Retail Apps Set For Growth

More customers will be tuning into the world of retail-based phone apps in 2011, as smartphones and tablet devices such as the iPad enable retailers to increase their engagement with customers, according to internet marketing firm Gillissa.

Statistics released earlier this year by Neilsen revealed that from a sample of 4,000 consumers, 29 per cent of apps downloaded were related to retail/shopping. More recently, a sample of 1,000 UK consumers conducted by OpenCloud revealed that only 39 per cent of those who can download apps regularly do so, suggesting that many more consumers have yet to explore the world the apps.

As the demand for apps continues to grow, Gillissa founder Richard Wood believes that retailers will continue to turn their attention toward phone-based communications as way of engaging with customers and building brand loyalty in 2011.

“Phone apps have now allowed major retailers to offer loyalty or discount applications, as well as increasing the ease of compiling online shopping lists by scanning products from the comfort of your own home,” he says. “Similarly, the stress of shopping is being removed by innovations such as Blue Dot technology, which allows customers to check the availability of individual products in nearby locations through a Google shopping search whilst on the move. This is utilised through the GPS signal on the iPhone, palm pixi or android enabled mobile phone, and will tell you the nearest shop to have the product in stock.”

Wood adds that after its successful deployment by retailers including Best Buy in the US, the launch of the Blue Dot in the UK is a sign that more developments are likely in the next 12 months which could revolutionise the way retailers in the UK communicate and engage with their customers.