How beneficial is a mobile app for businesses and its customers?

Technology opens new opportunities to boost businesses through mobile applications. According to Magrath and McCormick (2013) data shows that users are currently interacting with brands without having to go to the browser. Users keep an eye on their devices at all times and mobile applications have become an easy way to have a closer relationship with users and provide them a large number of solutions. Only on Google Play, there are more than 2.1 million apps available, and it is estimated that users have installed between 30 and 40 on their devices. (Statista 2019).

As stated by (Eastman et al. 2014) 9 out of 10 millennials use and own a mobile device where they shop from. Which means companies, both physical and digital, can obtain great benefits with an application since it is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, especially for fashion retail brands as millennials are a major part of their actual target market.

Some of the benefits of creating an app are:
1. Brand strengthening
The company will stand out from the competitors by having a mobile application through which users can interact with the brand in a unique way that it cannot get through other channels due to the rapidity in which messages reach consumers. Also, it can boost into the recognition of the brand if it is well managed to make it more functional and useful so that it stays on the user’s device.

2. Create a direct sales marketing channel
By developing an app, not only the brand will strengthen but is a new sales channel can be open. Where users can make purchases of the products as they would normally do from a physical branch or an online store. All the product information, news feeds, promotions, and prices are right at the user’s fingertips and with the use of push notifications, brands can benefit from having a closer interaction with their audience.
Stimulating their engagement by sending real-time promotions, updates or any reminders that get the audience to engage with the brand even when they are not aware of it. A great opportunity brands have with push notifications is that by asking users location permission they could personalize the customer experience sending push messages applicable for each specific zone or region (Warren et. al 2014).

 

Push notifications can help business track user behaviour and collect user data trough click rates and interaction timings in order to identify which notifications are more likely to be opened to improve the connection with users.

Source: Urbanairship

 

As stayed by Leanplum, the open rate of personalized content has four times the generic open rate, which means the more personal and relevant to user interests the message is, the better the results earned.

3. Provide value to the client
Applications are a great opportunity to solve the different needs of the target audience, depending on the approach the brand wants to give and the objectives they want to achieve. For instance, creating a loyalty program, rewarding them via the mobile app drawing customers’ attention with last minute offers, coupons, in order to increase downloads and reinforce loyal customers. This can be beneficial for the brand as it enhances brand consistency and value.

4. Improve client participation
The application is a way to get customers involved with the business and it can make a difference in the way it communicates with the users. Having support messaging feature is a way for users to reach the brand for returns or any other question since nowadays people tend to communicate more via text than over the phone (Howe 2019). As an example, Deliveroo has a live chat where customers can have immediate responses.

In order to develop a mobile app, it is important to consider on defining the goal and the purpose the brand wants to achieve, also, to analyse and gather enough useful information about the sector and target. According to Ziembiński (2019) analysing similar apps characteristics, reading comments from users is essential in order to analyse a possible number of mobile visits, rebound percentages, what to improve and how the brand could be innovative.

With all the ideas and research, the brand can hire an agency specialised on app development that can help with the coding and technicalities to build the app. (Haselmayr 2019). As there is a strong competition in each sector, it is key to create and give a whole new valuable experience to the client in order to call their attention and help the brand reach its goals while competing with other brands.

A good example of this is Gucci, they use their mobile app to transform customer shopping by implementing new features of recognition from different magazines, where customers can take a picture of the item they want, and the app will load the specific item for them to get it. Also, combining the in-store experience with the online one by the use of QR codes that help customers interact through different products that are shown in-store screens, making the shopping experience easier, faster and more innovative. Similarly, using Bluetooth the customer can know all the information from each in-store item and can call assistance through the app (Milnes 2019).

 

  

source: Gucci video

To conclude is very beneficial for a business to invest in a mobile app as it gives the brand a closer customer knowledge that can help to reach out users by following different alternatives which can make sales and customer loyalty rise. However, the trick is knowing how to use the data the brand gets from customers behaviour in order to create a successful digital strategy and make new audience download the app and the ones who already have it actually use it and interact with it.

 

 

References

Choi, J. 2019. The Keys to Smart Behavioral Push Notifications. Available from: https://customer.io/blog/behavioral-push-notification-strategy/ [28 February 2019].

Deleon, J. 2019. Never Miss Another Drop With the Supreme iPhone App. Available from: https://www.complex.com/style/2013/08/supreme-iphone-app [28 February 2019].

Eastman, J., R. Iyer, S. Liao-Troth, D. Williams and M. Griffin. 2014. The Role of Involvement on Millennials’ Mobile Technology Behaviors: The Moderating Impact of Status Consumption, Innovation, and Opinion Leadership. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 22(4): 455-470 [Online].

Haselmayr, M. 2019. Here’s Why Your Business Needs Its Own Mobile App. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2014/11/17/heres-why-your-business-needs-its-own-mobile-app/#6350adf7327f [22 February 2019].

Howe, N. 2019. Why Millennials Are Texting More And Talking Less. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2015/07/15/why-millennials-are-texting-more-and-talking-less/#2d73aa4c5975 [28 February 2019].

I. Warren, A. Meads, S. Srirama, T. Weerasinghe and C. Paniagua. 2014 “Push Notification Mechanisms for Pervasive Smartphone Applications,” in IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 61-71 [Online].

Magrath, V. and H. McCormick. 2013. Marketing design elements of mobile fashion retail apps. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal 17(1): 115-134 [Online].

Milnes, H. 2019. Why Gucci is still investing in its mobile app – Digiday. Available from: https://digiday.com/marketing/gucci-still-investing-mobile-app/ [22 February 2019].

Statista. 2019. App stores: number of apps in leading app stores 2018 | Statista. Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/ [22 February 2019].

Ziembiński, J. 2019. Get your fashion brand an app. Seriously. – inFullMobile Blog. Available from: https://blog.infullmobile.com/get-your-fashion-brand-an-app-seriously-9ebf4de1af90 [22 February 2019].


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Email Critique

This is an email example that I took from my Inbox, it is from a club in London called Fabric. I received it on Wednesday 2nd of January and I honestly opened it today just to use it as an example for my blog. I honestly won’t open it unless I am cleaning my inbox or when I see some DJ names that I recognize, and I am interested in.

To begin with, in this email we cannot find any personalization, also there is not any third party involved since it is only Fabric the one promoting their events and latest releases.

It is a medium long email offering different events during the week that people might be interested. They follow an approach of sending an email once a week instead of sending lots of emails with fewer events listings.

 

The illustrations from this email are just the event posters that might retain the reader and endure their attention and make it more attractive. However, what makes it more attractive is the style the email is written as it mentions the typical “New year hungover or high activity” in order for the reader to feel they should go to a party after replenishing from the New Year’s Eve. However, in my opinion, they should personalize their emails for a better response, as in order for the reader to feel more personalized and appeal Sahni, Wheeler, and Chintagunta, (2018).  Additionally, the minimalism of the email attracts the reader as they place their logo on the top centre of the email instead of the top left.

 

Their subject matches part of their body but not all as it only reflects and references Cassy and Riva but not their other DJs. Consequently, there is a presence of multiple hyperlinks for more information about tickets, the story of the DJs, listing events and more. But there are only a few interactive features at the bottom encouraging the reader to connect on different social media. At the very end, we can find the opt/out privacy which reflects why do I get those emails and it is because I previously signed up to their newsletter. The opt/out option is a unsubscribe link that will automatically remove the customer from their list.

To conclude this email, meet their purpose and is to inform and attract visitors for their events, thus they should implement more interactive features or animation since it is a club and people might be more attracted to gifs or animations relating to the party as well as implementing personalized emails.

References

Ellis-Chadwick, F., & Doherty, N. F. (2012). Web advertising: The role of e-mail marketing. Journal of Business Research, 65(6), 843-848.

Sahni, N., Wheeler, S. and Chintagunta, P. (2018). Personalization in Email Marketing: The Role of Noninformative Advertising Content. Marketing Science, 37(2), pp.236-258.

 

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A Bathing Ape Initial Audit

A Bathing Ape aka BAPE is a Japanese Streetwear fashion brand created and managed by fashion designer and music producer Nigo in 1993. The brand sells in their 19 stores, streetwear clothes for men, women, and children as well as lifestyle accessories. The brand logo is an ape that represents the focus of the brand, which is young people who lead complacent and privileged lives.

Their website role is transactional because BAPE provides some products for customers to purchase online and it can also be a brand-building site since not all products are available to purchase online. Additionally, the website provides a full experience to the customer through lookbooks, which gives the brand support and awareness.

Compared to BAPEs competitors websites such as Supreme and Palace, two skateboarding clothing brands. BAPE website is very organized and catchy throughout the website, especially with its use of ape logos and patterns in different colours. On the top, you can find either news, lookbooks, store list and the webstore. On the top right corner, there is the option to change currencies meanwhile in their competitor’s websites it can be difficult to find. Also, they make it simple for the buyer to segment their purchases depending on the type, category, and price of the clothes. Neither Supreme or Palace websites have that option which can result in longer purchase process since the customer has to click on every item to check the size availability. It is highly recommended for them to offer the category-specific sorting for all products depending on the size and stock availability.

One thing in common the three brands have is that when the buyer is looking for the item, all the pictures are just portraits of the item itself but there is not a picture of someone actually wearing it. By doing this it could convince and attract more people to purchase online as you can tell and imagine how a specific item will look on you. However, they all still have the lookbook option where you can find all the photoshoots with models and celebrities wearing all their clothing, thus, it makes all the shopping process longer and the majority of the people would not have always the time to go through the lookbook option.

The brand uses a mix of demographic, geographic and psychographic segmentation strategies including people all around the world, but, mostly people living in urban highly populated areas with a high art culture as Tokyo, Shanghai and New York. Mostly the brand targets high income, upper middle class Asian and American from kids to elder men/women who are interested in streetwear fashion or follow the streetwear social group. Constant BAPE buyers are segmented in a member’s only group system called BAPE Mania, optimizing their experience by rewarding them with points for every purchase they make and also there are some products only available for those members. The behaviour and psychographics of their customers are mostly related to exclusive people who do not like wearing what everyone else is as they consider streetwear an art movement. Therefore, BAPE doesn’t produce large quantities, consequently, people resell items at a high price in the secondary market.

It is important to emphasize that these brands target almost the same customers but BAPE is inspired by Japanese lifestyle and culture (Hip-Hop) meanwhile Supreme is inspired by the European one (skateboarding) regardless it is an American brand, similar to Palace which is a more culture-oriented brand. Ultimately, the personal, cultural trend preference of the customer it is very important when customers are picking a product.

In conclusion, this website is very unique and captivating because of all the colours and graphics they use which generate emotion and empathy. It is also clear that BAPE knows how to segment their market in order to keep being exclusive and boosting their social media through lookbooks and exclusive luxurious style for the youth. It is important to keep up to date with the trend and changes not only clothing wise but media and how the website is created in order to attract and maintain clients. Ideally, meet the customer needs.

 

Here are some Personas of Bape:

And their Customer journeys:

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A Bathing Ape

 

A Bathing Ape by aka Bape is a Japanese Streetwear fashion brand. They sell clothes for men, women, and children as well as lifestyle accessories.
Their website role is transactional because Bape provides some products for customers to purchase online and it can also be a brand-building site since not all products are available to purchase online. Additionally, the website provides a full experience to the customer through lookbooks, which gives the brand support and awareness.

Their customer segments include people all around the world, but most Americans and Asians from kids to elder men and women who are interested in streetwear fashion or follow the streetwear social group. If you are a constant buyer of BAPE, they have segmented this group of buyers in a member’s only system called Bape Mania, in order to optimize their experience by rewarding them with points for every purchase they make and also there are some products only available for those members.
The behavior and psychographics of their customers are mostly related to be exclusive and not to wear what everyone else is wearing. Therefore, Bape doesn’t produce large quantities of their products.

BAPE website is very organized and is evident throughout the website, especially with its use of bape logos in different colours. On the top, you can find either news, lookbooks, store list and the webstore and if you click on the webstore on the top right corner there is the option to change currencies which in some other clothing websites can be difficult to find. Also, they make it simple for the buyer to scroll and buy depending on the type, category, and price of the clothes. This helps the buyer to segment their purchases. I would recommend adding the option to sort the products depending on the size and stock availability.

When the buyer is looking on the item all the pictures are just portraits of the item itself but there is not a picture of someone actually wearing it. By doing this it could convince and attract more people to purchase online as you can tell and imagine how a specific item will look on you. However, they still have the lookbook option where you can see all the photoshoots with models wearing all their clothing, thus it makes all the shopping process longer and the majority of the people would not have always the time to go through the lookbook option.

In conclusion, this website is very unique and catchy because of all the colours and graphics they use which generate emotion and empathy. It is also clear that Bape knows how to segment their market in order to keep being exclusive and boosting their social media through lookbooks and exclusive luxurious style.

 

 

 


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Argos Case Study

The urge for Argos to have a closer relationship with the customers made them realize that by combining digital and traditional in-store strategies the consumer experience will be transformed and could bring many benefits for both parties. Therefore,  Argos opened 53 digital stores in which the plastic catalogues where replaced for Ipads, the process to place the order, pay and collect is much easier and faster, in general is a new whole store format in which Argos had to monitor the impact these stores cause and how customers were reacting by implementing a new social listing platform strategy provided by Brandwatch Analytics.

Brandwatch categorizes all the data depending on the store location where they identified Londoners are able to embrace the changes faster compared with north England. Also,  by using the demographic feature it is easier to identify different aspects to focus based on gender. For instance, men tend to be more interest in the high tech features of the store meanwhile women are more interested in how the process of ordering and paying is faster which makes the customer service better.

Image result for argos digital stores
Argos digital store

Other analytics helped Argos to identify how customers were reacting to the changes and that made  easier to understand that some of them were used to the traditional catalogues. As a result, Argos decided to keep some catalogues in case someone wants to use it rather than the Ipad. All of these changes allow  Argos to understand their customers more so that they can be able to offer what the client is looking for and to increase customer satisfaction.

 

 

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