27 November 2013
Using your smartphone to find the best deals or even to do the weekly shop has become a way of life. The right apps make tasks much simpler, and the appeal of shopping while on the go is huge for people with busy lives. An awkward or downright difficult-to-use app, though, is off-putting. Businesses are potentially losing customers who would rather save time with a user-friendly app than save money if the best deal is just too difficult to access. So what makes an app that people enjoy using and come back to time and time again? Here we look at some of the best, discussing just what it is that people like about them.
Ease of use.
Using apps for your shopping only makes sense to do if it's as easy as using the website or shop. Apps such as Amazon Mobile that sync with your Amazon account are a breeze to use because they are very much like using the website itself, which is already familiar to customers. Features such as being able to access and update your wish lists encourage customers to think of the app as an integrated part of the shopping experience rather than just a small part that they happen to be able to use with their smartphones.
Browsing for inspiration.
Other apps can't completely replace the shop or website but do provide the particular aspects a customer might be interested in. Etsy, for instance, home to beautiful home-made gifts, personalised phone cases and some very random but wonderful things, has several apps. There's the official Etsy app, which contains many features of the website, including tools for both buyers and sellers. Because it contains so much, and is mostly of use to customers in the United States despite a worldwide audience, many choose to use other apps such as Browsing for Etsy. This app is purely for customers, and contains a great search function, cutting down on the confusion of searching through the many categories to find exactly what you need.
Apps for shops with a high-street presence often use GPS to find your nearest store. It's a particularly handy feature on grocery apps such as Tesco: being able to easily locate lunch while you're in a different location for work or holiday is invaluable. Like the Amazon app, Tesco syncs with your account, letting you use your clubcard, plus you can access any vouchers you have. Tesco offers more than a store can via features such as recipes.
Specialist product apps.
There are several apps that are for purchasing one particular kind of product, fulfilling a particular need. Whether it's to help you to make your own phone case or t-shirt, or to enable you to access music or ebooks, this kind of app needs not only to be easy to use but also add a little extra to the experience than using the website alone offers. The Audible app is a good example of this, with its badges earned by exploring the app and all its features. The only downside of this app is that you cannot actually purchase audiobooks through the app! You buy them through the online store (which you can do on your smartphone) and they become available via the app. The most successful apps fill a need or gap in the market, or are more satisfying to use than their competitors. They are, without exception, user friendly, and the best take no more than a few minutes to adjust to as opposed to using the website.
What mobile apps do you use for shopping?
Kimberley Rogers on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 · Leave a Comment