These days, it comes as no surprise when your mom – or grandma – shoots you a text message laden with pictures, emojis and gifs. Most of us have come to think of our smartphones as an inseparable part of ourselves that we would be lost without. We do everything on our phones: talk, text, read the news, play games and share what we’re doing with all of our friends. With all of this instant satisfaction at our fingertips, it’s no wonder we now expect to do everything on our phones – including shopping.


According to a new report from App Annie, U.S. consumers are now spending nearly 50 minutes in shopping apps per month, equating to 10 hours each year. With all this usage, it’s clear that mobile apps will play a big role in retail’s most important time of year: the holiday shopping season. To put the mobile app craze in perspective, 85 percent of consumers said they will “probably” or “definitely” use one during their holiday shopping this year, according to a recent YouAppi study.

But before retailers dive in head-first and allocate resources to mobile app technologies, there are a few important things they should keep top of mind:

1. A mobile app won’t be successful unless it works.

Sounds simple, right? But as most of us know from experience, there are several mobile apps on the market bogged down by basic functionality issues – causing us to delete them in frustration just minutes after downloading. Nothing kills app excitement quite like faulty technology. In fact, 45 percent of shoppers said making sure there aren’t bugs hindering a mobile app’s functionality is a necessity, according to YouAppi. To put it simply, retailers should consider how much time they are willing to spend figuring out technology issues before creating a shopping app of their own.

2. A retailer’s typical audience can make or break its success with mobile apps.

While Gen Z shoppers convert about twice as much on mobile than any other demographic, their strict app requirements can make completing purchases more difficult. A study from ContentSquare found that 60 percent of Gen Z will not use an app or website that is too slow to load, and 62 percent won’t use an app if it’s difficult to navigate. If a retailer’s primary audience is made up of younger shoppers, chances are they will need to spend even more time and money perfecting their mobile app’s technology.

3. An engaging and strong post-purchase experience remains essential.

Although a mobile app may boost sales, the post-purchase experience remains essential. If retailers cannot fulfill purchases made through all mediums with quick, free and friendly deliveries and returns, customers can quickly lose interest in the brand. In fact, free returns are essential if retailers want to secure repeat business.

Want to explore the world of mobile apps, but not sure how you’ll measure up to the requirements? We can help. To learn how Newgistics’ comprehensive solutions can offer retailers greater efficiency and cost savings while simplifying technology, visit www.newgistics.com.