Websites and Mobile Apps: Communicating in the Digital Age

Websites and mobile apps are popular means of communicating product information and promotions to today's tech-savvy consumers.

More than three-fourths of respondents to Retail Leader's March/April survey indicated their companies offered a consumer website, with about one-third using the website to sell products for home delivery and 29 percent providing products available for pickup in the store. Among the 21 percent who said they do not currently offer a consumer website, 25 percent plan to launch a site in the next six months.

Mobile apps are catching on with consumers and companies alike. About 47 percent of survey respondents said they currently offer consumer apps, with 97 percent of apps providing information about store locations, directions and hours, and 91 percent providing information about products available in their stores. About 57 percent of apps provide promotions on products or total purchase, while 26 percent offer printable coupons and 20 percent offer electronic coupons tied to loyalty cards.

Retailers are more confident about the economy than they were a year ago, with 46 percent describing current conditions as "positive" compared with 33 percent a year ago. Looking ahead, 51 percent said they were positive about the next six months compared with 42 percent who said they were positive about the future a year ago.

Q: Do you currently offer a consumer website?
Q: Does the website provide the following?
Information about your stores, such as location, hours
Information about the company and its team
Information about available products and current promotions
Opportunity to purchase products online for home delivery
Opportunity to purchase products online for pickup in the store
Printable coupons
Electronic coupons attached to loyalty cards
Online exclusive offers, such as a percentage off total purchase or free shipping
Q: Do you currently offer a smartphone/tablet app?
Q: Does the app provide the following?
Information about store locations, directions, hours
Information about products available in your stores
Promotions on products or total purchase
Product pricing information
Information about products available online
Discounts on products
Ability to scan products for additional product info
Mobile commerce (online payment and delivery or payment and pickup)
How would you describe current business conditions?
Where do you expect to see business conditions for the next six months?