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Mobile Minute: Marshalls Breaks into Mobile Just in Time for the Holidays

Lexi Sydow

Marshalls launched interactive mobile apps reaching over 20,000 downloads in the first week.

What’s Happening: 

Last week, after 60 years in business, fashion retailer Marshalls made headlines with its entrance into e-commerce — including a fully an online store and brand new mobile app. While the retailer has traditionally focused on its brick-and-mortar storefronts to drive foot traffic, App Annie data shows that shoppers spent over 18 billion hours in mobile shopping apps on Android phones in 2018 alone — highlighting the importance of omnichannel retail strategies for driving growth, particularly with today’s mobile-first consumers. 

Why It Matters: 

Digital-first retailers have historically seen stronger engagement from consumers: more sessions per user and stronger sessions' growth. Sessions are akin to foot traffic, with each session representing an opportunity to purchase. However, bricks-and-clicks retailers have a unique advantage over digital-first players: their physical stores. As we head into peak retail season, we took a look at the competitive landscape on mobile for bricks-and-clicks retailers in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

App Annie | Top Brick and Mortar Retail Apps by Smartphone Monthly Active Users

Leveraging mobile to creatively enrich the customer’s in-store experience can foster greater overall customer satisfaction, loyalty and ultimately your top line. Nike doubled down on innovative ways to leverage mobile to bridge its in-store experiences, and its efforts paid off. Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, reported a strong quarter ending August 2019 citing its mobile and app experiences as the driver of the 42% growth in its digital business. 

Go Deeper:

In addition to providing a new marketplace for shoppers, Marshalls’ new mobile app prioritizes customer engagement and offering interactive experiences to build brand loyalty and affinity. For example, the app offers a gamified “swipe to shop” feature similar to that of popular dating apps as well as a “snap it, shop it” feature to help shoppers seamlessly find inventory. The latter is an example of mobile’s unique ability to bridge and enrich the digital and physical shopping experience, in a personal and timely way no other channel can — and just in time for the holidays.  

For a deeper dive on mobile’s disruption of the retail industry check out our 2019 State of Mobile in Retail Report

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This post is the latest in a Mobile Minute series that features App Annie’s perspective on how mobile is impacting current events and consumer trends. Check in weekly for our take on the latest news cycles and how mobile transformation is shaping industries around the world.

October 2, 2019

Mobile Minute

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