How to Launch Consumer Apps Properly and Ensure they Add Business Value

By Paul Davis, Vice President of Sales, Northern Europe, Scandit

According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a mobile phone of some kind, with 77% of them owning smartphones. With numbers like these and smartphones glued to hands, it might be easy for brick-and-mortar retailers to assume that most consumers instinctively know when and how they can use these devices to enhance shopping experiences in stores, but that’s simply not true.

When shoppers were asked if they were aware that they could use mobile devices to scan barcodes on items in a store and perform a variety of shopping tasks, 41% of the respondents in a consumer survey said they did not know that was possible. In addition, only 45% said they are using their smartphones to shop in physical stores.

So when consumers either don’t know about self scanning options, or they don’t see the compelling value or an attractive reason to use their smartphone in a store – retailers have some work to do to communicate how smartphones can enhance in store shopping. Not only do brick-and-mortar retailers need to make customers aware of any self scanning app, they must ensure it actually improves the shopping experience to convince them to keep using it. For example, does it add speed, convenience or something new to the customers’ experience?

Here are three things that the app must do if you want to aggressively, confidently market it to store customers:

1. Get the barcode scanning right

Many self scanning apps fail to catch on with customers because they did not include a reliable barcode scanning engine. If your self scanning app is not compatible with the thousands of smartphone models available and cannot read barcodes quickly and with reliable consistency, your app is set to fail. It must work the first time, everytime, even in bad light or with glare, or if the barcode is damaged, and at varying angles.

Check out this video. If your app can’t do this, find a better barcode scanning engine.

2. Offer the same features as your online store

Once you have the essential barcode scanning process nailed down, make sure that your app offers the same kind of features and experience as your digital store, if not more. Online shopping puts a wealth of information at the click of a mouse or touch of a screen, so why not include augmented reality-enabled instant product information in store, such as reviews, ingredients, allergen and nutritional details or stock availability. Customers just have to hover their smartphone over barcodes on products to see real-time information overlaid on the device screen.

If your digital store offers customers rewards and coupons and an option to arrange for home delivery, your mobile shopping app should too. For example, what if customers want to register their ownership of products for warranty or add them to their personal customer profile? ID Scanning functionality in the app can enable shoppers to scan their own driver’s licenses and passports to confirm these types of purchases. Enhancing your app with these types of features is a great example of blending the physical and digital in store to truly meet the shoppers’ human needs.

3. Make checkout easy

Checkout is where the rubber hits the road when we think of true “frictionless shopping”. Robust, reliable barcode scanning ensures that every item in the shopping order has been accounted for. Once the customer has finished shopping, the app should offer a choice of payment options so they can decide whether to stop at a manned kiosk or self-checkout kiosk to make their payment, or complete the transaction through the app and leave the store – Scan-and-Go.

Watch this video from Scandit customer Coop DK and see how cool this is when you get it right.

How do you launch your self scanning app and get people to use it?

There’s more to having a self scanning app than just creating it. From the outset, customers need to have a clear understanding of “what’s in it for me?”. You need to be prepared to promote the app on your website, mention it in customer marketing emails, and include it in advertising and social media campaigns. Customers coming to your store should see the app promoted on signage and hear about it from your sales associates. And when they use it, you may consider offering discounts and opportunities to earn loyalty rewards that keep them coming back for more.

Here are three Scandit customers that have successfully created robust, reliable consumer apps that customers love to use and keep coming back for more:

Globus CZ’s customer app sees 570% adoption growth in mere months

Globus CZ is a grocery chain with 15 locations across the Czech Republic. They integrated the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK with their “Můj Globus” (“My Globus”) self scanning app for iOS and Android smartphones. Globus employed innovative tactics to accelerate adoption among their customers. For example, individual stores initiated advertising and promotion of the app and Globus CZ used “gamification” to increase competition among stores.

Aggressive promotion of the “Můj Globus” app resulted in more than 570% adoption growth in a matter of months. Globus CZ is also gaining customer insight from how the app is being used. For example, in up to 30% of all shopping events today customers are using the self scanning app and the store with the best-performing app is located in a mall where shoppers buy fewer items but shop more frequently. Read the case study.

Coop Switzerland app is responsible for 25% of revenue at self-scanning stores

Coop is the second-largest retail group in Switzerland and operates over 1,800 stores with a workforce of approximately 53,000 employees.

Coop’s Passabene self-scanning app is enabled by the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK and has been overwhelmingly successful. The app is now available in over 100 stores across Switzerland, with more than 280,000 customers having registered for the Passabene system. Customers are increasingly engaging with the innovative checkout experience and the system is responsible for as much as 25% of revenue at each Passabene-enabled store*. Read the case study.

METRO AG enhance app with AR to give customers a reason to shop in store

METRO is a leading specialist wholesaler and food retailer in Germany. Their METRO Companion App features Scandit Augmented Reality (AR) technology that enables customers to get instant product information and personalised pricing during the self-scanning shopping process.

The app gives customers real-time relevant information about products, prices, availability, access to special offers and top deals as well as a display showing the total value of their shopping basket at any time. The improved experience has generated higher customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as outstanding conditions for winning new customers. Read the case study.

Get your self-scanning program right the first time and get your customer onboard

In Self-Scanning in Retail find out how computer vision software makes it easy for retailers to help shoppers scan barcodes with their own smartphones – and then either pay for goods at a self-checkout kiosk or pay on an app with Scan-and-Go. This paper offers the best practice we and our retailer clients have learned during self-scanning implementations, to help make your self-scanning service the best it can be.

Want to learn more about building a self scanning app that your customers will use and help you build customer satisfaction and loyalty? Then be sure to contact Scandit today.

*Self-scanning app, handheld scanners and self-checkout terminals combined

Posted in Retail