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Author's profile photo Brent Cohler

Consumers Heart Retail Apps | How can brands turn this into greater loyalty and revenue

Hot off the press, and leading into Valentine’s Day, here’s some terrific insight from Flurry – consumers heart retail apps. If you aren’t familiar with Flurry, its analytics product is embedded in 230,000 apps – this enables it to gather data from 1.9 billion app sessions a day (Source: Flurry website). More exciting, however, is that their team does a terrific job of drawing meaningful insights from this data and shares much of it publicly at Their latest revelation focused on shopping apps, and if you read my previous post on showrooming, you’ll know that this is big business.  

Flurry graph.png

The graph above shows just how popular all these shopping apps have become over the past year – their growth in time spent per category more than doubled that of all the 230,000 apps Flurry tracks. I find it particularly interesting; however, that Retailer Apps (such as those from Target, Macy’s, etc.) drastically led the charge with a 525% growth rate. Although seems like good news for retailers, time spent using and app, doesn’t necessarily translate to increased revenue. As Tricia Duryee of All Things D astutely pointed out, “In general, 2012 was the first year that many online or physical retailers took mobile shopping seriously, so it was likely that the distribution of time spent would change with a huge surge in consumer interest and better options.” Furthermore, one can’t ignore the impact of companies like eBay (falls under Flurry’s Online Marketplace category) which reported $13 billion in 2012 mobile revenue and Amazon which have brought the showrooming discussion mainstream. With such success from these online-only players, Flurry appropriately summed up the report with the following analysis, “To keep dollars flowing through their cash registers, retailers need to re-examine the consumer relationship from the ground up and through the lens of mobile-first. In the App & Mortar economy, the battle for deeper consumer relationships is beginning. And there are already thousands of apps for that.”

I could not agree more. Over 90% of sales still occur in the store, but research shows that mobile devices play a part in anywhere from 60-80% of all transactions. SAP has taken a holistic approach to help leading retailers transform their business, developing powerful mobile solutions that both empower employees and engage consumers. Recently, three of our experts discussed the latest industry trends and shared SAP’s approach to consumer mobility in the retail space. If you didn’t get a chance to join the live session, please click here to view the on demand recording. From SAP Precision Retailing to SAP Customer Loyalty, they covered solutions that will help innovative retailers convert that time spent on their apps into deeper customer loyalty and increased revenue. Judging from the flurry (no pun intended) of questions throughout the webcast this is certainly a hot topic. Here are a few with the respective answers.  

Customization | What degree of customization is available on SAPs consumer apps?

A lot. We understand that your organization has strict branding guidelines and that you like to work with leading design agencies. We also understand that you might prefer to leverage your existing loyalty system while taking advantage of our other app building blocks such as mobile payments, shopping lists, social network integration and more. Think of our consumer apps more as suggested app frameworks. We’ve done much of the heavy lifting so that you can get to market faster while still putting your signature on the app, whether that’s customizing the UI or extending the functionality. 

Platform Schlatform | Do I really need a platform to develop or customize mobile apps?

Yes, especially if you are looking to reach a wide population of consumers! Many have equate today’s mobile landscape to the Wild West- an exciting yet chaotic time with continuous innovation leading to new device form factors and updated operating systems.  Just as you wouldn’t close the front door of your store to 20-50% of those consumers trying to get in, you don’t want to limit those trying to connect with you via mobile. The right platform will allow you to cover the widest base of consumers, with the best possible user experience, in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, it will allow you to scale to millions of consumers, ensuring a highly secure experience for each.

SAP? | Why should I look to SAP for a consumer solution?

Beyond offering a leading mobile app development platform (according to Gartner), SAP brings a lot to the table. It includes the customization capabilities outlined above, the ability to seamlessly connect with SAP or non-SAP backend systems, and the speed of working with a proven mobile app framework. However, SAP’s innovations around precision marketing is where it gets really exciting – this is the power to develop a 360° of each individual customer so that you are able to deliver them the most relevant, real-time offers and recommendations at their point of decision. It requires an elegant orchestration of some pretty hefty topics – big data, analytics, mobile, and cloud – something which is not possible by any other organization.

Industries |This webcast focused on retail. What about other industries?

Consumer mobility is transforming every industry, and we look forward to discussing how it can help increase revenue, reduce customer support costs, and ultimately boost brand loyalty in yours. Although you might face unique nuances, the fundamentals for mobile will be very similar. Whether they are leveraging our security expertise from the baking industry or the transaction capabilities of the retail industry, these are valuable cross-industry insights our mobile experts are armed with as they approach every mobile project.

If you are interested in finding out more, please ask your account executive to arrange for an exploratory workshop. If you aren’t yet an SAP customer, please visit our Consumer Apps page.

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