Working title: The impact of mobile apps use on market expansion: The case of British clothes retailing
The state of clothes retailing in the UK
The UK clothing market is going through a dramatic period of change. Online is not only capturing a greater share of consumer spending, but it is also highly influential in what consumers are choosing to buy – no matter where they are making the final purchase. Whilst the online-only retailers are outperforming at present, this is because they have a better understanding of their customers and are responding faster to changes in how people are shopping.
Online-only retailers now capture an estimated 12.3% of consumer spending on clothing and accessories, with ASOS, Amazon and a raft of smaller players such as boohoo and Missguided having a small but growing impact on the sector.
Challenges faced by the clothes retail in the UK
According to the latest statistics, the rate of CPI (Consumer Price Index) had an obvious downward trend from 3.1% in November 2017 to 1.8% in January 2019 (Office for National Statistics, n.d.). This means that the inflation of UK has been falling over the past year and consumers’ purchasing power has increased. However, consumer confidence has taken a hit from ongoing economic uncertainty (Mintel, 2019).
The British clothing industry is threatened by big online retailers like amazon (Gupta, 2013).
An outline of the usage of mobile apps.
According to Newman, Wachter, and White (2018: 211), mobile apps are an emergent self-service technology that has significantly increased mobile shopping.
The Internet Marketing Association (2014) points out that about 60 per cent of Internet activity comes from mobile devices in the United States and almost 50 per cent of the traffic comes from mobile applications (Lipsman, 2014)
Indeed amongst those aged 16-34 shopping via any mobile device (64%) now has parity with PC/laptop (65%), whilst among the younger 16-24s we found parity between smartphone (58%) and PC/laptop (58%) use. This again feeds into wider trends in the market with Mintel’s Online Retailing – UK, July 2018 finding this 16-34 (64%) age group far more likely than average (38%) to have bought products via smartphone in the past year.
A study indicated that 69 per cent of retailers intended to increase their expenditures on mobile commerce (Brohan, 2012).
Consumers devote nearly 25 per cent of their overall app usage time to retailers’ apps, specifically, ranking above time spent on instant messenger, game, music, radio and news/information apps (comScore, 2014).
Introduce the state and challenges of British clothes retail
Explain mobile app and analyse it from 3 aspects
The definition of mobile app and analysis in three aspects
The definition of mobile app
Mobile apps rely on the smartphone’s native code, creating a self-contained user interface, whereas mobile web sites rely on HTML (Charland and Leroux, 2011).
Apps “move e-commerce off the Web and onto a more secure mobile Internet platform. They cut through the clutter of domain-name servers and uncalibrated information sources, taking the user straight to the content he or she already values” (Johnson, 2010:24).
Analysis in three aspects (function, brand effect and consumer psychology)
Lee, Kim, and Moon (2016: 2864) point out that it is significant to understand the effects through the functions of mobile apps, brand effect and Consumer psychology.
(Consumer psychology) As explained by the theory of reasoned action and its derivative theories, there is a strong correlation between attitude and the intention to engage in a behaviour that has been empirically supported in a variety of contexts, including coupon usage (Shimp and Kavas, 1984; Bagozzi et al., 1992).
(Function) Apps serve as meaningful points of access to retailers’ services and goods that customers proactively establish and integrate into their lives in a variety of ways (Belk, 2013; Wang et al., 2015). For example, apps serve as highly accessible outlets for customers to interact with retailers and other customers, voice their personal opinions via online ratings and comments, indicate their personal shopping interests and preferences and even create customized “wish lists” of their favorite products and brands.
(Brand effect) Consumers’ perceived emotion value of the branded app is positively related to their overall perceived value of the app (Peng et al., 2014).
Bagozzi, R.P. , Baumgartner, H. and Youjae, Y. (1992) ‘State versus action orientation and the theory of reasoned action: an application to coupon usage’, Journal of Consumer Research, 18/4, 505-518.
Belk, R.W. (2013) ‘Extended self in a digital world’, Journal of Consumer Research, 40/3, 477-500.
Brohan, M. (2012) The internet retailer survey: mobile commerce [online], Available from: www.internetretailer.com/2012/10/01/internet-retailer-survey-mobile-commerce [Accessed 20th February 2019].
Charland, A. and Leroux, B. (2011) ‘Mobile application development: web vs. native’, Communications of the ACM, 54/5, 49-53.
comScore (2014) The 2014 US Mobile App Report [online], Available from: www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2014/The-US-Mobile-App-Report [Accessed 20th February 2019].
Gupta, S. (2013), ‘For mobile devices, think apps, not ads’, Harvard Business Review, 91/3, 71-75.
Johnson, R. (2010), ‘Apps culture reinventing mobile internet’, Electronic Engineering Times, 1588/1,24-30.
Lipsman, A. (2014) Major Mobile Milestones in May: Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital [online], Available from: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/organisational-development/pestle-analysis-factsheet [Accessed 20th February 2019].
Lee, W. S., Kim, I. and Moon, J. (2016) ‘Determinants of restaurant internationalisation: An upper echelons theory perspective’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28/12, 2864-2887.
Newman, C. L., Wachter, K. and White, A. (2018) ‘Bricks or clicks? Understanding consumer usage of retail mobile apps’, The Journal of Services Marketing, 32/2, 211-222.
Kuo-Fang Peng, Yan Chen, Kuang-Wei Wen, (2014) ‘Brand relationship, consumption values and branded app adoption’, Industrial Management & Data Systems, 114/8, 1131-1143.
Wang, R.J., Malthouse, E.C. and Krishnamurthi, L. (2015) ‘On the go: how mobile shopping affects customer purchase behavior’, Journal of Retailing, 91/2, 217-234.
Shimp, T.A. and Kavas, A. (1984), ‘The theory of reasoned action applied to coupon usage’, Journal of Consumer Research, 11/3, 795-809.