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News & Views from Alchemis

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Call us for a chat on +44 (0)20 7836 3678 or Email Jim Piper or David Newman

‘Appy Days for New Business

Blockbuster BUST! HMV in Administration!!! Jessops Closed!!

Would the fate of these companies have been sealed if they had been faster to adopt Mobile Apps? Over half of the UK population now own a smartphone so mCommerce is the only logical step forward for UK High Street retailers.

It is essential for High Street retailers to be active in the mobile space in order to remain in business – but are mobile optimised websites really enough? Mobile optimised websites embrace features such as bigger buttons, more obvious calls to action and a faster more efficient click to checkout process to make shopping via mobile easier. However the next step for competitive retailers is to develop an App to increase on-the-go and offline interaction with consumers.

As a result the App development industry is booming as companies are recognising the value of Apps from a commercial point of view over the many wasted hours launching cartoon birds at castles or simply slicing through juggling fruit.

The benefits for business and consumers are plentiful. Apps enable companies to build relationships with consumers like never before. Although the App has to be downloaded initially, the consumer can store information on their personal preferences, purchase history, location etc. This enables retailers to personalise their product offers and services. In effect the App knows what you want, when you want it and how you like it!

Benefit 1: Retailers gain useful insight into consumer buying habits and can utilise relevant push notifications that match the consumer analytics.

A captive audience? The App dazzles away on your home screen, a constant brand reminder which reinforces visibility, accessibility and loyalty. Best of all, it allows brands to communicate and interact with their consumer when they are on the move … or more likely when they are stuck on the Central Line with nothing better to do.

Benefit 2: The App is ever present on the home screen – a constant brand reminder

One High Street success story is retailer John Lewis. Their App was based on studies monitoring consumer usage of its existing mobilised website. The App allows shoppers to scan products in-store to find out further information, build a wish list of products and purchase out of stock items via their mobile devices for home delivery. The key driver behind the App development was the convenience that it offered to users whilst in store, and in return allowing John Lewis a detailed insight into shopping behaviour.

Benefit 3: Apps offer offline functionality therefore offering 24/7 shopping time.

Mobile phones continue to develop, moving away from simple call and text functions becoming essentially portable computers. Open source development has been key to the success of the App industry. It has enabled huge creativity within the capabilities and functions interacting with location based services, gyros, augmented reality and touch screen interfaces. As a result there are potentially limitless development opportunities for a company to create Apps to engage with consumers!

Clearly investing in App development is one way to stay competitive.

Looking at the news this morning NetFlix is enjoying roaring success, having boosted its membership by over 10 million in the last year alone. As a purely online download and streaming service you can’t help but think had Blockbuster invested in a movie streaming App would they have had to close their business last week?

We’re working with more and more Mobile agencies, helping them get in front of decision makers within retail, media content owners and financial services for example.

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