Top 10 retail apps as voted by shoppers: 5-1

Continuing our countdown of UK consumers’ top 10 retail apps, as voted for in a Retail Connections survey, here we bring you the top five. If you missed numbers 10-6, you can catch up here.

5 – Next

Speed of service is a real USP for Next; customers are attracted to the fact they can order up until midnight and receive items the very next day, and their applications gives shoppers this functionality in the palm of their hand.

Ease of use is at the heart of the app’s success – quick search and checkout facilities are two key features. Although some users have complained about incidences of crashing.

4 – Debenhams

One area where Debenhams scores highly with its online offering is linking the shopping journey between devices. Shoppers that use the retailer’s application but don’t complete their purchase will find anything added to the basket or any saved items will appear when they next log onto the desktop website.

User feedback includes ‘beautifully designed, easy to use’ and ‘lets you shop with ease’. However, there is a concern that recent updates have made some content hard to read, particularly on mobile devices.

3 – John Lewis

Widely considered the standard setter in modern retail, it’s no surprise that John Lewis’ application has made the top three. Like River Island, which ranked 8th in our top 10 retail apps, John Lewis’ app enables users to scan products in-store for further details and customer reviews.

The application is also an important channel for John Lewis’ ‘never knowingly undersold’ approach. Downloaders can make a price match claim through their phone if they find an item is being sold cheaper elsewhere.

2 – Marks & Spencer

M&S made waves last year when it launched its Sparks loyalty scheme, which moves beyond discounting to offer members exclusive previews, points for non-transactional interactions, and personalised offers. Sparks functionality is a fundamental part of Marks & Spencers app, as downloaders can check their points balance and view the latest promotions.

It also bridges the online/offline expectation gap, as if users cannot find an item in their size in-store, they can scan the barcode and buy it online through the app. Like Debenhams, it also synchronises basket activity between devices.

The App Store editor describes M&S’ application as ‘premium, clean and well presented in a wonderfully straightforward manner’, praising the quality of its offers.

1 – Boots

At number one in our top 10 countdown is Boots. Personalisation is incredibly high on the retailer’s agenda, and this is evident in its application; users log in with their Boots Advantage card to receive tailored offers. In fact, it’s this synchronisity with the Advantage card that creates a real sense of omnichannel loyalty for Boots’ customers.

Other rich features include a photo printing services, where users can upload pictures to the app and collect in-store in just one hour, and the ability to book appointments for Boots in-store services, such as optician or pharmacy appointments.

Boots has also supplemented its main app with two further applications – activity tracker and order & collect – which play into the new vision of loyalty that WPP’s David Roth discussed at NRF’s Big Show in January. A scheme which delivers time, health and budget benefits to members, rather than purely saving them money.

So there we have it – do you agree with the top 10? Share your views with us on Twitter, @FWRetailConnect.

You can also check out the UK’s top 10 retailers, based on fulfilment

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