Daily Insights

An App for Loyalty

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Aug 08, 2019

With Google planning to expand app deep-linking from search ads, department stores have even greater incentive to ensure their apps’ usefulness for their most loyal customers.

Department stores like Matches Fashion and Saks Fifth Avenue, for example have increased their apps’ utilization for in-store experiences, giving hesitant customers a reason to return. Since 2018, Saks Fifth Avenue has implemented technology that allows users to scan desired products in-store and either learn more from product detail pages or add to their online favorites page according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. In a similar vein, the non-traditional department store Matches Fashion prioritizes the experience of 5 Carlos Place, its event and service-based outlet, and now allows customers to scan items and see similar assortments in store.

Empowering apps to have functionality geared toward bridging the in-store and digital experiences helps forge ongoing customer relationships. Once users are interested and registered for store-based events and services, mobile apps provide unique opportunities to expedite the sign-up process. With functionality geared toward live chat, location-based features and enduring cached user information, apps are uniquely positioned to expedite multiple facets of customer experience, not just check-out. But even amid improvements, customers and instore associates who leverage apps to improve in-store conversion may still face challenges—despite having on-hand information that could improve the push to store efforts. 41%of brick-and-mortar retailers with apps promote useful in-store services on the app and 34% offer the ability to save a favorite location. Far fewer, though, bridge the two by allowing for users to easily RSVP for events on the app.

Department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Matches Fashion, which both improved transparency around loyalty communication, must leverage existing account information like auto-filling to maximize connectivity to experiences and services on the app. Closing the loop on customer location is especially crucial as they continue investing in the platforms.