Retailers could combat the threat of mass job losses – predicted to be as high as 900,000 by 2025 – by embracing technology to make customers more loyal and bring them back to the high street.
That is the verdict of one of the UK’s leading mobile app developers, Apadmi, which – perhaps unsurprisingly claims that mobile apps can drive consumers back to the high street if they add to the overall shopping experience.
However, it adds, at present, retailers are failing to connect these channels effectively, and in the way that consumers want.
Currently, just 31% of consumers are using retail mobile apps whilst walking around the store, yet the research found that an additional 41% of consumers would use a retail mobile app if it enhanced the instore experience.
On top of this, 29% of consumers would be happy to share their location with a retail app to receive contextual rich messages, incentives, or offers instore.
The research also found that loyalty schemes are another good way to drive customers back to the store. At present, only 20% of UK smartphone users already interact with a retail loyalty scheme on their phone but a staggering 80% said they would be happy to collect loyalty points on their mobile, including when they complete certain tasks as they walk around the shop.
The rise of mobile payments presents another opportunity to make mobile a more integral part of the instore retail experience, and the research found that consumers are keen to explore these new methods of payment.
While only 8% of respondents said they have used apps to pay for products instore, a further 49% said they would be keen to use apps that use modern payment options such as Apple Pay.
Nick Black, chief executive of Apadmi, said: “The rise of digital doesn’t mean the death of the high street, like rumours would suggest. There is, in fact, a big opportunity for retailers to use mobile as a way to drive instore sales, especially as our research found that a massive 97% of Brits with a smartphone take it with them when they go shopping.
“It’s time that retailers realised that consumers actually want digital channels, and specifically mobile, to complement the experience they have instore, and not see stores disappear altogether. This is why we undertook the research – to shed light on the positive impact mobile can have in all areas of retail, including the traditional shopping environment.”
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