Image: Sutherland Labs
Retail Reflections recently attended an evening hosted by Sutherland Labs to hear some of the results of something called the 'Global Retail App Benchmark'
It is the latest in a series of benchmarks created by the UX Alliance that are designed to assess user experience of digital products globally.
Drawing on the expertise of the 500+ UX practitioners that make up the UX Alliance around the world; the report ranks 36 apps in 18 countries for both app UX and the wider customer experience that supports online purchase.
"Better performing apps get the basics right. They support iterative browsing, effective content discovery and engaging customers via good graphics and reviews"
Apps have come an awful long way since their embryonic state in the early days of the smartphone just 10 years ago.
And to think, we were willing to pay for them then?!
An evening with Sutherland Labs revealed some fascinating insights following their global research into the way apps and therefore mobile are changing consumer habits.
36 apps, 18 countries, 6 continents: The UXalliance retail benchmark shows how mobile is changing retail customer experiences, and reveals the global trends shaping the future of retail.
The evening focused on answering these questions:
As bricks and mortar retail and digital ecosystems begin to blend, it is more important than ever that all the digital channels are joined up with not just themselves but with any physical presence a brand has.
Without this, the engagement with the customer becomes disjointed and in this day and age when, as consumers we are ever more demanding, ever more expectant of brands, any hint of disconnected thinking is a like a dead end sign and we turn around.
"When the the App Store launched in 2008, the mobile phone went from a useful tool for communication to an indispensable Swiss army knife for modern living. 10 years later, mobile is not just the dominant content platform of the modern age, but has become the lens through which modern consumers live every aspect of their lives - and in the case of augmented reality, quite literally"
Trends and consumer insight expert Kate Ancketill
Mobile matters and these days it's a question of mobile first, all else falls into line behind it.
If you are not optimised for mobile you are not only missing out but genuinely putting your business at risk; it's that simple.
According to Sutherland Labs: "Search predominates. Retailers are providing customers with more tools to search for items"
And if we can't find what we're looking for within a few clicks, we move on.
The game has changed forever; as Kate put it: "Apps moved from novelty to omnipresent and even indispensable in a relatively short space of time"
Today, we'd never leave home without them.
Andrew Busby is a former retailer, founder of Retail Reflections, Forbes contributior and an IBM Futurist