Retailers with optimized apps are reaping the benefits, as they see 3 times the conversions made from apps versus mobile sites. From helping shoppers learn more about products to facilitating online purchases. Apps and retail go hand in hand, but there are a few essential features that these apps must have to improve the customer experience and increase sales. Here are the top functionalities retail apps need to have.

1. Enhanced Product Information

More than half (62%) of consumers opt to shop in-store because they want to fully experience products. Whether that means trying an item on or inspecting the packaging, online retail has not been able to accomplish this at scale just yet. But one area where in-store shopping falls short is the ease of looking up detailed information about a product. Having to flag down an associate three aisles away (let alone find one at times)  or waiting for a product page to load due to a slow mobile connection creates poor customer experience increasing the likelihood of shopping fatigue and purchase abandonment.

Instead, top performing retail apps should make product research in stores simple and easy.  For example, beacons allow broadcast of product information based on proximity. Walking through an electronics store with the retailer’s app open gives the retailer an opportunity to send over a link to the online product page to learn more about it.

Displays with complete product information for each item isn’t realistic, there simply isn’t enough real estate. Instead, retailers can leverage their websites, through apps and proximity triggers to help shoppers access product information (as well as helpful product reviews). Which ultimately leads to more purchases.

2. Option to Purchase Online, Even When Offline

Sometimes shoppers don’t want to take a purchase home with them, because of size/weight, or convenience. In order to faster facilitate the purchase, retailers should give the option to check out online using a link the retailer sends via app in-store.

People walking behind special deal sign.

3. 2FA for Online Transactions

Retailers are faced with elevated card-not-present fees online, based on rising online retail fraud which increased by 30% from 2016 to 2017 alone. Solving this problem is especially problematic since there is no associate checking the card holder’s ID or otherwise verifying their identity. In order to verify an online purchase, retail apps can use ultrasonic tech via a tone generated by a retail website that contains a one time password for the phone to hear. The phone, in turn, broadcasts a one time password back to the website, authenticating the purchase using the phone biometrics and as a form of authentication.

4. Proximity Marketing

All retailers want to increase loyalty and retail apps are a great way to accomplish this. Apps provide discounts to users, but getting shoppers the right offers at the right time is not always easy and is often hampered by low or no connectivity. With ultrasonic technologies, it is possible to broadcast storewide deals to all in-store app users or specific deals for shoppers in a specific area. Since it only requires amplified speakers (pretty common in retail stores) and a working microphone in your smartphone, capex is zero and integration is minimal.  

How it Works

All smartphones come with microphones and speakers which can be easily used to send and receive inaudible communication. This might come in the form of a link to a product listing online or an image with a promotional offer or someone’s encrypted credit card. Embedding a LISNR SDK in a retail app enables it to be able to send and receive these micro-communications. Next, using storewide or localized speakers retailers can emit these inaudible tones so that app users get notified of these offers or connect and verify their identity for an online purchase.

These are just the top features of retail apps that can improve the customer experience. If you’d like to learn more about how LISNR helps retail apps run smoothly, feel free to contact us.

Share This Blog Post