Mobile apps trumping traditional e-commerce websites

Mike Duffy, recently spoke to the Business Reporter about mobile apps in the retail sector.

With rapid growth of mobile commerce, retailers need to make sure they are equipped with the right tools to attract new and keep existing customers.

Some latest figures show that over 60% of all retail traffic is coming from mobile devices, and in 3 years that figure is likely to rise to 80%.

However, not all retail apps produce similar results. A recent study shows, that purchases made through an app are 3 times more likely to be completed than those made through a website. Yet only 10% of the top 500 retailers have an app. The retailers who do have apps often spend hundreds of thousands on building their view on the features the customer will want. Yet apps don’t work for consumers unless they get everything.

The truth is, there are multiple benefits to an app when retailers get it right:

  1. Brand engagement
  2. Direct line to the customer
  3. More efficient loyalty
  4. Faster checkout
  5. Higher conversion on sales

Cartful says consumers are staying longer on apps and coming back more often. They have a superior UX, navigation, speed and purchase path so for retailers this can mean increased mobile transactions.

The customer path to purchase is evolving and apps remain to be the most efficient channel for selling online. The key is to streamline the path on mobile and remove friction. With some apps delivering 54% of mobile transactions and having an average basket size 30% higher than mobile web this is a worthy investment.

Another recent survey shows that 67% of shoppers say an incentive would help them consider downloading an app. Mobile loyalty is a great hook for app engagement. Retailers can save the cost of ordering tens of thousands loyalty cards by integrating a digital loyalty solution into their apps. This way the customer will always have their loyalty card with them.

Sending relevant push notifications at the right time can greatly increase consumer engagement rate. Personalisation is a big discussion in retail at the moment and it’s important that brands show they understand the customer. We’ve seen that by incentivising customers to provide insightful data about their favourite products they are willing to share data. Retailers can then use this data to personalise the messages they receive based on their preferences.

Mike Duffy, Co-Founder of Cartful says “Apps are the shop window of the future. The first entry point for millions of people who use their mobiles to undertake more in their shopping journey.”

He continues “Google for instance is looking to bring in instant apps in the next couple of years, where an app will load simply by visiting the website domain, without going through the app store or downloading. This in turn could make the mobile website completely redundant.”

Retailers need to use apps to get closer to their customers, deliver a better experience as they get the hard financial returns in terms of higher average order value, lower cost to serve and new sources of revenue.


Mike is a Co-founder of Cartful. He has a zest for evolving technologies and latest developments in mobile apps. He has worked previously in Accenture across a variety of clients in banking, technology and product industries in Ireland and the UK.