Apigee Finds Two Out of Three U.S. Adults with Smartphones are More Likely to Shop at a Store That Provides an App

Apigee Institute releases report on how mobile apps are influencing consumer behavior and what this means for retailers

March 12, 2014 – Apigee today announced that two-thirds of the 140 million U.S. adults with smartphones are more likely to shop at a store that provides a useful mobile app, according to a new report issued by the Apigee Institute. The report, titled, “The Mobile Mandate for Retail - Three criteria for making the most of mobile apps in retail,” focuses on retail data garnered from a survey of 1,000 U.S. smartphone owners. The Apigee Institute is a research and strategy organization dedicated to helping Global 2000 companies extend their leadership in today's app economy. It developed the survey and report to shed light on how mobile apps are changing consumer shopping behavior and what these changes mean for retailers.

According to the research, more than eight in 10 smartphone owners say their phone or tablet has changed the way they shop, with 15 percent describing their experience as “completely changed.”  Taking into account expectations for the future, 90 percent of today’s smartphone owners expect mobile to change their shopping behavior by 2015. The majority also expects grocery and department stores to have key services and functions available by app now, with expectations rising to two-thirds within the next two years.

“The rise of mobile isn’t just changing e-commerce. Our research finds that customers not only want brick-and-mortar retailers to deliver key services via apps, they expect them to,” said Bryan Kirschner, director of the Apigee Institute. “And not only that, digitally focused retailers are demonstrating better market results across the board. The message for twenty-first century retailers, whether online or physical, is clear: to succeed, they need to add apps to their strategy.”

Key findings: Why retail stores need popular apps

1. Consumers are more likely to shop at a store with an app – 66 percent of today’s consumers say they’re more likely to shop at a brick-and-mortar store with a useful app. Of app “power users” (the 25 percent of consumers who use apps most frequently), 84 percent report being more likely to shop at a store with a useful app.

2. Stores that provide an app see much higher favorability scores among app using customers – On average, app owners give the stores they have apps for a favorability score 23 points higher than other stores. Even among regular shoppers, those who own apps tend to rate the company whose app they own 5 percent more favorably.

3. Shopping experience has changed due to apps – 81 percent of current consumers have changed how they shop after owning a smart phone or tablet. In addition, 79 percent expect their shopping to change even more in the next two years due to smartphones, tablets or apps.

4. Smartphone owners agree on most critical retail app features – When evaluating retail store apps, consumers agree on the importance of an easily usable interface and a store-finder feature, with more than 50 percent calling them “critical.” Customer service access and the ability to buy items through the app were the next most popular retail app features.

5. Digital leaders outperform on key market metrics – Across 1,321 large companies, “digital leaders” (enterprises with above average competency deploying apps, using data analytics, and operating APIs) are 21 percent more likely to outperform on key market metrics including gross revenue and customer satisfaction. The retail segment, while smaller, saw the same pattern of results.

Survey methodology

The 2013 Digital Impact survey was conducted by the Apigee Institute from November 26-30, 2013.  The survey invited 1,000 smartphone owners in the U.S. to assess how mobile devices and apps are affecting their everyday behaviors, tasks and attitudes. Within the report, respondents’ regional, age, income, education, and gender distribution reflects the U.S. smartphone market (140.48 million smartphone owners) as of the October 2013 Pew Internet & American Life Project omnibus survey. 

A full copy of the report, including recommended criteria for a high-potential digital retail strategy, can be found here.

About Apigee Institute

The Apigee Institute includes executives in Global 2000 corporations, academic researchers and domain experts who collaboratively shape its research agenda and participate in building a body of empirical data as a shared resource. Membership is by invitation. For more information, go to http://pages.apigee.com/institute.html. To request membership, please email institute@apigee.com.

About Apigee

Apigee provides the leading technology platform for digital acceleration. Through APIs and big data, Apigee delivers the speed, scale and agility any business needs to compete in today’s digital world.  Apigee customers include global enterprises such as Walgreens, eBay, Shell, Live Nation, Kaiser Permanente and Sears. The company's headquarters are in San Jose, California. To learn more, go to apigee.com.

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