Top 5 Mobile Apps Great For Ecommerce
The smartphone has effectively transitioned from emerging trend to dominant device, creating yet another technology-driven market for businesses to either harness creatively or succumb to miserably. Rather than resist the rapid evolution of internet exchange, the most successful companies will treat on-the-go, tech savvy consumers as “mobile apportunities.” Businesses large and small that want to not only stay afloat but thrive in the ecommerce world should take some pointers from the five mobile apps described below.
Our first example epitomizes an objective that has been under heavy discussion this year – the integration of brick and mortar businesses with ecommerce software. Redbox is the dominant movie rental kiosk company today, with stations at almost every 7-11 and major grocery outlet in America. Though Redbox kiosks have proven to be popular and useful, the option to browse through movie databases before purchasing can turn a quick shopping experience into 20 minutes of standing in line in a parking lot. And let’s be honest – no one wants to loiter outside a 7-11. But with the Redbox mobile app, users can search for a film beforehand and find a nearby kiosk where the film is available, cutting down significantly on the wait time at the kiosk. Less wait time translates to happier customers, and more of them. Most importantly, it means they can enjoy their 32 oz slurpees at home watching a movie, not next to a trashcan and barking dog.
Here’s a consumer dilemma – you’re in the market for a new computer because your current one is a neglected, sluggish piece of junk. How are you going to efficiently research what’s on the market without trying your patience? If you’ve got a smartphone, get your hands on the Best Buy mobile app. With features like QR product scanning, customer reviews and reward redemption, this app aims to engage and educate its users on the multitude of electronics sold through Best Buy. Because this app can be used in-store, consumers don’t have to be chained to a computer to research, select, and purchase. Good luck if you’re in the market for a new smartphone – you might still need that crummy laptop after all.
The high demand for smartphones has led to the manufacturing of a broad range of gadgets, meaning everyone from single moms to venture capitalists can afford some kind of data-capable device. College students represent a sizeable demographic of smartphone users, but their limited budgets and income make them a difficult target for most businesses. Another successful utilization of QR code technology, the Amazon Student Mobile App, lets students scan textbooks to compare prices. Then, when a strapped for cash student no longer needs that 6-pound organic chemistry textbook, the app allows the student to swap it for an Amazon gift card. Right now, Amazon is offering a discounted subscription rate for this app of $39 per year. That means more money to spend on college staples, like energy drinks and instant noodles.
4. Zong (Android only)
Smartphone users are walking contradictions – they willingly and happily punch hundreds of keys a day, but when prompted to enter a 16-digit credit card number, security code and billing address, they flip faster than, well, a flip phone. Luckily, Zong, a shopping cart platform for social media, has provided a quicker alternative. Users can buy credits for the latest mobile games simply by entering their phone number. It’s still more time consuming than just pressing a button, but far more people memorize their phone numbers than their credit card equivalents. With the standard Zong app, transactions are added to the user’s monthly phone bill. With Zong+, the user’s phone number is linked to their credit card and transactions appear on that bill instead. And with so many simple ways to make purchases, your virtual bakery is destined to flourish with fake customers and imaginary money!
5. Yelp (iPhone, Android, and Blackberry)
Yelp aims to help its users research and select local businesses based on customer reviews; with the company’s latest mobile app, online merchants running ads through the site are seeing perks as well. According to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, clickthrough rates for ads on Yelp are higher on mobile devices than on computers. If this trend proves to be true across other mobile platforms, then that’s great news for apps and ads alike. Indeed, what Yelp and the aforementioned companies have done successfully is make the relationship between online merchants and smartphone users as seamless and symbiotic as possible.
Renee Floyd writes on a variety of topics, including technology, health and ecommerce news, for interesting blogs across the web. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in sociology.
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