Are mobile apps changing the face of the retail sector?

The digital age has brought many changes to the world of business, with many companies utilising new technology to their advantage, as a method of simplifying processes which were once time consuming. Companies in the retail sector, for instance, have implemented available technology to improve buying and selling, making transactions faster, easier and more user friendly. What once would have involved a lengthy and often fruitless face-to-face method of selling, can now be achieved at the click of a button, without the added hassle of lost sales and wasted time. This is changing the retail sector dramatically, with many companies getting online to cut the costs of physical retailing, and many customers buying on the go. With the number of smartphone users increasing daily, we can see why.

This method of selling has proved effective across many companies, with the use of simple mobile phone applications increasing custom and resulting in millions of sales. Fashion retailers are big users of mobile selling apps, with companies such as ASOS having millions of app users worldwide. The ASOS app enables you to buy clothes across a range of brands without having to download additional applications, and you can also add a credit card using your phone’s camera. It makes shopping incredibly easy, which is definitely reflective of its popularity.

And this method of selling isn’t just for low-priced selling. Precious metals broker BullionVault’s trading app, for instance, allows users to buy and sell gold and silver from their mobile phones or tablets instantly. This app has resulted in over £41 million worth of gold and silver being traded at the click of a button in the past year, which shows us the success rate of these ventures. Recently, the company made a record transaction from a mobile app, with a £500,000 trade being made online. That’s 21.4kg of gold traded from the comfort of a mobile phone screen.

The BullionVault app has had over 140,000 downloads so far, in 213 different countries. And it’s not surprising. The outreach made possible by these applications is phenomenal, making buying and selling limitless, fast and travel-free. BullionVault is also available 24/7, meaning that trades can be made at any time of day, which proves very effective for an app which is available across time zones.

These apps are definitely attracting consumer attention, particularly over the past year. DIY retailer, Homebase have recently stated that they now see over 50% of their online traffic coming from mobile applications alone, with the number undoubtedly set to rise as smartphones become ever more popular. Another study stated that mobile app transactions increased by 40% over the Christmas trading period last year, with more and more people flocking to handheld devices for their Christmas shopping. With their ease of use and instant transactions, it’s no wonder people are giving up busy Christmas queues in favour of this new technology. It’s a no brainer.

So are mobile apps changing the face of the retail sector? This confirms that they definitely are.

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