Retail apps failing to meet consumer expectations, research finds

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Consumers believe current retail apps are failing to deliver the high quality and interactive mobile shopping experience they demand, according to new research.

Despite a third of UK consumers admitting to downloading more retail apps in the last 12 months than they did in the previous year, just 40% said they were satisfied with the current offering.

The report, by mobile app developer Apadmi, found that nearly one in five consumers would like to see retailers invest in more innovation to improve apps, while 30% would be more likely to use them if they could do more than just browse and buy.

Retail appsOnly a third of app users said they had noticed any kind of improvement in the shopping tools they have previously downloaded and more than a quarter said they would think less of a retailer that developed an app but failed to update it regularly.

Of those shoppers who said they wanted to see improved innovation or incentives to use apps, more than a fifth said they would prefer apps that could help them make purchasing decisions, or recommend products based on their browsing history.

The study also noted that 33% of respondents would like to see augmented reality in retail apps to help preview products, while 74% reported that data security was their biggest concern.

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

Apadmi chief executive Nick Black commented: “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 make purchasing decisions and even recommend new products, and 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.”

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