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Study Finds Mobile App Use in Store Essential for Brands

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Brands may want to re-think offering a mobile shopping app that doesn’t offer equally seamless access to customer service. That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by Contact Solutions called, “Mobile Spend in 2015.”

The study found that consumers want convenience, but feel mobile apps have failed them where they need the most assistance. Since in-app service has a strong influence on how consumers view the brand, Contact Solutions advises retailers to put this year’s money into a seamless app experience with integrated customer service.

Out of the shoppers surveyed, 81 percent needed assistance in a mobile app, but only 12 percent used their mobile phone to get it. This is most likely related to the 89 percent of shoppers who were unsatisfied and underwhelmed with their ability to get help via mobile.

“Our latest research found that the next generation of mobile apps will need convenient in-app customer care not only to stave off cart abandonment, but to build brand loyalty as well,” said John Hibel, director of marketing at Contact Solutions. “Even though retailers have started investing in mobile apps, shoppers are often left wanting more. When they are forced to switch channels to get the assistance they need, this fractures the brand experience and makes consumers far more likely to abandon shopping carts — and what’s more, they’ll often abandon the brand entirely. Losing shoppers due to a poor mobile experience is a real risk for retailers in 2015.”

The shopper study’s results found that customer care is key to growing adoption and making mobile apps sticky. When shoppers need help, they anticipate receiving it immediately and effortlessly. If customers are forced to leave the app and stop what they are doing to get help, 1 in 4 shoppers are likely to forgo all purchases.

More results suggested that showrooming is rampant but preventable; 27 percent of shoppers prefer to do mobile shopping when they are in the physical store, while 26 percent browse mobile while in a competitor’s store.

App recommendation can help boost the bottom line, with 23 percent of consumers saying in-app recommendations would lead them to add more items to their cart and 33 percent saying they would spend more time in the app.

While in-store use is essential, research found that mobile use is more sedentary than expected, with 85 percent of the mobile app experience happening in the comfort of one’s own home.

Concluding the study, Contact Solutions revealed that while deals and discounts still rule, they don’t have to dominate. 54 percent of shoppers said coupons and discounts would increase their desire to be a continued customer, but easier price comparisons (34 percent), the ability to get help (25 percent), and more ways to pay (29 percent) also boost the probability of purchasing in the future.

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