Go Beyond Your Website
Every retailer will agree that a strong mobile web presence is fundamental to its business but, this does not mean creating a mobile presence that merely serves as an extension of the retailer’s website. The next important step for most retailers is to offer a mobile application that does more than mimic their website. Merchants must offer a unique and appealing mobile application to their consumers. In this way, the mobile application becomes more than a gadget – it represents a utilitarian tool without which retailers will be left out of the growing mobile commerce market. Mobile applications should perform the traditional tasks of a website; namely, search products, look for promotions, search store locations and opening hours, and of course, make purchases but, they need to go a step further by leveraging the social networking strengths of mobile devices. A customer needs to be able to share with his/her family and friends whatever “hot” information they found on the retailer’s website. Mobile applications are conduits to viral marketing. Having a customized app is critical for a retailer that wants to leverage the power of viral marketing via social networks.
Smartphone and Tablet Optimized
Although having one spectacular app is better than having two medicore apps, the goal of all merchants should be to offer device specific applications that provide customers with the best possible user experience. For example, Walgreens offers apps for Blackberry, Android and iOS devices, including an optimized app for both the iPhone and iPad. The iPhone has a clean and easy to use interface that features 12 options for users to navigate through, while the iPad app offers many of the same features and options but displays them in a different way. With the iPad app, consumers can scroll through three different welcome screens that each feature a different Walgreens service, from refilling prescriptions at the pharmacy to printing out photos or viewing the latest local ad.
Mobile Apps can create a personalized shopping experience if done properly. This is the value that Ogloba brings, by creating a user-friendly and personalized application for the retailer that will allow it to tap into emerging technologies that are being used by the most coveted age group – the 25-35 year-old segment.
Ogloba will create a simple user interface for the retailer’s app that will represent an improvement upon the retailer’s website. A complicated app will not convert consumers from in-store shoppers to Internet shoppers to mobile shoppers. Retailers have already understand that their website needs to be easy to use and simple. The same applies for apps.
A merchant app has to have a simple user interface, and provide easy navigation. There is no need for crowded screens with too many functionalities. Some good examples of such mobile apps include those of Walmart and Walgreens. In addition, the mobile app has to include unique features not available on the retailer’s website. This could entail offering the “Deal of the Day” only on the mobile app, or more importantly, allowing customers to use social networks to share appealing content with friends and family.
The Future, Now
Mobile apps fill a void during the time when people are most idle. Today, consumers usually open an app to play games or chat with friends but in the future, they will open an app to perform essential tasks such as banking, paying bills, looking for a parking space, confirming a flight, booking an airplane seat, reserving a restaurant, sending flowers, and a host of other routine activities. These activities had to be done in person in the not so distant past. Then a migration to the Internet took place. The next obvious phase will be characterized by performing almost all essential tasks via a mobile device. The greatest efficiency will take place once people are able to perform these tasks during what is commonly referred to as “idling time” – waiting for a bus, a flight, a bank teller, an available ATM machine, or even while waiting for the endless commercials on TV to end.
In sum, Ogloba is an expert at creating apps for mobile commerce for any kind of retailer. We understand that retailers can choose between a native app or a web-based app (commonly using HTML 5), and we are ready to support either platform. However, we strongly recommend the deployment of a native app for merchants positioning themselves as active participants in the mobile commerce revolution.