With the rapid adoption of online grocery shopping, independent retailers like you have brought grocery shopping into your customers’ homes through the desktop experience and made it just as easy to shop locally as it is with big chains.
But now those bigger chains are bringing their store to customers anywhere they go, with a store-branded mobile app experience. The big box stores have realized that directing customers to a marketplace app where they are one of many options puts them at risk of losing customer loyalty to their brand.
In a recent webinar with NGA, Rosie Founder & CEO Nick Nickitas and Head of Account Management Haley Sammis explained the opportunity for independents with store-branded mobile apps: how to stand up to the competition, cater to customer needs, and own the branded shopping experience. Alongside them were Rosie retailers Chad Cropper of Crop’s Fresh Marketplace and Allison Morrison of Clark’s Market, sharing why they believe a branded mobile app is essential to their businesses. You can watch a recording of the webinar here, or check out our top three highlights from the webinar below.
The right tools are necessary to beat the big brand competitors
Big chains are investing heavily in omnichannel shopping, which means creating a cohesive, branded experience across all shopping channels from in-store, to desktop, and mobile. Even though these stores often have a presence on popular marketplace apps, they also know the importance of having their very own branded apps to strengthen customer loyalty, own shopper data, and control the digital experience.
Independent retailers who want to compete with these stores don’t have to shell out billions of dollars to offer a branded experience that does all of these things and more – with a partner like Rosie, they can offer an app that encapsulates the desktop experience they already offer in the palm of their customers’ hands.
Consistent branding is key to building customer loyalty
There’s a lot to be said for maintaining control over your brand. Your customers recognize and trust your store, and when they are able to download an app that looks and feels like you, they are more likely to trust and invest in that experience. Allison Morrison at Clark’s pointed out the importance of building brand loyalty will allow their team to “turn this into an experience, not just a shopping trip.”
Maintaining your brand also makes the app feel like an extension of your store, no matter where your customers are shopping from. “I think that one of the most important things that [the mobile app is] going to help us to do is to help make everyone’s experience consistent, whether it’s order to order or location to location, through the Clark’s brand,” Allison pointed out. “Sometimes it gets confusing when it’s not as connected as this app is going to be.”
A central source of communication with customers, even when they aren’t in store, is crucial for building lasting relationships
Having an extension of your store wherever customers are means you have a way of communicating important information, like sales and new items, to them at any time. Chad Cropper of Crop’s shared that across their website, ecommerce site, and loyalty provider, it can be confusing for customers to find all information in one place. “The thing that’s really interesting about the app is bringing all of those pieces together because you don’t want the customer to be confused about where information is coming from,” he noted.
And when you can reach your customers anywhere, you’re able to keep your store top of mind no matter what they’re doing, so they are constantly thinking about what they’re going to purchase next with you. As Allison shared, “It really gives [shoppers] the real taste of what Clark’s Market is before they even walk through those doors.”