Times are a changin’ in the commerce world. Shopping via an app is increasingly more popular, and in many cases, the preferred way consumers choose to shop, with 63% of millennials turning to mobile to make purchases each day. Apps give shoppers everything they need at their fingertips no matter where they are. As a result, traditional brick and mortar retailers are shifting their focus towards providing consumers with a continuous user experience across every touchpoint used to access their brand.

While developing and launching an app should be a top priority for almost every retail brand, simply having one is not enough.  The negative consequences of delivering a bad app user experience could be worse than not having an app in the first place. Today’s consumer expects a seamless, personalized experience, which they are used to getting from market leading apps like Amazon and Groupon.

Retailers have experienced a digital transformation over the past decade which has created many opportunities to engage with customers in a more meaningful way. The rules of engagement in the omni-channel world are being re-written, and brands that are using data to guide their marketing strategies are the new market leaders by delivering more value to their customers.

Users frequently engage with brands via multiple touch points before they make a purchase. In January of 2017, HBR conducted a study of 46,000 shoppers which revealed that 73% of one major retailer’s customers used multiple channels as part of their shopping experience. This emphasises the importance of providing a continuous user experience across your apps, website, advertisements and real-world touch points like your in-store experience. Successful omni-channel retailers allow users to frequently hop between channels - and letting them pick up where they left off. This involves saving the products or services a customer has added to their cart, while also delivering consistent, complementary and uninterrupted messaging across all channels.

The brands who are leading in today’s market will continue to experience success by maintaining a 360 view of their customers. This involves harmonizing their digital systems such as app, web, and email with their in-store experience to create a seamless omni-channel experience.