As mobile shopping continues to grow, consumers are downloading retailer’s mobile apps at double the rate of years past and conducting more in-app purchases, according to new findings from consumer financial services firm Synchrony.

As the mobile channel becomes critical for retailers, more consumers are leveraging the apps to buy, browse, read product reviews, access coupons and find a local store.

According to new data from the Synchrony 2018 Digital Study, 67 percent of consumers have downloaded a retailer’s app. More than half of those did so specifically for a coupon or discount offer. Nearly half of consumers that have downloaded a retailer’s app use it for purchases.

“In today’s competitive landscape, a mobile application is not just another piece of technology for retailers, it is a vital tool to engage shoppers with their brand. Done well, retail apps engage both in and out of stores with personalized experiences and easy credit solutions,” said Maya Mikhailov, SVP and chief marketing officer at GPShopper, a developer of mobile apps acquired by Synchrony in 2017, in a news release. “Consumers that use retail mobile applications are a retailer’s top shoppers. As such, they want their apps to be tailored to their unique shopping experiences and preferences.”

Getting ‘appy—consumer adoption of retailer mobile apps doubles

As retailers develop mobile apps, Synchrony recommends the following to help enhance the customer experience:

  • Provide a consistent customer experience across all channels—mobile is the driver to bring together all the user experience opportunities.
  • Engage with customers in a personalized manner by leveraging data and analytics —provide unique offers and discounts via mobile to further extend brand loyalty.
  • Offer simple and easy payment solutions that are seamless and secure; create an in-app frictionless mobile commerce experience.

The study comes as SyPI, Synchrony’s native app plug-in, hit $1 billion in credit card bill payments since the product’s launch in 2016. SyPI is embedded within a retailer’s app and functions as a complete credit experience—consumers can apply for credit, perform all servicing functions, view available rewards certificates, and more, without leaving the retailer’s mobile app. The study revealed that 77 percent of consumers rated credit card features on an app as very or extremely valuable, making SyPI a valuable feature for consumers.

See highlights of the study here.

Synchrony commissioned the 2018 Digital Study in order to gain insights on consumer behavior and trends in digital shopping. It was a self-administered online survey executed by Rothstein Tauber (RTi Research) with a base of 1,255 respondents. The 2018 Digital Study is the eighth annual survey that Synchrony has conducted on digital shopping trends. All references to the population and consumers refers to 2018 Synchrony Digital Study respondents.

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