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5 Critical Mobile App Features to Build Customer Loyalty

Learn why these 5 mobile app features are crucial to generating customer loyalty and building strong customer lifetime value. 

What do Starbucks, Sephora, and Nordstrom have in common? Besides a penchant for mocha-colored products, these retailers are known for their loyal customer base.

Customer loyalty is essential in any business, but particularly in retail. It’s far more cost-effective to retain existing customers. In fact, a study by HubSpot shows that the cost of acquiring a new customer can be up to five times more expensive than retaining an existing customer.

So, how do you go about building loyal customers and retaining your existing customer base? One critical component is your mobile application.


How to Build Loyal Retail Customers

Loyalty is built over time by providing easy-to-use, engaging, and personalized shopping experiences. The adoption of digital is fundamentally reshaping the shopping journey, which impacts how companies can earn loyalty. Retailers invest heavily in omnichannel shopping, which creates a cohesive experience across all shopping channels, including in-store, desktop, and mobile.

Today, companies are developing mobile apps to build customer loyalty. Through apps, customers can find products, read reviews, and make purchases easier and faster than ever before. According to Abhishek Srivastava, Vice President of Retail Solutions at Concord, mobile apps allow you to connect with your customers in ways that physical stores and websites can’t offer.

“Over the past several years, customers have changed their approach to shopping. Retailers must provide enhanced services while investing more in their relationships with customers. The relationship between retailers and customers is now a mix of digital and physical. Mobile apps have become a fundamental component of the digital offer and have proven to increase sales and customer loyalty,” Srivastava shares.

In fact, a study published by Marketing Science found that retail app users buy 33% more frequently, buy 34% more items, and spend 37% more than non-app user customers over 18 months after app launch.


Why Do Mobile Apps Boost Loyalty?

People have come to expect personalization with nearly every digital interaction, and mobile apps are built to give customers the ideal user experience. “Mobile apps can be continuously shaped to fit customer wants and needs. They not only deliver rich user experiences, but also provide your business with deep consumer data,” Srivastava says.

Mobile apps hold detailed and comprehensive data about each of its users. Information like location, purchases, and browsing activity, gives insight into customer preferences and habits. This can be leveraged to send targeted ads and content straight to their phones. Consumers are more likely to favor brands that provide personalized recommendations and offers. By making relevant content more accessible to users, you increase app engagement and customer retention.


Impact of Customer Loyalty

Mobile apps are convenient, customizable, and, with the right capabilities, provide a more robust customer experience than any other channel. The more value you offer, the more interest customers develop in your brand. “Interacting with customers on a regular basis and in a personalized manner builds emotional connection, which in turn leads to customer retention. A retained customer is an asset to any brand. They bring in more revenue and have more chances of becoming brand advocates,” Srivastava reveals.


Key Mobile App Features that Build Customer Loyalty

What are the mobile app capabilities that deliver a great user experience? Abhishek shares that businesses should consider the following features:

  1. Mobile rewards experience: Rewards are an effective way to increase existing customer interaction with your company. Customers can instantly view their loyalty status with mobile reward experiences, which provides gratification with every purchase. The gamification of earning points and achieving milestones encourages repeat business. Customer retention builds stronger relationships, which leads to higher revenue.
  1. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): AR and VR create unique customer experiences by blending digital and physical. Apps with AR or VR can place digital components on top of physical components, which allows users to consume the digital and physical information synchronously. For instance, customers can view how a piece of furniture or a painting will look in a room in their actual home. This experience reduces customer friction and helps remove any doubts around making a purchase.
  1. Personalized recommendations and discounts: Most people abandon apps almost instantly if the initial experience is poor, so it’s important that your app leaves a good impression on first-time users. Minimizing the work your customer needs to do prior to making a purchase helps maximize sales and revenue. Sending personalized recommendations, offers, and discounts makes it easier for customers to find appealing products or deals. Personalization drives users to visit your app more frequently, as well.
  1. Push notifications: Getting users to re-engage with mobile apps can be a challenge. Push notifications allow you to send real-time updates and reminders that encourage users to interact with your brand, even if they’re not aware of it. Segmented notifications help you communicate with users with a high degree of relevance. By separating your users into categories by interest, location, or even behaviors within your app, you can curate unique notifications for each specific group.
  1. Mobile payment: The use of mobile payments is growing rapidly. Mobile payment systems increase customer convenience by making checkout faster and more flexible. They also offer better security by using an encrypted code to protect customer data. Mobile payments can be easily integrated with loyalty experiences, which gives customers a greater opportunity to earn rewards and save money on their in-store purchases.


Bridging the Online & In-Store Experience

“By investing in mobile applications that incorporate rewards, personalization, and frictionless payment tools, retailers can provide a seamless bridge between a customer’s in-store and online experiences. This will significantly help build brand loyalty,” Srivastava declares.

Retailers of all sizes should consider a mobile app to effectively connect with consumers and improve the overall shopping experience. Sharing customized and relevant information will help you build loyalty, which in turn boosts sales.

If you’re interested in learning more about developing a mobile app that improves your customer retention, Concord’s retail experts can help find the right features and approach to suit your needs.

Connect with us at Shoptalk 2023


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