Fanatics and ASOS’s iOS and Android apps are among the most loved by shoppers, according to the 2017 Mobile 500.

Shoppers let retailers know how they really feel in the app store, and the new Internet Retailer 2017 Mobile 500 includes a metric that synthesises those opinions into an app sentiment score.

This 0-100 numerical score factors in how many stars the app has on the app stores and the words consumers use in their app reviews. Retailers received both an iOS app store and an Android app store. The data is provided by the Application Resource Center, the research arm of app quality and testing company Applause App Quality Inc. Some retailing apps have only a handful of reviews, which could skew their app store, says Ben Gray, digital experience analyst at the Application Resource Center.

275 of the retailers in the Mobile 500 have an iPhone app, 177 have an iPad app, 245 have an Android smartphone app and 70 have an Android Tablet app.

Fanatics Inc. (No. 61 in the Mobile 500) and ASOS Pic Holdings (No. 49) have among the highest sentiment scores for both their Android and iOS apps.

One practice that sets these apps apart is that they continually release updates, Gray says.

“Each (of these apps) already launched 10 or more new app releases in 2016 alone,” Gray says. “With release cadences accelerating, sustaining quality is a challenge, but these retailers are showing the industry how it’s done.”

Part of why sports apparel and gear e-retailer Fanatics has such a high app sentiment score is because most of it is tailored for loyal shoppers, says David Katz, senior vice president of product management at Fanatics. In Fanatics’ apps, shoppers can select their favourite sports teams so every time they open the app, they see the products from their favoured team featured.

App shoppers show their appreciation by buying. A Fanatics app shopper places 40% more orders than desktop shoppers and spends three times as much as desktop shoppers, Katz says. Another reason why app shoppers purchase more on the app is because the e-retailer offers “double fan cash,” a part of its loyalty program, for every purchase a shopper makes in the app.

The app also has a one-page checkout and features Apple Pay, a one-touch checkout option, as a way to get consumers quickly through checkout, Katz says.

ASOS also has a quick in-app checkout flow, in addition to other app features that help boost its sentiment score, Gray says. “ASOS effectively utilises in-app push notifications to alert shoppers to the start and end of sales events,” Gray says.

The retailers with the top app sentiment scores on Android were: Nordstrom Inc. (96), Tory Burch LLC (95), HepsiBurada.com (91), 1-800 Contacts Inc. (89), Fanatics (88), ASOS (86), Shoproomprive.com (85) and JustFab Inc. (85).
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Nordstrom’s in-store app features, such as scanning tags to see online availability, are among its most popular, says a spokesman for the retailer.

Another popular feature is the app’s wish list and save for later feature, he says. Nordstrom then uses push notifications to alert a consumer if she is passing a Nordstrom’s physical store that has an item in stock that is also on her wish list, he says.

For iOS, the retailers with the top app sentiment scores were: Monsoon Accessorize (100), Total Hockey Inc. (99), Tea Collection (97), Inditex Group (96), ASOS (93), Fanatics (92), Steve Madden Ltd. (90) and The Honest Company Inc. (90).

The average Android app sentiment score was 46, while the average iOS score was 51. Gray is not surprised that iOS apps have a slightly higher score than Android apps, since many different types of devices run the Android operating system.

 

 

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As I scroll through Instagram, my mind tends to slip into a fugue state, the kind that should be expected from beaming a pure and endless stream of delicious-looking food, friends, puppies, celebrities, nature, Confucius quotes, and sunsets into my eyes. I temporarily forget where I am, whether that’s on a street corner or my own couch, and just keep swiping up on my phone’s screen, soaking in images like UV rays in a high-powered tanning bed turned up to “Snookie.” Then there comes an inevitable point in my Insta-hole when I thumb over a bag I want to buy, or a story I want to read. As I skim the image caption, I am abruptly awakened by the words: “Link in bio.” Link. In. Bio: A phrase that launched a thousand 20-somethings’ social media jobs. Kylie Jenner says it. Chance the Rapper rhymed it with pico de gallo once. The New York Times uses a grammatically correct version of it. Ditto the White House. Even Ringer social media manager Rubie Edmondson has been forced to use the phrase on occasion. (She readily admits that she “dies a little inside” every time she writes it.) However grating, those three words have become a necessity for anyone hoping to reap the benefits of Instagram’s growing audience. The six-year-old social media network hosts about 500 million active users a month, including Beyoncé, the Transportation Security Administration, and Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov (he’s a ruthless dictator who has a thing for cats!). Entire cottage industries rely on its audience and yes, those precious bio links, to make money. And yet, Instagram prevents its users from including links everywhere on the site except the “website” section of a person’s profile. Take a moment to think about that. A network that hosts millions of people won’t let them do something that is second nature for digital natives. So its users have concocted their own clunky loophole to get around the problem. It’s as if there were a permanent snowstorm in a city, and the mayor refused to clear the sidewalks. Inevitably, pedestrians would just stomp out their own inelegant roundabout paths to navigate the dirty, urine-filled slush. And just like those slush paths, the “link in bio” loophole is semi-functional, at best. Instagram’s photo feed is no longer chronological. So when a news post says “story link in bio,” that very well could not even be true anymore! It could be a different link, or no there could be no link at all. When I start chasing down a Shade Room link, it rarely leads me to the story I was looking for, because the account posts something like 20 images a day and even I’m not addicted enough to Instagram to catch them all as they post. The same goes for the recipes Bon Appetit teases in its scrumptious food photo captions: I often land on instructions to make a Greek salad when I was really interested in wings. I can only imagine how many thousands of dollars of debt I would be in if I could “click to buy” the items featured on clothing labels’ Instagrams, rather than search for a bio link that leads me to the homepage of a website.