Less than half of UK retailers have a mobile app available to their customers, despite an increasing number online purchases being placed via mobiles, according to new research.
In a recent study, ecommerce consultancy Ampersand found that just 79 retailers offer an app. Of these, 24 had a link to the app on their website, with even fewer actively promoting it through pop-ups or banners on the page.
Just under half (49.6%) of online retail sales were completed through mobile devices during Q1 2016, according to the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmark.
But the Ambersand report showed that many retail apps are not necessarily shopping-oriented.
“The various sports fashion retailers, such as Nike and Reebok have apps dedicated to fitness training and Ann Summers has a dating app called Rabbit,” Ampersand said in its report.
“All of these clearly reflect the retail brand they are associated with and offer loyal customers something more than just another place to shop.”
The consultancy stressed that retailers need to understand how their customers would use their app and what they wanted to achieve by having one.
“If the reason to download the app is because it offers a much better shopping experience than the mobile site, something is seriously wrong with their mobile ecommerce strategy,” it said.
Retailers would be better served by ensuring they have a faster site with user friendly features, such as geolocation and an easy checkout process than investing in an app that may not provide return, the company added.