Think your retail app as a brick-and-mortar storefront. If the door is jammed, if the customer representative is asleep and the inventory is heaped in messy, random piles throughout the store, the customer will probably leave. You would leave in the same situation.
The same principles apply to a retail app. In this article, let’s attempt to sidestep these common errors to deliver a more effective customer experience. Here are the elements of a successful retail app.
Predicting Your Customers’ Needs
It’s no longer enough to respond to a customer’s needs – you have to anticipate them to be successful. Retail experts call this the proactive/reactive divide. A reactive approach involves meeting unanticipated challenges or requests as they arise. And a proactive approach involves analyzing customer patterns to devise an anticipatory strategy.
In a retail app, you can accomplish proactivity through predictive data. Working alongside a custom app developer like The App Labb – who have experience leveraging browsing patterns and purchase histories – build machine learning and AI components into your app that keep you one step ahead of the customer. This way, you can recommend relevant products, highlight pertinent promotions and create inventory systems based on insights rather than intuition.
Removing Friction for a Seamless Customer Journey
“Shopping cart abandonment” has long been a source of frustration for e-commerce businesses, especially those selling from an unreliable app. If a retail app experience is buggy, laggy or bogged down by form fields, a consumer might naturally jump ship. Likewise, if an app doesn’t accurately predict a customer’s needs (see above) or accommodate their preferred payment method, they’ll shop elsewhere.
It’s a wide marketplace; to remain competitive, you have to be as frictionless as possible. Again, work with a trustworthy, collaborative app development company to ensure that your retail app is as seamless as possible. The customer journey – from piqued interest to paid purchase – should be as simple as possible.
Elevated Customer Service to Foster Loyalty
You’ve predicted a customer’s needs and facilitated a fast, convenient transaction. But it isn’t time to rest on your laurels yet. A customer might have queries to pitch, frustrations to vent, technical questions about the product, etc. How you manage these interactions will have a significant impact on customer loyalty.
Traditionally, M-commerce businesses found it challenging to manage the volume of consumer interactions while keeping staffing costs in check. But a successful retail app sidesteps the problem by employing AI-enabled chatbots. Automated customer service bots work around the clock, leveraging deep knowledge of your products/services. The best examples should sound natural – as though your customers are speaking with a knowledgeable human representative.
The “Wow” Factor
Loyalty is great. But brand advocacy is even better. And you can achieve the latter by delivering an unmistakeably engaging experience.
Obviously, this is a tall order. If the “wow” factor was easy, every no-code/low-code service would have already hopped the bandwagon. But as it stands, the only way to set yourself apart with stunning functionalities is to create a custom app with app development partners specializing in emerging technologies.
Emerging technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality are great examples. These immersive technologies service the customer in an engaging, buzzy way, allowing prospective buyers to “try on” clothes, “check under the hood” of an automobile or visualize how a couch might look in their apartment. The customer sees real value in these functionalities and they walk away with an exciting experience they can relay to friends and family.
Let’s revisit the brick-and-mortar analogy from above. By employing predictive data, intuitive UI, AI-powered chatbots and engaging technologies, your storefront looks modern and accommodating. The kind of store customers are happy to return to.