Apps Still Struggling: Only 30% Of Consumers Use Them To Make Purchases

While smartphones and other mobile devices continue to increase their influence on the retail purchase process, whether the consumer is at home or in the store, mobile apps are still struggling to gain their footing. In fact, only 30% of consumers are using retailer apps to actually purchase products at any point, according to research from RetailMeNot and Forrester Research.

Mobile retail apps in general just haven’t caught on, with 60% of consumers having two or fewer retail apps on their phones and another 21% having none. More than half of respondents (56%) use the retailer apps they have once a month or less.

Apps overall may not be as successful as they could be, but retailers would do well to understand the effect they may have on their coupon programs. As many as 65% of consumers use their smartphones to find coupons online, while 55% of consumers said they use a smartphone to find a coupon while shopping in-store.


Going even further, 55% actually use their smartphone to redeem a coupon while in-store. This trend is important to take note of in 2015, as almost half (49%) of digital coupons discovered on smartphones are ultimately used in-store to make a purchase, a 22% increase from 2014.

“Retailers’ mobile strategies need to encompass more than just their app and website,” said Michael Jones, Senior VP of Retailer and Brand Solutions at RetailMeNot. “They must also reach extended mobile audiences engaged in the shopping or browsing process.”

RetailMeNot commissioned Forrester to conduct an online survey of 511 U.S. consumers who have used their smartphone to shop from April to June 2015. As part of the survey, titled: The State Of Mobile Apps For Retailers, Forrester also conducted five in-depth interviews with mobile strategy decision-makers at leading retailers in the U.S.

Concluding the survey, the Forrester team revealed four key recommendations for retailers as they seek to build a successful mobile marketing strategy:

  • Adopt the customers’ mobile-shifted mindset so that mobile is woven throughout the organization;

  • Extend the company mobile strategy beyond the app and web site;

  • Choose partners that can drive new customer acquisition and incremental sales; and

  • Enable two-way data sharing with partners.

Click here to gain access to the report.

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