3 Reasons Why a Mobile App is Critical for Retail Brands to Adopt in Their Technology Ecosystem.

Apps for eCommerce — a Market Primer

SandBox Commerce represents the easiest way for eCommerce brands and retailers to build, deploy and manage engaging application experiences that drive new traffic and conversions. We find it astounding that a $320 billion dollar market is being driven by 2% of retailers who’ve had the wherewithal, time, money and internal resources to hurdle the barriers of entry to the market. SandBox Commerce is on a mission to democratize access to these technologies for all brands and retailers. Imagine a world where all distributors of products and content can engage with their customers the way Amazon, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and Best Buy can. This is the world SandBox Commerce imagines and comes one step closer to building every single day.

We think this is an extremely important mission because of the overall success apps have seen in driving loyalty, sales, and marketing efforts for retailers of all sizes. If SandBox is able to grow the access to these technologies even a little past 2%, then there is a huge opportunity here to grow the mobile commerce ecosystem with our customers. Shoppers using mobile apps browsed 286% more products than mobile web shoppers, contributing to an add-to-basket rate 90% higher than mobile browsers. The overall conversion rate on an app is 120% higher than mobile browsers. This indicates that there is a clear need for retailers to push native app experiences to their customers.

3 Reasons to Adopt a Native App into your Retail Technology Ecosystem

SandBox Commerce has repeatedly seen the following 3 reasons be major driving forces in why the major retail brands have invested in native app experiences for their customers.

  1. Loyalty (Repeat Engagement) — Build brand loyalty because customers are increasingly looking for their favorite brands on their home screen. You’ve earned your customers business and you should keep them engaged via rewards and coupon programs. Also, use enhanced and more personalized messaging to fine tune your marketing message down to the individual.
  2. Increase Sales — Apps allow you to add a new sales channel and increase monthly revenue. 40% of eCommerce sales happen on mobile. This is because push notifications and geo-targeting allow you to target the customer in a contextual and personal matter at the right time of sale.
  3. Improve UX of how customers interact with your brand — Apps provide the user experience your customers have come to expect from technology. From one-touch payments to beacons to social sharing and selling, having an application allows your users to take the most advantage out of what their phones offer. Join our community and scale with us as we work week after week to deliver features that keep your brand on the forefront of mobile commerce technologies.

Biggest Barriers to Adoption for Retail Brands

The biggest things we’ve heard from retailers who haven’t adopted mobile app technologies yet, about why they’ve failed to do so is because it’s costly, time consuming, and resource intensive in terms of operations. That’s why SandBox Commerce has made it possible for a non-technical resource to easily build, deploy, and get ready to manage an app experience for both the iOS and Android ecosystems within a week of joining the platform. They can also do this for free. We’ve built our business model around making our customers successful on mobile, not just getting them into the channel. Therefore, SandBox Commerce has been able to eliminate the biggest barriers to entry to retail mCommerce by focusing on bringing simplicity to the current fragmented state of the mCommerce ecosystem. Here’s a quick 1 minute demo of how easy it is to build a mobile app on SandBox Commerce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlP7e9pVH48

Apps are the Key to Future Proofing Your Technology Ecosystem — aka We Don’t Live in a Post App World Yet

There’s been a lot of talk here, there, and other places regarding a post-app economy run by bots, conversational commerce, and virtual reality worlds. However, SandBox Commerce thinks that these arguments run counter-intuitive to what we’re seeing in the retail space. We are seeing retailers use apps as a hub of information and data through which they can provide individuals with a tailored, personalized look at how they interact with that brand. The general store experience of brick and mortar shopping was disrupted by the operating costs and efficiency of eCommerce; eCommerce is being disrupted by the personalization and customization that mobile offers individuals. It’s taken mass selling down to the individual level if retailers can harness the correct information. Therefore, we think it’s more likely that we’ll see the App as a company’s hub in the new economy, with emerging technologies as user experiences that pull from that central hub’s data to deliver the best contextual form of commerce for the situation.

Conversational commerce is great for short-order transactions, food delivery, etc but often times fall short if you’re not confident in what you’re shopping for. Browsing experiences, more robust interaction with shopping carts, and loyalty efforts fall short in a conversational UI. We think that bots will supplement and automate some of the mCommerce ecosystem (especially customer support) but will still rely on more fully-featured apps for more robust shopping experiences. VR has promised us virtual shopping malls for years now and that technology gets closer every day. Yet, even the VR companies are finding the best way to create content and headsets around the mobile phone. This focus on democratizing access to VR through the mobile device and cheap headsets such as Google Cardboard shows that VR will first be a mobile technology that relies on apps to power experiences.

Therefore, we think it’s more likely that our unbundled and increasingly mobile world will rely on the app bundle as the central point of interaction with the customer, while still providing new ways to mediate those interactions with the latest technology. Apps that are able to deliver those engaging experiences are the ones best poised to take the mCommerce market by storm. We hope you use SandBox Commerce as your sandbox for easily, cheaply, and efficiently modeling new customer engagement experiences through mobile application development.

Ryan C. Smith

Head of Product — SandBox Commerce