3 Reasons Why An App Is Not Enough For Retail Success
July 16, 2015

John Rakowski
AppDynamics

Share this

Mobile apps and websites must be key to success?

Yes and no. The Centre For Retail Research in their Online Retailing In Europe, US And Canada 2015-2016 report on behalf of RetailMeNot, Inc found that eCommerce sales jumped one fifth to €156 billion last year and US eCommerce growth is anticipated to grow 14% this year. On top of this, Criteo, in their State Of Mobile Commerce Q1 2015 report found that mCommerce (fueled by mobile apps) is set to skyrocket in 2015 by almost 90% in Europe and over 60% in the US.

An app is critical to help you "play" in today’s digital retail market, but having an app alone will not guarantee success. So here are three reasons highlighted in the AppDynamics report "An App Is Not Enough" which are key for mobile app success:

1. Performance is critical for the success of a mobile app and website

This is true for all industries today, as every business becomes software-defined. A mobile app or website is only useful to a consumer if it performs when they need it. In fact, our survey found that poor performance not only loses customers, but impacts their perception of a retailer:


This means that 73% (Strongly Agree and Agree) of smartphone and tablet owners think that an app’s performance is key to how they think about a retailer – so performance is key to brand image. The consequence of a poorly performing app is not only that a customer will stop using the app, but they will also likely think twice before visiting the store – therefore losing their custom altogether. Therefore a Unified Monitoring solution is so important to this industry. Retailers must understand that their mobile apps and websites are linked to the brand. This means a responsive design strategy is vitally important.

2. An app is part of your omni-channel strategy

So performance is key to a great app, but what’s key to a great shopping experience is convenience. Today, digital and tech innovation have made us all time-poor. No matter how many task management books we read or applications we use, it doesn’t solve the problem. In fact I have seen a lot of research in regards to tech innovation, but the interesting aspect for me is how tech is changing us as humans. In terms of retail, an app has to make the shopping experience and the customer lifecycle easier, more enjoyable and must meet the needs of all relevant customer personas.

Just having an app and advertising it in-store or via email is not enough. For a consumer to download it, you need to make use of GPS sensors and past buying data in order to provide highly contextual and personal offers. An app, even though it may be used by millions of customers, has to make each customer feel special – like the app has been designed just for them. This was highlighted in the survey:


Both the top areas reflect the need for convenience but this is not just about convenience in the app itself. What’s vital here is the need to seamlessly merge the experience of different channels, or the virtual (app) and physical (store) channels in particular. For example, an app should be aware when a consumer is near a store and provide offers or product details to entice them in into the store. When in the store, apps should be used to allow fast purchase and to provide shopping assistants with detail of past purchases in order to tailor the experience for the customer.

3. Humanizing your app strategy is key to success

With the excitement around technology innovation at the moment it can be easy to lose sight of what is important – the customer. Fundamentally, whether your customer chooses to shop in store, online or via their wearable – they are engaging in a service – between them and you, the retailer. A service should be bi-directional and while technology will enhance the service provided, it’s only a method of delivery. Those retailers who will succeed in the digital age are those who grasp the fact that no matter the app or the technology, it’s still the personal relationship and trust formed with customers, which are key to brand loyalty and success.

There are many ways in which technology can be used to help humanize a service delivered via an app. To highlight this we asked:


75% (Agree and Strongly Agree) state that even if an app had an issue, a prompt personal apology would help in retaining their custom. This is known as a win-back tactic. In order to do this you need an analytics solution which can correlate the customers affected, with the key business transaction they were trying to execute and the potential value of their purchase.

John Rakowski is Director of Technology Strategy at AppDynamics.

Share this

The Latest

April 15, 2024

Organizations recognize the value of observability, but only 10% of them are actually practicing full observability of their applications and infrastructure. This is among the key findings from the recently completed Logz.io 2024 Observability Pulse Survey and Report ...

April 11, 2024

Businesses must adopt a comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) strategy, says Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT analyst research firm. This strategy is crucial to bridge the significant observability gap within today's complex IT infrastructures. The recommendation is particularly timely, given that 99% of enterprises are expanding their use of the Internet as a primary connectivity conduit while facing challenges due to the inefficiency of multiple, disjointed monitoring tools, according to Modern Enterprises Must Boost Observability with Internet Performance Monitoring, a new report from EMA and Catchpoint ...

April 10, 2024

Choosing the right approach is critical with cloud monitoring in hybrid environments. Otherwise, you may drive up costs with features you don’t need and risk diminishing the visibility of your on-premises IT ...

April 09, 2024

Consumers ranked the marketing strategies and missteps that most significantly impact brand trust, which 73% say is their biggest motivator to share first-party data, according to The Rules of the Marketing Game, a 2023 report from Pantheon ...

April 08, 2024

Digital experience monitoring is the practice of monitoring and analyzing the complete digital user journey of your applications, websites, APIs, and other digital services. It involves tracking the performance of your web application from the perspective of the end user, providing detailed insights on user experience, app performance, and customer satisfaction ...

April 04, 2024
Modern organizations race to launch their high-quality cloud applications as soon as possible. On the other hand, time to market also plays an essential role in determining the application's success. However, without effective testing, it's hard to be confident in the final product ...
April 03, 2024

Enterprises are experiencing a 13% year-over-year increase in customer-facing incidents, reflecting rising levels of complexity and risk as businesses drive operational transformation at scale, according to the 2024 State of Digital Operations study from PagerDuty ...

April 02, 2024

According to Grafana Labs' 2024 Observability Survey, it doesn't matter what industry a company is in or the number of employees they have, the truth is: the more mature their observability practices are, the more time and money they save. From AI to OpenTelemetry — here are four key takeaways from this year's report ...

April 01, 2024

In an age where technology evolves at a breakneck pace, it's crucial to explore how AI assistants can revolutionize our work processes and daily lives, ultimately enhancing overall performance ...

March 28, 2024

Nearly all (99%) globa IT decision makers, regardless of region or industry, recognize generative AI's (GenAI) transformative potential to influence change within their organizations, according to The Elastic Generative AI Report ...