As consumers adapt their shopping behavior, smart retailers are changing as well. Rather than losing customers to e-commerce, they’re using mobile apps to create a true omni-channel retail experience. Here are five great ways to use an app to deepen relationships with current customers — and bring in new ones.

Retail Mobile Apps Seven Tablets

Mobile Apps & Loyalty Programs

Mobile-only coupons reward loyal customers, either within your main app or as a separate app. Kroger and Whole Foods grocery stores have chosen to include coupons in one all-purpose app, while Target uses their Cartwheel app to connect customers with special in-store offers.

Location-based Services

Retailers have found a few ways to use GPS location services in phones to give their customers a better in-store experience.

  • Notifications when a customer is near their store (Cartwheel does this, reminding you to use your app for extra savings as you walk into a Target.)
  • A “Find in Store” search feature that lets customers find an item and see if it’s in stock (Walmart rolled this feature out at the end of 2014.)
  • An in-app call button to get help from a store associate when and where customers need it (British supermarket chain Waitrose offers this feature — employees get notified on their mobile device so they can go to customers to answer questions.)

In-app shopping

Many stores are getting into the online shopping world, allowing customers to order items through the mobile app and get them delivered at home. This type of experience works across a variety of retailers, including Urban Outfitters and Free People for clothing, Toys”R”Us for toys and baby gear, and Sephora for makeup.

In-app Ordering

Other categories of retailers, such as those that sell perishables, allow customers to order from the app and pick up in the store. For example, Walgreens allows users to buy products from the store as well as refill prescriptions, and Kroger’s ‘Clicklist’ option lets customers fill their grocery cart and pick up their order at a specified time so their personal shopper can grab items when they’re fresh.

Discounts and Marketing through Third Parties

To get new customers in the door, retailers use apps such as Groupon and Living Social to connect with new customers. To ensure that their message gets out mainly to new customers, smart retailers put a limit of one per customer (and one as a gift) — otherwise, savvy shoppers might buy a bunch of discount vouchers just to save money.

Does an app seem like too much for your store? You’d be surprised at how much benefit companies can get from an app. Contact our development team to find out more.

Prototype Your App to Success

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Lacey Williams-McGhee

Lacey Williams-McGhee

Digital Marketing Specialist at SevenTablets
Lacey Williams is a marketing and design professional living in the great state of Texas. When she's not working hard at the SevenTablets headquarters or designing products for her side gig, she can be found exploring new restaurants, hanging out with her husband and searching for puppies on Craigslist.

Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!
Lacey Williams-McGhee