Retail Apps


To identify trends, innovations, and usage rates within the retail app space in order to better understand the value of retail apps as a bridge between digital and in-store experiences for consumers. Research must specifically provide the following: 1) an analysis of usage rates, 2) companies that have used retail apps in innovative ways, 3) recent trends in the retail app space, and 4) consumer preferences regarding retail apps.

Early Findings

A recent Shopgate survey reveals that roughly half of all retailers consider mobile retail apps a top business priority. There are three models that retailers can use in the development of a mobile app: 1) an agency model, 2) an in-house model, or 3) a platform model.
  • Agency models involve hiring an outside design agency to create an app and write the required code.
  • In-house models use staff members with the necessary skills to design the company's app and write its code.
  • Platform models use a third-party platform to host a company's retail app.


  • Business are using retail apps to engage with shoppers through customer loyalty programs. Users' apps are personalized to suite individual tastes, and loyalty programs often involve a points system or specialty coupons for brand enthusiasts.
  • In-store engagement features allowing users to scan product bar codes or shop online and pick up orders in-store tie together the brick-and-mortar and digital shopping experiences.
  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features utilize phone cameras and audio functions to provide consumers with a 3D shopping experience. Stores like Macy's, Walgreens, Walmart, and Home Depot have been experimenting with this technology.
  • Stores use push notifications to encourage retail app users to take a specific action. They had a 7.8% click-through rate in 2018.


  • In a recent Yes Marketing survey, 57% of consumers stated that they use retail apps while shopping at brick-and-mortar locations to take advantage of coupons and other deals.
  • Only 33% of shoppers use their smartphone apps to make retail purchases, and 49% of consumers state that they prefer using tablets or computers when shopping online.
  • Consumer usage of retail apps increased by 60% between 2016 and 2018.


  • Brick-and-mortar retailers with the highest number of app users in 2018 included Walmart, Target, Kohl's, Kroger, and Home Depot.
  • According to a Business Insider survey, 35% of millennials consider Amazon's retail app one of their "top 3 most essential apps."


In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

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