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Mobile apps now “crucial components” for large retailers

UK retailers are significantly ahead of European counterparts, France and Germany, when it comes to uniting the online and in-store shopping journey, according to a new report from App Annie and Kantar Retail.

The survey found UK retailers rushing to blur the lines between online and offline retail with tactics such as ‘Click and Collect’, unlockable content and barcode scanners.

The ‘Top Retailers & The App Economy in the UK’ report, which launches today, suggests that mobile apps are the crucial component for retailers wanting to appeal to the ‘always on’ shopper.

In Q4 2014, Amazon and Argos were the leading large retailers in UK app downloads, with both placing particular emphasis on creating an easier shopping process with their ‘1-click’ purchasing and reservation features.

‘Click and Collect’ boomed in 2014 with around 60 per cent of retailers now offering the service.

According to the report, this seems to be a particularly vital tactic for UK supermarkets, as all those listed in the top 25 apps offered this feature, with the exception of discount store apps Lidl and ALDI UK, neither of which offer in-­app shopping.

However, some retail apps, such as those of John Lewis and Topshop, have gone further to enrich their customers’ in-­store shopping experiences with features like unlockable content and barcode scanners for reviews and recommendations.

“The primary role of mobile apps in in-­store shopping is to elevate the customer experience beyond what can simply be offered through physical stores and high streets,” says Olivier Bernard, VP of EMEAR at App Annie.