As mobile shopping continues to grow, consumers are downloading retailer's mobile apps at double the rate of years past, and they are also completing significantly more in-app purchases, according to a study by consumer financial services provider Synchrony. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

As the mobile channel becomes critical for retailers, more consumers are leveraging the apps to buy, browse, read product reviews, access coupons and find a local store.

Synchrony commissioned Rothstein Tauber (RTi Research) to conduct the 'Synchrony 2018 Digital Study' of 1,255 survey respondents in order to gain new insights on consumer behaviour and trends in digital shopping.

According to the study, two-thirds (67%) of consumers have downloaded a retailer's app, and more than half of those did so specifically for a coupon or discount offer. At the same time, nearly half of all consumers who have downloaded a retailer's app use it for purchases.

As retailers develop mobile apps, Synchrony recommends the following three simple steps to help enhance the customer experience through the mobile and retail channels:

  1. Provide a consistent customer experience across all channels - mobile is the driver to bring together all the user experience opportunities.
  2. Engage with customers in a personalised way by leveraging data and analytics; provide unique offers and discounts via mobile to further extend brand loyalty.
  3. Offer simple and easy payment solutions that are seamless and secure; create an in-app frictionless mobile commerce experience.

The study also found that 77% of consumers rated credit card features on an app as being very or extremely valuable to them.

"In today's competitive landscape, a mobile application is not just another piece of technology for retailers, it is a vital tool to engage shoppers with their brand. Done well, retail apps engage both in and out of stores with personalised experiences and easy credit solutions," said Maya Mikhailov, Chief Marketing Officer for GPShopper (a developer of mobile apps that was acquired by Synchrony in 2017). "Consumers that use retail mobile applications are a retailer's top shoppers. As such, they want their apps to be tailored to their unique shopping experiences and preferences."