It's no secret that fashion brands need to stay ahead of the curve to keep up with changing consumer trends. In order to do this, they must provide an excellent customer experience - and a web app is a perfect way to deliver that. Web apps offer several advantages over native web apps or traditional websites, including faster loading times and improved user interface. But there is more…
What is a web app?
A web app is a web-based application that offers rich content and features for users to interact with. Unlike traditional websites which generally delivery static content, web apps are designed to allow a more dynamic and personalised interaction with the end consumer. They are also optimized for mobile devices since they run inside the browser. Web apps can provide some of the same features as native apps, such as push notifications and access to device features like camera and GPS. However, web apps often have the advantage of being much easier to develop when compared with native mobile apps.
So, why choosing a web app and not a native app?
- It works without having to go through an app store or download an app: downloading causes friction, and reduce engagement;
- It requires less support and maintenance to stay up to date with the many different operating systems;
- As new devices and operating systems are released, the web app will already work and the user doesn’t have to constantly update it.
PWAs, progressive web apps
PWAs are progressive web apps. This means that they can be installed on a user's device and will work independently of an internet connection. As such, these apps provide an optimal user experience for customers who need to access the app when offline or on the go.
PWAs offer the best of both web and native apps, providing an app-like user experience with web technologies. This is why they are becoming increasingly popular as they can provide a cost-effective way to create the same great user experience as native mobile apps, but with faster load times and advanced functionality.
Benefits of a web app for fashion brands
A web app brings several advantages to fashion brands, compared to traditional websites or mobile apps. Let's see some of them.
1) Web apps improve customer engagement
Web apps are a great way to improve customer engagement and increase sales.
By offering web-based features such as push notifications, web apps can give customers an easy way to stay informed about new products or promotions, and join digital loyalty programs. This helps build brand loyalty and encourages repeat purchases.
Moreover, with web applications, brands are able to provide personalised content and can customise their user experience with unique features and designs that are tailored specifically to their customers’ needs, making it easier for them to find what they need. This gives customers an intuitive, engaging interface that makes shopping more enjoyable.
Finally, by providing an easy-to-use web app, users are more likely to interact with the brand regularly as they can just open up the web app to find new products and deals.
2) They are useful for authentication and sustainability
Web apps provide a secure authentication process for customers by using encryption techniques that protect user data, secure logins, and payment processing. This helps to ensure that customers are protected from malicious attacks or unauthorised access to their accounts and personal information. It is an important feature as it allows fashion brands to provide a safe and secure shopping experience. This can result in better customer loyalty and a higher level of trust between customers and the brand.
But authentication also concerns products and web apps are a convenient means for consumers to register new products once purchased or to check if they are original or fake. These authentication systems protect both consumers and brands from counterfeiting, increase consumer engagement, sustainability and generate commercial and consumer insights. Authentication gives the customer the certainty that the product they are buying is original, and also makes reselling and recycling easier, for a more sustainable brand experience.
3) They are useful to trace the product and understand the consumer
Web apps allow consumer to connect and engage with products, and access information, sustainability passports, services and experiences. Each engagement with a product, by any player along the value chain, generates data that enables brands to trace products from the procurement of raw materials to after-sales. This tracking simplifies all the activities that are part of the circular economy (rental, resell, repair, recycling) and allows brands to monetise the product through its entire lifecycle.
Web apps also allow brands to gain insight into consumer behaviour, giving them a better understanding of their customer's preferences. This helps them tailor their web app experience and products to meet the needs of their consumers.
4) They are cost and time savers
By creating web apps, brands can avoid the need to invest in costly web projects or printed catalogs and instead focus on providing an excellent digital customer experience.
Web apps can be created quickly and easily without the need for expensive app developers, and even deployed faster than traditional web development, helping to reduce the amount of time it takes to get a product online. Finally, they also offer lower maintenance costs as they are easy to update with new features or content.