The Top Five Mobile Commerce Apps
by Katie Crowley
It’s no secret that our world is becoming increasingly connected through technology — that with the swipe of a finger you can find love, order a Taco, and buy limited edition Ray Bans. But, not all apps are created equal. To help you master the world of online ordering we’ve compiled the definitive list of the top five mobile commerce apps. How does your favorite stack up?
So here they are, the top five mobile commerce apps ranked in order:
What they do right:
As of January 2017 Forbes reported that the coffee super chain increased their daily active app users to 13 million — effectively showing a 16% increase year after year. In fact the app is so popular that in 2016 mobile ordering and payments represented 7% of Starbuck’s total transactions in the United States.
Starbucks was early on the scene of mobile ordering, and they prioritize a clean design and friendly user experience. On top of that, they also offer a rewards system that incentivizes users to come back and buy more. Their app was designed for efficiency, and it delivers time saving solutions while staying on-brand.
-Simplifies complex orders (can order a grande, non-fat, coconut milk, light ice mocha effortlessly).
-Good offline notifications
-Mishaps when connecting multiple gift cards to the app
-Too many notifications
-Location-aware can be finicky
Panera recently reported to Forbes that their app could exceed $1 billion in annual sales by 2017, with over 20% of orders produced and paid for digitally by the end of 2016. Aside from a remarkably clean design, this location-based app allows for effortless customization, ordering without logging in, and syncs easily to their member rewards program.
The only drawbacks seem to be an uncommonly small font, a complete freeze on the app the minute you go offline, and some issues integrating the app with their brick-and-mortar stores.
-Attached to customer care center
-Detailed nutrition for every item
-Allows you to skip the line
-Very tiny font
-Finicky synchronization with newer iPhone models
-The app freezes the instant you go offline.
What they do right:
Domino’s Pizza now identifies itself as a technology company due in large to the remarkable success of their app, and the especially shrewd inclusion of their voice ordering assistant “Dom”. In 2014, Domino’s easily hit its goal of having 50% of all orders via digital platforms, and their numbers have steadily increased in the following years. Customer’s only complaints seem to be regarding their error system, which unexpectedly pushes error notifications when food is unavailable, or promotions are expired.
-Integrated with apple watch
-Can order as a guest
-Too many notifications (when the pizza is in the oven, when it’s out, when it’s driving)
-Bad error system, will offer an error code without explanation
-Very text heavy
Walgreens is using their mobile app to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with frequent visits to the pharmacy. This app is a one-stop shop for medical and prescription management. Walgreens allows you to track your medications, photograph individual pills for visual representation of what should be taken and when, notifies you when it is time to take a pill or refill an order, and even connects you with an on-call doctor. It easily snagged a spot in our list of the top five mobile commerce apps.
The drawbacks are mostly the lack of communication between the app and the actual Walgreens staff. A common customer complaint is an inability to problem solve when notified of an error with medications. An app is only as good as the back-end support, to have a fully-functional mobile system your online ordering options should be fully integrated with the rest of the company.
-Allows easy scanning of barcodes to refill prescriptions
-Set pill reminders, and add medications directly from med list
-Chat with a doctor for free via the app
What they do wrong:
-It’s easy to send your prescription to the wrong Walgreens, goes back to a default store
-Staff hasn’t been taught to use the app
-Notifies you of a problem with a prescription but doesn’t offer solutions
Doordash provides your favorite foods with the click of a button. While this app does a lot of great things, its strongest selling point is probably its simplicity. There are really only four screens, five including check out, making it very easy to maneuver from sign up to payment. It’s heavily location-based, meaning the first item you plug in is your address and from there you can interact with the remainder of the app.
It offers very transparent information from the get-go, including estimated arrival times, delivery charges, and average customer ratings. You can login with Facebook for even faster ordering, and it allows you to put in a default contingency plan if what you ordered is out of stock.
Doordash’s only fault seems to be in the actual execution. Many customers complain of inconsistency in terms of drivers, delivery time, and even receiving placed orders.
-Delivery prices are marked clearly next to each restaurant
-Shows restaurant ratings
-Shows estimated time of arrival
-Let’s you get to the order page for restaurants that are closed, though it does allow pre-ordering
-No notifications for when you go offline
-Colloquial communication, borderline unprofessional
The Future of Mobile Commerce:
According to a recent article by Business Insider, in 2014 mobile commerce made up 11.6% of the $303 billion U.S. e-commerce total, and is expected to rise as more retailers adopt m-commerce platforms. In fact, a study by LexisNexis polled 1,000 U.S. merchants and found that 16% already had an m-commerce channel, while 32% were thinking of adding one.
The value of m-commerce, though, lies in the execution. Like the five brands mentioned above, great features can be outweighed by poor design, or a disconnect between technology and staff. In addition to good design, m-commerce should provide a better customer experience, but many companies still struggle with seamless integration between their app, website, and physical store. Adding a platform can also be prohibitively expensive for smaller chains, and can prevent them from staying competitive in their fields.
In terms of the future of mobile commerce companies like Chop, provide an affordable branded solution to small and mid-sized chains. With the option to add features like voice ordering, Progressive web app (an app-like website that allows you to order and pay ahead), as well as a custom app, Chop eliminates back-end costs while providing a reliable solution that can rival any of the larger chains.
Chop provides a future-proof solution that can grow with your company and any advancements in technology. It’s a simple solution to m-commerce.