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Mobile shoppers like shopping apps over mobile browser

In a recent study on the retail apps and buying habits amongst consumers done by Adobe Systems, it was seen that consumers preferred using shopping applications while shopping from their mobile phones as compared to using the mobile browsers. In the Adobe survey showed that 55 percent of the tablet users were almost twice as likely as smartphone users to use their device to purchase products and services.

According to the report, the use of retail apps will increase by around 15 percent in 2013 across both the mobile platforms. In fact it is expected that more than half of all mobile shoppers are likely to make a purchase using a shopping app in the next year which is around 56 percent of smartphone shoppers and 60 percent of tablet shoppers. “Our research shows retail apps and catalogues serve different purposes on tablets and smartphones, providing value to the consumer depending on the device they’re using,” said Terry Fortescue, director of product marketing, Digital Publishing, Adobe.

This means that retailers must adapt to meet the rising expectations for specialized mobile shopping experiences. The findings also reveal that retail and catalogue apps are rapidly catching up to mobile browsers as a viable shopping channel. Nearly half of all mobile shoppers are interested in using apps instead of a mobile browser. “Smartphone shoppers cite the slow speed of browsers and the ease of navigation on apps as reasons for their interest in using apps and digital catalogues,” added Fortescue.

Seeing this trend the Adobe the digital publishing solution provider has put forward key directions that will drive this market:  

Retail apps and catalogues will increase brand affinity 

Survey results show 67 percent of tablet and smartphone shoppers only use apps for their favorite stores. The consumers stated that app interactions strengthened their connection to the brand. So retailers need to work on their retail apps and catalogues to develop deeper connections with their customers.


Friends and social media will strongly influence mobile shopping

When asked what influences their mobile purchasing decisions the most, a significant majority of respondents named their friends as the primary influence. Emails from the retailer, online ads and videos and Facebook came in later. The data shows that a recommendation from a trusted friend is most valued. This means that retailers need to create social sharing features in retail apps and catalogues. Some ways they can do this is by putting capabilities such as sharing products, reviews and news. This will also act as a boost for the consumers to download app and make a purchase.

Shoppers value function and overall app experience

While money-saving offers are the most highly valued app for all mobile shoppers, the users of two different platforms show some deviation in terms of accessing the product information. Tablet shoppers want interactive images and slideshows – around 49 percent – that help them better understand product offerings in a virtual environment. Meanwhile, 60 percent of smartphone shoppers want the ability to locate physical stores through an app, as well as take advantage of geo-based offers. This demonstrates the distinct roles retail apps and catalogues play for different devices. So the brands need to be conscious of this fact and develop mobile marketing strategy that take into account the behaviours of smartphone and tablet users. This will not only drive online sales but will also improve in-store purchases.