Why Industry Giants are Turning to Mobile
It’s undeniable that mobile is taking over almost every industry, but why?
To keep it simple – convenience. With the average user spending nearly 3 hours a day on mobile and over $101 billion being spent through app stores annually (according to Lexi Sydow from AppAnnie), it is clear that mobile is the primary engine for growth. It is nearly impossible for brick and mortar stores to compete with the overall ease of use and convenience that comes from having the stores/services in the palm of your hand. There is no more second guessing when it comes to buying items on a whim or forgetting to order something. You can simply pull your phone out on the train, bus, plane, or even at dinner and buy that pair of shoes you saw or book that hotel room you forgot about. With so many businesses adopting mobile, if you can’t provide mobile accessibility to your customers, someone else will.
Whether it be retail superstores like Walmart or food industry giants like Starbucks, the elite are not just taking note of mobile, they’re diving into it headfirst.
Retail and Rewards
As a company that is the world’s largest by revenue and private employment, Walmart obviously has a solid grip on its customers, but eCommerce giants like Amazon have caused a major dent in their market. Why drive to the store and deal with all the traffic and checkout lines when you can order from the comfort of your own home and receive some items within the same day? Well, that’s exactly the mindset that Walmart is now starting to adopt by expanding their app services and incorporating digital into in-store shopping.
By offering services such as online ordering, free shipping with no membership fee, and access to store features such as Walmart Pharmacy, Pay, and Photo Print, Walmart is able to retain its current tech savvy customers that would’ve typically shifted to another service provider. With features like Item Finder, they are also able to bring more people into the store by reducing the stress that comes from searching for items in a superstore, killing two birds with one stone.
Food and Funds
When you think of companies like uber, it’s easy to understand why its customer base would download their app – they have to download it to use it- but for companies such as Starbucks, convincing customers to download your app is a battle in itself. Why would users download an app for something that you have to come in-store to receive anyways? Loyalty and rewards programs! Starbucks Rewards members receive points for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for free food and drinks, as well as birthday rewards and free in-store refills, in addition to the ability to order ahead and pay by phone.
By utilizing the enticing nature of app specific reward programs, they have been able to convince their customers to not only download the app, but to store money within the app for future purchases as well. In Q2 2016, Starbucks said there was $1.2 billion sitting in customers’ mobile app accounts. This creates a huge opportunity for business to create another revenue stream by utilizing the mass amounts of store cash. For users of the app, the value of paying with their smartphones is clear and simple—you can save time and money at the register, all while racking up rewards and special offers.
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