Research shows that only 4 out of 10 British customers are happy with retail app offerings, despite offering more in 2016 than ever before.

Apadmi, the developer of mobile apps, carried out a survey into 2,000 British customers who currently used retail apps. They sought their feedback on the current offers available in the market and the sorts of things they would like to see developed further.

The report found that 34% of users were particularly dissatisfied with the lack of updates and developments to apps they had earlier downloaded. Lack of innovation in the apps’ scope – beyond shopping and browsing – also disappointed 30% of customers. Over 25% said that they would view a retail brand more negatively if they failed to keep improving an app that the customer had downloaded.

This is vital for retailers wanting to gain and retain market share in a market where digital sales are expected to have hit a whopping £60 billion for 2016 once figures are compiled. The Centre for Retail Research has found that in-store and online shopping are now in joint first position when it comes to UK shopper preferences.

In the report, customers also said that they valued the ability to use a retail app to shop conveniently and rapidly on their smartphones and wanted to have this delivered to the same degree as with their desktop. 40% of respondents said that they had downloaded over ten shopping apps onto their phones, but less than 20% preferred to shop via an app, offering an opportunity for retailers to exploit a current gap.

This opportunity is particularly vital for retailers who target young shoppers. Over 25% of millennials are keen to shop via retail apps and are the group most likely to make an online purchase rather than an in-store one. This is because they value convenience and speed and view apps as being able to deliver both – particularly in terms of avoiding queues.

The implications for retailers are compelling. While consumers want retail apps, the current offerings aren’t yet providing the full service that they want and are falling against expectations. In their report conclusion, Apadmi found that customers wanted their loyalty to be rewarded and over 50% wanted more compelling incentives delivered via apps, along with usage rewards.

Furthermore, 30% of consumers want to experience better customer service, and most want to see apps make it easier to pay online. Contactless payment, voice recognition and biometric payment were all suggested as possibilities.

Smartphones by clasesdeperiodismo licensed under Creative commons 5