January 28, 2021

Dive Into Your Smartphone: How mCommerce Works in USA

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What retail needs to know about mobile apps

The number of consumers who buy goods through phones increases. After all, this mobile device is something that’s always at hand. But one of the things that contribute to this tendency in particular are the recent restrictions, which only fasten the growth of mobile commerce. The sales of American retailers grew by 15.1% on Cybermonday compared to 2019 and reached a peak of $10.8 billion. The founder of CoreTeka and WareTeka companies Alex Isachenko told us about the ways American retailers use the abilities of mCommerce during the pandemic and how this experience could be useful to Ukrainian business.

Why do users choose mobile apps?

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According to the report of HootSuite, about 66% of consumers use retailers’ mobile apps for shopping, 54% order goods through the phone. As jMango360 research shows, in September 2020 the number of retail mobile apps downloads increased by 22% compared to 2019. The number reached its highest in April, when the first wave of COVID hit the world. Eventually the number of downloads faded, but the percentage of purchases remains stable. Also read about best logistics conferences.

For the buyer, mobile app is a form of convenience. You don’t need to go to the browser and type the web-address by hand. Interface is simplistic – the user easily finds needed information. You just have to press the button to view history of buys, pay for the order etc.

The main advantages of mobile app

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In the US, mCommerce is developing rapidly. American retailers are implementing different opportunities to better the client experience and stimulate them to buy more.

Nike, for example, is personalizing experience. When the pandemic started, the company closed more than 200 physical stores. After that the company developed an app named Nike Training Club with home workouts. Along with the numbers of downloads, the numbers of sales grew too. The secret lies in product commercials, integrated into the training program. The products can be bought through the shopping app. The user can choose the needed item, examine the details and even get a style experts advice. Furthermore, after the registration they automatically get extra privileges – free shipping, special offers and discounts.

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Mobile app of the biggest US FMCG retailer, Target, is a tool where you can do more than follow the discounts and pay for the purchases. The biggest secret is the ability to order the delivery in a couple of clicks, which is carried out in a few hours. Besides that, there is a Drive Up service: the buyer can receive the package while on the way, the courier will drive directly up to the car. This is one of the most successful retail apps in America.

A broad network of pharmacies Walgreens has developed a helper app to increase sales number. The app also offers experts advice on health, medicine, prices, insurance. In addition to standard features, you can order prescription drugs, set up notifications for taking pills.

All of these are different segments of retail. But their mobile apps are equally useful, it’s the approach that changes.

Advice for Ukrainian retailers

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Ukrainians are more and more likely to order meals or groceries through mobile phones. Large retail networks are coming up with new ideas for interaction. Thus, the pandemic gave a boost for development of mobile commerce in the FMCG market.

Although it is important for each segment to develop solutions based on marketing goals, there are few general recommendations.

  • Create unique offers. Users give valuable information about what’s interesting for them. An app should gather and analyze data. This can help to predict clients’ wishes and give a personal recommendation at the right time. For example, that’s how “Silpo” mobile app works – there is a section with special offers.
  • Enhance the delivery. Even if the shop offers unique goods and excellent quality, in the terms of quarantine you can’t survive without courier services. It is especially important for the segment of food retail. Where even a 30 minutes delay is critical. For instance, Auchan has an option of buying goods with delivery. The orders are gathered in the nearest store to get them “to the door” faster.
  • Expand the functionality. Nowadays, the capabilities of mobile apps are enormous. Large Ukrainian retailers are using them to the maximum: creating a map of the stores, embed online payments and barcode scanners etc. The wider the functionality, the better the client experience.
  • Update the app. One of the biggest client pains are problems with the technical part. The buyers complain about long loading and difficulties with registration. It’s not enough to develop an app, you should systematically get rid of problems and errors with the technical team.

The stage before app development is the most critical one. It is important to analyze the trends, competitors’ solutions, develop the concept, test hypotheses. Find a partner, who understands the needs of the business and technical side of the question. Take care of the quality while on the stage of development, and it will make everything easier later on.

Also read about mobile app design trends.

Creating a mobile app is a good decision for retailers, who want to increase online sales and establish communication with clients. The most important thing is to know how to use its possibilities.