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Does Your Store Really Need A Mobile App?

7 min.
Navigine - Does Your Store Really Need A Mobile App?

Over time, this tendency has resulted in an emergence of a large number of “one-day applications”. Users install such applications and safely forget about it until they delete it later. In the pursuit of trends, companies stopped thinking about benefits which their applications could create for customers.

Mobile applications for retail and HoReCa industries are the most difficult since it's not so easy for them to build a communication channel with their customers and to be with them on the same page. There are certain difficulties in the integration of loyalty programs and providing offers that could really catch users' attention. Let's consider the example of a mobile app for a shopping mall and find out how to correctly interact with the audience through this tool so that it benefits both customers and your business.

So let's start! Our the most important task is to make the application convenient and, first of all, useful for customers. The studies show that there is a huge demand for navigation inside buildings. For a better orientation inside the mall, you need to provide a handy tool for navigating inside it. This can be done with the help of special sensors - beacons and iBeacon technology. Using them, you are able to add the function to build routes within the shopping mall based on the selected parameters. For example, to build a route to the shelf with a specific product or to a specific department.

For visitors who drive cars, it's useful to add a function with an automatic reminder of parking and navigation to the car.

The next key point in mobile development is push notifications! Sometimes users complain that push messages are annoying and useless. We advise to make these messages as personalized as possible, so they wouldn't cause any desire to click on the button that prohibits sending notifications.

Only geolocation technologies can meet these requirements: they can accurately determine a person's location and send him notifications that fit his needs. Targeted marketing using geolocation is not new, but what makes iBeacon technology special is the ability to "wake up" an application by sending the user a relevant message. Proximity marketing has a huge potential for profit, allowing retailers to deepen communication with consumers, increase their loyalty and significantly improve their experience.

In addition, with help of iBeacon technology retailers can visually provide information about the movements of visitors inside the mall using "heat maps". This is an excellent tool for monitoring foot traffic and visitor behavior, analyzing the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and identifying the so-called cold zones.


However, there is another way to get valuable information about customers without having a mobile application. And to do that, you can use an effective tool for collecting and evaluating data on visitor behavior on Wi-Fi signals. Due to the unique way of data collection, the technology can provide valuable information about the dynamics of the movement of visitors' flows in the mall. Based on these data, you can obtain information about:


  • The number of connected users in real time or in a comparison with previous periods;
  • The average time of visiting;
  • The density of visits to the certain departments of the mall;
  • Distribution of users by time of visiting;
  • Periods of maximum and minimum store load (rush-hours).

If the primary goal for you is analytics, then the collection of information via Wi-Fi is ideal for solving these tasks. Still, if you want to expand marketing opportunities and get a new communication channel, then you can not do it without mobile development.

To summarize all the above information, we gathered all the necessary functions for modern location based shopping app for stores into the table below.


  For customers For shopping mall
1.  A catalog with a list of all brands and product categories. A convenient interface for posting information about brands and products.
2.  Building an optimal route based on the selected parameters. Setting the priority of brands in the process of building a route in accordance with the selected criteria.
3.  An interactive map of the mall with the search for goods, brands and special offers. An integration of discount cards and loyalty programs with the application.
4.  Information about current promotions, discounts and sales. Measuring and optimizing the effectiveness of merchandising and ROI of marketing campaigns.
5.  An opportunity to leave a response, read reviews from other buyers, use a loyalty program. A social interaction with your audience: collecting feedback and recommendations.
6.  Navigation through the shopping center with an accuracy of 1 meter. Detection of cold zones and building "heat maps".
7.  Navigation on the parking lot and convenient car search. Monitoring of visitor traffic, residence time, repeated visits, flow maps.
8.  Geo-targeted and personalized tips, special offers. Additional targeting by location segmentation.
9.  Targeted offers based on location along the route. Analyze of the flows and behavior of visitors, especially those who do not make purchases.
10.  Sending request for consultation. Operative help to visitors.


To summarize, we can say that the mobile application in itself is not always equivalent to the success of business. Before development, it is necessary to complete a ton of preparation work. As well we want to underline the importance of a right combination of mobile marketing with other channels for a better interaction with clients. Thus, using omnichannel marketing, the owners of the retail business will be able to:


  • Measure the effectiveness of merchandising and marketing campaigns.
  • Track visitors traffic, residence time, repeat visits, flow maps and "heat maps."
  • Link customer's online and offline behaviors.
  • Measure and optimize ROI of marketing campaigns.



Navigine - Published:
Oksana Bespalova
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