“Appification” Case Study
"App" is a term derived from the word "Application,"which means computer software or a computer program. It is usedprimarily for mobile devices such as smartphones. The term"appification" means the process of generating apps toperform certain things that could otherwise be operated manually.Therefore, the "appification" of shopping refers to theease and convenience with which customers can buy or shop for goodson apps using their smartphones (Bensinger, 2016). It refers tocustomers` reliance on apps and shopping on small screens rather thanusing desktops. The customers spend a considerable amount of timeglued to their smartphones whose apps have simplified browsingtechniques, offer numerous rewards and can suggest the rightproducts, while making it easier to purchase by a single click.
The "Appification" of shopping has radically transformedthe entire retail industry by altering the old and creating shoppinghabits and reshaping tactics of sales. Instead of placing one singleorder from a desktop, "appification" has changed theshopping habits in that the retailers now make smaller purchases insmall instances throughout the day on their smartphones. Thisphenomenon or shopping habit is known by retailers as "snacking."Again, changes in shopping habits pushes for changes in preference.These preferences result in the retailers reshaping the overalltactics in the industry by caving “snacking” phenomenon.
These new shopping habits affect the competitive environment ofretailing through customers` training, innovation, better customerservice, and changes in pricing. The retail industry is highlycompetitive. The industry competes for merchandise, customers,services, and other critical aspects of the business. New shoppinghabits result in retailers changing their methods and techniques ofreaching out to the customers (Bensinger, 2016). For example, theseretailers, some of them having a greater market presence like Amazon,Inc. and Zappos have altered their traditional-based methods ofretailing and investing their time and money on the Internet andcatalog section of the business and other types of retail commerce.
The "Appification" shopping habits have led to theretailers moving to technology innovations to attract smartphoneusers. For example, Zappos.com and Amazon`s shoe retailer arecurrently testing technology, which highlights different customerproducts on the smartphone operating system. A retailer like TargetCorp continues to push for coupons to potential customers followingthese changes, in particular for those clients with apps open on itsretail stores. For a retailer like ModCloth, Inc. their competitiveenvironment had led them to shift their products based on thelocation of the customers. There are also changes on merchandise andservices to suit their customers` needs and preference.
"Appification" is likely to transform the retail industryby the manner in which it changes the overall customers` shoppingdemands and experiences and the retailers` competitiveness. Forinstance, "appification" emphasizes on perfection in theindustry, which in turn, pushes for massive innovation to keep upwith the competition. For example, Amazon`s continued dominance onthe use of the Internet extends to smartphone users. According toApple, the online retailer has the top-ranked application because of"appification" (Bensinger, 2016). "Appification"accelerates mobile shopping, which in turn, drives demand forproducts.
Additionally, mobile shopping establishes impulsive moments ofbuying at any time of the day. "Appification" result in theretailers` altering their product prices to cater for shipping costs.For instance, this shopping method attracts customers` ease of buyingsingle products instead of gunning for shopping carts that canaccelerate the enterprise` shipping costs. Different apps fordifferent retailers can determine the user`s device and model, whichwill, in turn, judge or alter the customers` buying power. The retailindustry is now characterized by retailers having to record theoverall performance based on the customers` location.
The links to be affected by "appification" includemarketing, sales, pricing, and shopping traditions. In marketing,selling products on smartphone apps are on a downward trend. Forinstance, there is less marketing appeal for significant amounts ofproducts since customers prefer to shop for single items even aftermassive marketing campaigns from the retailers. Smartphones use toshop drives Internet sales. According to Criteo, an advertising firm,approximately 40% of the computer transactions plummeted after thecustomers had visited the firm`s app (Bensinger, 2016)."Appification" will also improve shopping traditions sincemore customers will be shopping at a click on the app. The averageU.S shopper spends approximately 3 hours daily using apps instead ofcontacting the actual store directly, according to eMarketer.
Inthe end, it is the customer who will ultimately win. First,"appification" offers the client`s convenience and adifferent experience during the shopping. The customers` conveniencemeans the retailer will not benefit. The reason for this is the factthat the customers will shop for single items, and at the end of theday will have cost the retailer on shipping costs. Again, thecustomer wins because of the massive competition in the retailindustry (Bensinger, 2016). Players like Amazon, Zappos, and eBaywill seek to offer an unforgettable experience to its customers.These experiences are accompanied by offers, quality products,quality services, and rewards. All these features are for the benefitof the customers because of the competitive retail industry created.
Being the leading Web-based company, Amazon will benefit immenselyfrom the "appification" of shopping. For instance, millionsof Amazon`s customers do their shopping exclusively on theirsmartphone devices annually, according to Amazon`s spokeswoman. Thebenefits will most likely come from the retailer`s need andexcitement to cater for its results based on the location of theircustomers, whether the app`s users are vacationing or physical insidetheir stores. Additionally, Amazon continues to grow its brand as theleader as the Internet-based retailer by exploring different ways oftying mobile shopping with its physical stores. The app manages toidentify these physical stores by showing customers their paymenthistory coupled with quicker and personalized experience.
Other apps appear to be adept in offering good and exciting apps.There is an eBay app that can highlight creators to the customershopping in locations that maybe be affected by massive storms,especially when a customer is in Australia. Nordstrom and Walmart areother retailers, which offer useful apps having explored ways to tieits stores with mobile shopping (Bensinger, 2016). Also, there ismarketplace Etsy app and fashion retailer app like Poshmark that issimpler for customers to shop. These apps are also fewer distractionsmeaning there are more popular among customers with a lot of thingsto do during the day. Additionally, high demands for good apps haveled to the emergence of startup retailers like Tophatter,Jackthreads, ContextLogic, and OfferUp. These retailers are driven bythe competitive market created by bigger retailers like eBay andAmazon.
Bensinger, G. (2016). Shoppers Flock to Apps, Shaking Up Retail:Mobile sales spike as ‘snacking’ turns phone into all-day impulseaisle. Wall Street Journal, TECH,