3 Tips Every Retailer Needs to Build Engaging Customer Apps [Webinar]

By Kim Honjo

Since 2013, consumers spend more time interacting with online retailers on their mobile devices than they do on desktops and laptops. All signs point to increased smartphone, tablet and wearables usage, and a surge in mobile commerce. Yet many retailers fail to create apps that engage their customers, which wind up lost in the app drawer or deleted. Unfortunately there’s no magic formula to creating an app that your customer will love, but there are some tried and true principles to keep in mind if you want to keep your customers engaged.

Get Omnichannel

Success is being able to reach a customer wherever they are and on whatever device they’re using. Customers are also becoming less discriminating about the medium where they spend their money; smartphone, laptop, traditional retail stores — it’s all shopping. That means that smart retailers need to be prepared to engage and convert on all channels. Great, engaging mobile apps should connect a customer’s online and brick and mortar experiences together. Imagine ordering a shirt online, but when it arrives, it’s the too big. You open the store’s app and choose to exchange the item at a retail location nearby that stocks a size down. When you get to the store, the associates have your shirt off the shelves and ready for immediate pickup, no receipts or waiting required. Seamless service on all fronts!

Know Your Customer

In today’s competitive landscape, to successfully engage potential customers throughout their buying process, you need detailed customer data. Having the right data allows companies to tailor their campaigns to speak to the specific needs of customers. Apps are a direct, personal link to a shopper, and can connect and capture data in ways that might not be possible in a store or through a website. Many apps contain a company’s discounts and offers, redeemable in-store. Which offers did your customer use? Did they use a 20% off coupon to buy a new shower curtain? As a retailer, you now know that this shopper is interested in your bath products, so have your app notify the shopper when there is a sale on bath towels. Even better, notify the customer of the sale when they’re near your retail store using a smartphone’s geolocation capabilities. Leverage that data to learn you customer’s behavior and show them relevant information at the right time to keep them engaged.

Social Sharing

If your app doesn’t include a social sharing function, your company is missing two large opportunities for engagement. First, social sharing enables your customer to become part of your community. These customers are often loyal advocates who can provide valuable feedback on products and marketing. Second, social sharing allows a customer to share and expose your brand to their own network. The average person has 338 contacts on Facebook. Your company’s message could be reaching that many people, and possibly more with the push of a button!

In 2014, Macy’s won Mobile Retailer of the Year, the highest accolade in mobile ecommerce and retail. Please join us on May 20th at 10am PT for a live webinar to hear from Shawn Morrissey, VP of Engineering at Macy’s, and Margaret Francis, Senior Director of Product Management at Heroku, on how one of the world’s most iconic retailers has built their highly engaging mobile app using the Heroku service of the Salesforce1 Platform. Their solution has given them a highly effective way to engage customers digitally, sell cross-channel, and drive repeat purchases.

Click below to register for Best Practices for Customer Engagement Apps: How Macy’s does Mobile webinar:

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