Rise of the Apps: Three Ways That Having Your Own App Can Drive Loyalty for Your Retail Store

Jun 10

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6/10/2014  RssIcon

In some of the more competitive, high-volume industries, having a loyalty card that customers scan at the register is no longer enough to stay ahead of the competition. With more and more stores developing loyalty programs, even those clients who shop just once or a couple of times a year can use a reward card – thus defeating the purpose of having a loyalty program in the first place. As smartphone use is exploding around the world, many businesses have made the jump to developing iPhone or Android loyalty apps that customers can download directly to their handsets. Let's take a quick look at how having a retail app specific to your store might result in the sales boost that you need to remain competitive.

Customers No Longer Need a Card

It takes just a quick look in a wallet to see that many individuals have a massive assortment of cards obtained from restaurants, video stores, grocery stores, clothing stores and other shops. As "out of sight, out of mind" holds true for loyalty cards, it does a business no good to have their card buried amongst the rest. One benefit of developing a loyalty app is that shoppers tend to look at their smartphone dozens to hundreds of times per day, and they will continually see the app's icon and be reminded it's there. These clients also receive the benefit of being able to forego having the card entirely, as they can simply produce the loyalty app for scanning when they make a purchase. Customers will love that shopping at your store is so easy, which might make them come in a little more often.

Get Access to Inventory on the Go

Several stores that have an online presence now offer retail apps that give shoppers access to the inventory available online and in local stores. There are few things customers hate more than stopping by a store to pick up specific items and finding that those items aren't available. Mobile apps let shoppers find out what products are in stock and available for purchase, ensuring that they don't feel a trip into a store is wasted. If you don't have that product in the store, the customer can use the app to order the product from your website.

Apps Generally Increase Spending

Finally, mobile apps let you give loyal customers coupons or discounts that encourage additional spending. Virtually all customers want to save money without devoting hours to clipping coupons, and these apps let them get the savings that they want. Taking this further, a store can even develop an app that tracks their clients' spending habits and sends them coupons for items they need and use every week, such as pet food. Those who come into stores for a handful of items often spend more than they intended after walking through the store. Any revenue lost in the discount is almost always made up by the additional products purchased by a loyal customer.

Shoppers are loyal to the stores and shops that offer them the best deals and benefits. With the right mobile retail app, you can give customers access to those savings and other benefits, including access to your inventory and the convenience of leaving their cards at home.

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