Like we discussed earlier, a mobile app for small business and retail stores not just helps bridge the gap between offline and online experiences, but also triggers engagement and interaction with your customers. Yet, rather than developing a simple mobile-friendly replica of your website or just simply adding basic e-commerce capabilities to the mobile user experience, more enterprises are moving towards developing a convenient smart phone app. But, as famously and rightly put by Animal Farm Author George Orwell, – All apps are equal, but some apps are more equal than others.  Scroll through your Android Playstore or iOS app store and you will explore infinite offers for the same product. But how does one app differentiate from the other? Here are some must features that you must include to ensure positive customer experiences:

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  1. Order out-of-stock Items:  When a customer visits a physical store outlet and finds products out-of-stock, he can use the app to order them online. That way the store can ensure that the customer is not disappointed and at the same time, the purchase is executed.
  2. Floor Layout: Floor layout with different sections can make the experience better. For a restaurant this can translate into a table for reservation while for a departmental store this can mean ‘locate-your-item’.
  3. Scan Products: All the products which are picked can be scanned before putting in cart. This information can be used for billing, generating warranty cards among others. This information can also be stored as customer history akin to the online shopping.
  4. Ratings and Reviews: The customer can see ratings/reviews of other customers who have used the product. Just like online experiences, a buyer here can read product reviews and make an informed decision.
  5. Order and Delivery: For products which are fragile, heavier or are available in different colours, an order can be placed while-in the physical store and paid at billing. The product can be delivered at shipping address.
  6. Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Opportunities: The biggest drawback of physical stores is not able to leverage up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. These are available in online stores and have yielded positive results. But, for physical stores, to deploy a sales-person for up-selling and cross-selling which might turn out expensive. Hence, this can be taken up through the mobile app. Sometimes post the sale, complementary products can be sold through this app.
  7. Product Feedback: Product feedback from buyers can directly be taken to the manufacturers. This feedback can be either data analytics or more preferable worded feedback from buyers.
  8. Create Product Wishlists: One other feature online users like using is the ability to create wish list through which they can make a future purchase. It lets buyers pick the thread from where they left and also help them plan in future. Unfortunately, this is not available for physical store buyers.
  9. Pay through Phone: At the billing section, payments can be executed through pay-pal accounts, google wallets or any other preferred mode. This way the physical store is allowing more payment capabilities which was earlier available for online purchases.
  10. Intelligent Product Warnings: Alerts based on religious or dietary preferences can be issued when some prohibitory products are picked.
  11. Post on Social Media: Providing the option to users to post pictures or comments on the products, offers, new products on Social media channels. This will ensure a guaranteed viral buzz helping your sales.
  12. Loyalty Points: In the present day scenario, there are different tracks for different products/services for reward or loyalty points. In most cases, they come in form of a physical card which most users do not like to carry around. Here, a mobile app comes handy as an identifier and can help a user not only leverage and keep track but also help in buying more products.
  13. Real-time promotions: Based on the day/time, buyers can be alerted on the promotions as they hover near the inventory locations. This will not only help buyer make an intelligent decision but also boost sales.

These were some of the top features I thought your brand should not be compromising on. Feel free to comment below to give us your top picks on what you think a mobile app cannot do without.