Consumers look to retailers’ mobile apps to enable seamless omnichannel experiences

The stat: Four of the five retail mobile app features that consumers value the most are those that connect the physical and digital shopping experience.

  • Consumers expect fast, easy, and frictionless omnichannel interactions with retailers.
  • Retail apps can be this conduit, allowing consumers to navigate fluidly between online and offline touchpoints within the same customer journey.

How we got here: The pandemic reshaped consumers’ omnichannel expectations, which are now often mediated by a retailer’s mobile app.

  • According to McKinsey research, 70% of consumers who began using in-store self-checkout in the past two years intend to keep using it post-pandemic.
  • Yet, while the pandemic spurred many consumers to adopt retail app technology more quickly, many features are gimmicky or glitchy and cause more friction than convenience.

What this means for retailers: Retail mobile apps featuring specific functionalities can be the means to a superior customer experience, especially those that allow customers to plan their journeys as well as foster speed and convenience.

  • Important capabilities include in-app notifications for when items are ready for pickup, scanning and saving gift cards into the user’s profile, and store stock availability.
  • Features that enhance the in-store shopping experience—like product availability and location at a preferred store and price check—are particularly valuable.
  • Overall, app capabilities must help consumers save time and money and make the shopping experience as frictionless as possible on the small screen.

Go further: For more on what makes retail mobile apps sticky as well as which retailers’ apps had the most valuable features, see our US Retail Mobile App Features Benchmark 2022.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail and ecommerce industries. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.