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Payment functions in retail apps to be a norm by 2015

As a next level of audience engagement that will have a direct impact on the revenues, consumer brand companies and retailers should look at integrating payment option in their branded apps. By 2015, 33 percent of consumer brands will implement this option to sell directly to the consumers reports Gartner.

“Many consumer brands have launched branded apps that focus on marketing activities such as offering product information, checking loyalty points, and collecting coupons and offers. A few early adopters have integrated payment functions into their apps. Brands need to help consumers make purchasing decisions in an efficient and personalized way,” explains Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.

The trend report shows that this trend will be more pronounced for brands with retail outlets, such as those in the fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment sectors. In fact Shen recommends that brands should look at making their app such that they can be good shopping apps giving the consumer the right direction to make a purchase decision, and as the market evolves payment option can be added as the final capability.

Giving further insight into how brands can start implementing this in the initial stages, Shen says, “To achieve this, they will use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and Web browsers to engage customers and increase sales. In developed markets, apps will lead the way, whereas in emerging markets text messages are likely to dominate initially. Such apps can be online marketplace apps or specialist apps dealing with location information, promotional offers and travel.”

As the online behaviour of the consumers evolve over the next few years they might prefer to use a single app – an aggregator app – to access multiple brand apps to access the online marketplace. The report further shows that branded companies’ apps will have to compete with these aggregator apps in terms of richness of offering and user experience. “Only those that deliver compelling value and user experience will last,” Shen conludes.