The Iconic mobile shopping app

The Iconic’s mobile shopping app.

Mobile apps can be extremely lucrative for retailers, with a new report finding customer conversions are five times higher on apps than mobile sites.

According to the Criteo Reach, Clicks and Conversions report, mobile shopping is becoming increasingly important as, by 2020, smartphone ownership will overtake that of the personal computer.

Criteo head of ANZ Pressy Sankaran told RetailBiz smartphones will be a “massive battleground” for retailers in the future, and said apps will play a significant role.

He said retailers who are already finding success with mobile shopping apps are investing in advertising to get customers to download and then engage with their brand.

“There’s a cycle of how they’re reaching out to consumers, which allows them to acquire new customers and get them to download,” he said. “That engagement drives continuous usage.”

Sankaran pointed to fashion retailer The Iconic’s app, which has been downloaded more than one million times, as an example of an app that offers an amazing experience.

“Look at some of the smaller players that have created apps and you see a lot of stickiness,” he said. “The Iconic has interesting, fashion-related content and drives customer conversion off the back of that.

“Beyond that, they are constantly looking to reengage you when you’re surfing the web across desktop and mobile to get you back to reengage with their content or drive you to make a purchase.

“They do a great job of almost seamlessly letting you experience the brand.”

Not all retailers are as successful as The Iconic. The Criteo report found the biggest challenge for retailers wanting to build an app was having a too small customer base. It also found a large proportion of app users become inactive and difficult to reengage.

Offering compelling discounts was seen as the most effective strategy to get customers to download a retailer’s app, while social media marketing was the most widely used tool to reactivate app users, followed by email marketing and paid display advertising.


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