the product or service.

For the both mobile platform, iOS and Android, there are different ways to integrate geolocation in the mobile app. But the two critical point similar for each platform: determining a position of the object and displaying the identified object on a map. And how can you implement this technology into your retail app? Well, for Android there is Android Location services provided by Google. And for iOS a geolocation option is provided by the iOS Location service.

Believe us, such approach to retail mobile app development significantly cuts the timeline of production and gives you some reliable solutions for the whole business scheme.

“If you can’t stop thinking about it... Buy it!” (c)

4. QR-codes scanning

QR-codes is the two-dimensional bar-codes – very significant technology for mobile phones that allows scanning specific code which will show the price, description and discounts. Not to mention it allows even to make a purchase. Usually after scanning a QR-code user get a link to a promotional page for whatever item the QR code was pasted onto.

5. Beacon Technology

Another great geolocation-based technology (both for iOS and Android), a room positioning system based on the Bluetooth. It allows sellers to send needful push notifications or new products offers to the customers’ phones.

Beacon technology in retail business

The Beacon system enhances customer experience because it doesn’t require an entirely different app for retailers to send the information about their products – they can display it inside apps that a buyer is already using. You can send special offers or discount information to customers when they are located near your store. For example, McDonald's, Tesco and Macy's use the Beacon technology in their retail apps to build customer loyalty.

For your first beacon pilot you can use Beaconstac Starter Kit, iBeacon for iOS and Eddystone for Android. Also, there are beacon manufacturers such as Gimbal, Swirl, Estimote.

6. Customer loyalty programs & Discounts

The ability of having a discount as a reward for using an app is highly preferred by customers. By providing them exclusive discounts and rewards on their favorite products or services you make them feel cherished and valuable. It’s always satisfying when you know how to buy something at the lowest price after receiving discount tips through the retail app.

Develop a really generous and effective loyalty program for most active and long-staying users and don’t neglect the coupon system integration – birthday or gift-away coupons will significantly increase the user engagement and revenue number.

7. Mobile payment integration & mPOS (mobile point of sale)

This really handy feature allows a customer to pay for products without using cash which is very important in some critical situations. It’s a maximum convenience for modern shoppers. To use this function they need only to place their credit card information into the app.

To implement mobile payments in your app you can use Stripe that has native iOS & Android libraries for easy integration of payment service on both platforms or develop yourself a customized payment system to avoid additional fees. Such way you could find a more flexible solution, but you should keep in mind that it also will require many back-end modules, that need to be built which is really costly. So, you have the  decision to make – “buy” or “build”.

Besides this, you must decide whether or not do you need plastic card scanning (mPOS system) – where by a single touch to the plastic card, the smartphone can read its number, expiry date, owner name, as well as the information about the latest transactions conducted with the card.

“Keep calm and shop ON!” (c)

8. Customer intelligence & Analytics

Well, I don’t need to tell you how important for you to know user’s dynamics and opinions, how they use your app and for how long. To understand the customer’s non-obvious needs you have to do deep data analysis after collecting the valuable information about your users. This will allow you to make business decisions based on solid analytics. Therefore, you’ll be able to improve your app in most sufficient way to please your customers.

Customer analytics in retail mobile app
For this purpose, we recommend to integrate analytics tools into your app. To find out more about such tools you can read our article named “The 5 Most Popular Mobile App Analytics Tools”.

9. Clients' & Sales support

The communication between seller and customer is everything, because you buyers want to be heard and valued. They will ask questions and you shouldn’t ignore them. Thankfully to nowadays social media you have so many options to keep in touch with the user any time of the day. Doesn’t matter what you’re selling within the app, you must stay with your customers 24/7. They need a way to reach you anywhere and anytime. If you maintain high-quality service and respond  to customers’ request as quickly as possible you’ll ensure for your business a top shelf on the market. Listen to the feedbacks, hire online consultants to work in support group – provide users with the ability to communicate with the store in real-time.

Online functions in retail mobile app

10. Push notifications 

Push-based apps usually anticipate customer’s needs and provide him/her with useful information based on the interests and preferences. Push notifications is basically an information about a certain product’s updates, price, discount or availability without the buyer’s request for it. And not to mention that you can use push notification to let your customers know about upcoming store events and news, new arrivals, sales beginning, presentations and special offers.

“Shopping is always a good idea”(c)

Fine, we’re almost done... One more feature, if you’d like to make your customer happy – Delivery tracking. Many of us like to follow the delivery process of the purchased item. Also, bear in mind that your app should have a really comfy easy-to-use UI/UX design – buttons, banners and navigation panels must be precise and on top.

And for you to learn from the best to avoid the unpleasant mistakes and unexpected expenses we  made a list of the most loved retail apps. Research them, read their users feedback to see, what they love and what they don’t.

Best Retail mobile apps:

  • Groupon
  • Walgreens
  • LivingSocial
  • eBay
  • Victoria's Secret
  • CVS Caremark and Walgreens
  • Mothercare
  • Walmart
  • Starbucks
  • Amazon
  • Apple Store
  • Westfield Malls
  • Best Buy
  • ATM Hunter
  • Gap StyleMixer
  • Hollister
  • JC Penney Weekly Deals
  • Retailmenot
  • H&M
  • Zappos

How much does it cost to build a retail mobile app?

Okay, important question, right? Let me be clear, retail mobile app development is usually pretty expensive and a time-consuming process. And all of the features described above will influence the app’s cost. Everything from continuous updates within the app to its functionality level will define the final price. And if this is your first startup we strongly recommend you to hire the qualified retail mobile app developers that can provide you with the best service, speed and professional opinion. Delivery time will be approximately around 16-20 for weeks for MVP.

Main features in your retail app

As for the price of the app in this case – you can research this topic in our post "How to Build a Food Delivery App Like DoorDash" where we investigated the cost structure of the food delivery app.

“I’m not a shopaholic, I’m helping the economy” (c)

Final thoughts

Are you looking for a goal-oriented mobile app development team dedicated to your success? Have an idea for a retail mobile app you want to bring to life? TecSynt is here at your service! To develop a retail app isn’t a simple task, but we’re ready to fight for your success. Our team is highly experienced, professional and scrupulous. We will make your app perfectly functional and be able to take over the market niche.

Our app developers are highly qualified and know a thing or two as  you can see on our website here. We know some hidden pitfalls of the retail business and we’re ready to work hard to provide our clients with the best market solutions about retail app development

We always try to inspire retailers to make mobile apps for their success, so, feel free to contact us right away to find out more or to discuss your retail app project. We’re here for you!



Read Next

Offshore Outsourcing: How to Protect Your Intellectual Property
Offshore Outsourcing: How to Protect Your Intellectual Property
How To Start Mobile App Marketing Campaign
How To Start Mobile App Marketing Campaign
7 Mobile Marketing Metrics: What To Choose
7 Mobile Marketing Metrics: What To Choose
Release Notes That Work for Your Business
Release Notes That Work for Your Business
Don’t leave us hanging!
Get in Touch