Researchers from Applause's Application Resource Center (ARC) tried to understand how British consumers rated the most downloaded retail apps among the perceived leaders, by analyzing every detail of their individual feedback. ARC found the top 50 retail apps
by measuring the quality of those who had with a minimum of 1,500 reviews. This unprecedented, massive marketing analysis provided several critical insights on the current trends in what can be duly considered the largest European market. In 2015, in fact, eTailers from the United Kingdom earned £29.53 billion in web sales: more than 25 percent of Europe's total shares. According to comScore
, three-quarters of the British mobile audience owned a smartphone in April 2016, with 33 percent of them using apps to make online purchases.
In 2015 Applause already analyzed the best apps available on the market, and after a comprehensive study
of customers' feedback, they broke them down in several top categories that received a final score on an 100-point scale. Retail apps used to perform quite poorly, falling between 43 and 52 points out of an average 67.3 rating for other app types. Data from the latest study, however, registered a significant improvement. Although the new average retail app score reached an average of 61.3, it's still lagging behind the global benchmark. Mobile shoppers easily spot bad apps, so striving for a better overall score should be a priority for all the companies who want to establish themselves. Several popular brands understood that and managed to reach higher scores, up to 87.4. Those apps were Asos, Romwe shopping, Polyvore, Stocard, Wanelo Shopping, Groupon, Barcode Scanner Pro, Lidl, Ebates, Zulily, Wish, and many more.
Top rated apps, according to shoppers reviews, share several common features. Some of these included personalized experiences, simple transaction flows, sales alerts and reward programs. Those that, instead, received poor reviews are often affected by performance issues such as slowdowns, freezes, errors and blank screens. Lack of functionality such as limited payment support, inadequacy of updates or scarcity of options are also common complaints. In general, the expectations of digital experiences keep rising, and most large UK retailers need to provide their buyers with sophisticated and refined apps to avoid diminished local mind share. Amazon, for example, is lagging behind with a 53.9 consumers score. Although the e-commerce giant recently announced
that it is going to expand its U.K. presence by building a new fulfillment center in Doncaster, investing in a higher quality mobile strategy could be a more sensible long-term strategy.