Survey: 45% of smartphone users with a retailer-branded app visit the retailer's store more often

NEW YORK — Are smartphone applications the magic bullet of marketing for retailers? According to a December 2011 ABI Research survey of U.S. consumers, it may be so.

Survey respondents who said they had downloaded a retailer-branded app said the app caused them to visit the store more (45.8%), buy more of the store/brand’s products and services (40.4%), tell a friend about their store shopping experience (35.8%) and encourage friends to visit the store (30.8%).

“These are overwhelmingly positive numbers,” stated senior analyst Mark Beccue. “They are so compelling that if retailers do not have a smartphone app strategy in place right now, they are in danger of being left behind by their competitors.”

However, according to the survey, only 25% of the respondents had downloaded a retailer-branded app. ABI Research noted that a second effect was that 37.9% of the respondents said downloading a retailer’s branded app caused them to download other retailer-branded apps.

ABI Research noted that the numbers are compelling. “Clearly consumers are using retailer-branded apps as an engagement tool. Once a retailer can capture a consumer with one, there is a real opportunity to leverage smartphone apps to enhance customer service; deliver richer, more relevant product information in real time; shorten checkout lines; and more,” Beccue stated. “We are at the dawn of a very dynamic and creative time for retail.”