Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
  HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT NEWS. UPDATED 3 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Customer Engagement / Do's and Dont's of Shopping Apps
Shopping Apps: How To Use Them and What To Avoid
Shopping Apps: How To Use Them and What To Avoid
By Lauren Schwahn Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
FEBRUARY
12
2018
Retailers, such as Target and Amazon, are embracing mobile applications to help consumers save money and time with features like digital wallets and augmented reality. When used strategically, apps can streamline in-store trips and online purchases, but shoppers could also find that convenience comes with a risk: impulsive decisions and overspending.

"Now shopping can be anytime, anywhere, multiple times a day, which is great for customers who value convenience," said Casey Taylor, a partner in the Atlanta office of Bain and Company, a management consulting firm. "But for customers on a budget, what I would share as the primary caution is that it makes it very easy -- almost too easy."

Here's how to get the most out of retail apps, while avoiding the downsides.

Don't Enable Notifications

Push notifications -- alerts that pop up on your phone -- and emails tend to "catch people at vulnerable moments," enticing them to spend money on things they otherwise wouldn't, said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, a market research company.

Data show that 9.6 times more users make a purchase when an app sends a promotional push notification compared with those who didn't receive one, according to Leanplum, a mobile marketing platform. Notifications also increase the amount an average shopper spends 16 percent.

A quick fix: Turn off notifications in the app or your device's settings and opt out of retailers' emails if they're too tempting to resist overspending.

Do Make a Shopping List

Take inventory and make a list of what you need. Shopping lists can deter impulse purchases by keeping specific merchandise top-of-mind. Most retailer apps make it easy to view and edit lists on your device.

For example, the app for Kohl's enables shoppers to set a budget , and then automatically deducts the price of each item on the list. Other merchants, like The Home Depot, include maps or aisle numbers to help customers track down products on their lists at local stores.

Don't Keep Payment Information on File

Although storing shipping and billing information speeds up the checkout process, it can also smooth the way for frivolous purchases. Researchers have found that compared with cash, behind-the-scenes payment methods make shoppers feel detached from their money -- and more likely to spend.

"Now with technologies where you can just use your fingerprint, or you just take a photo of your credit card, it makes payment incredibly simple," Taylor said.

Instead, enter payment information each time, rather than saving credit card numbers or linking to a PayPal account. The extra step makes the exchange of money feel more real.

At the very least, "take a breath before tapping 'checkout' to make sure that your purchase is as much about you really needing that item versus the fact that the shopping experience has become more entertaining and has become very easy," Taylor said.

Do Use Your Camera

Use the camera feature within apps to read product details and customer reviews.

"It allows you to have a greater usage of knowledge of what those products you're purchasing can do," Cohen said.

Some apps surface product information when an item's bar code is scanned with the camera. Beauty retailer Sephora's app incorporates augmented reality, which allows shoppers to virtually try on makeup products and colors as they look into their device's camera.

As well, cameras can summon savings: Snap a picture of your receipt in Walmart's app, and its Savings Catcher tool will match a competitor's lower advertised price -- even after your purchase. Walmart refunds the difference on an electronic gift card. Target's app checks for manufacturer coupons and in-store deals on scanned items.

Don't Focus on One Retailer

Through exclusive offers and built-in loyalty programs, "individual retailers' shopping apps intend to lock-in shoppers," Jie Zhang, professor of marketing at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, said in an email. For example, the wallet feature on the J.C. Penney app lets shoppers see and redeem rewards, coupons and gift cards in one place.

But using only one retailer's app could mean missing out on opportunities to save money.

"Yeah, there might be a 20 percent-off sale, but it could be really easy to go get 35 percent off somewhere else for the same exact product," Cohen said.

Use a price comparison tool, like ShopSavvy or Google Shopping, to locate the best price across multiple merchants.

© 2018 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Image credit: iStock/Artist's concept.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
MORE IN CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
Over the past decade, hospitals have been busy upgrading their systems from paper to electronic health records. Unfortunately, spending so much on EHR may have left insufficient funds for security.
The British government officially blamed Russia for waging the so-called NotPetya cyberattack that infected computers across Ukraine before spreading to systems in the U.S. and beyond.
CRM DAILY
NEWSFACTOR NETWORK SITES
NEWSFACTOR SERVICES
© Copyright 2018 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.