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Retail Applications: Creating and Engaging User Experience

Retail Applications: Creating an Engaging User Experience

Retailers are beginning to look towards mobile applications to generate interest and create excitement. The application has to have an appealing user experience in order to keep your users interested. If you are designing retail applications, here are a few tips to consider which will help create a positive user experience.


When trying to keep users engaged, send meaningful communications as to why they should use the application. For example, send out an email to users with time-sensitive offers – “Log in to our app tonight from 8pm-9pm for a 20% discount off your total order.” Another way to create an engaging user experience through persistence could be to randomly ask the user a question throughout their use of the application. For example, as the user is scrolling through your application a visual indication can appear on screen that entices the user to click on it. When the user clicks on the visual, the application asks them a question about their style preferences. Based on the answer, the application could re-format the items based on the user’s feedback.

However, when done incorrectly, persistence can sometimes be a downfall in user experience. Constantly sending alerts and notifications to the user will degrade their overall user experience. Nobody likes spam.


Building incentives inside of your application will keep users interested and enhance their user experience. One way to create incentives is to offer something for free in exchange for an email address. Free doesn’t necessarily mean costly for the retailer. Also, incentives don’t always have to mean ‘free’. Incentives can be discounts, earning rewards points, time-sensitive offers, and so on.

There are various ways to add interactive incentives to an application. For example, as a user scrolls through the application, present them with time-sensitive offers. If the user clicks on a specific product, have a pop up appear which tells them if they purchase the item within the next 10 minutes, they will receive some type of reward. If the user saves the item, the screen could display a timer that stays positioned in the top right corner of the screen until the offer has expired.

Here are a few screenshots from a very successful retail application that gives the user incentives to use the application:

Notice, this application has substituted points for kicks. Once the user has collected enough kicks, they can trade them in for gift cards or free products.

By gamifying your application, you can create a more interesting and therefore, positive user experience. For example, create a contest for users. Present the user with a photo of an outfit and ask them to guess which celebrity wears that look. Another example of gamifying your application could be to present several styles of clothing to the user. Then, the user drags and drops their favorite items into a basket. Once the user adds all of their favorite items into the basket, the screen reveals what types and/or brands of clothing best fit their style based on their selections.

There are other strategies you can include when conceptualizing your retail application, but focusing on these three strategies will help to create a positive user experience.

About the Author

Richard Alvarez began his career at Microsoft, during which he wrote his first book on Adobe Flash, which was published by New Riders. He has worked with multiple start-up companies, which has taught him that the digital space is constantly evolving.

Prior to joining Saggezza, Richard helped form Method Engine’s philosophy of strategic design. He worked as lead IT at a small creative agency. During that time, he was key in creating technical solutions, based on consumer driven best practices.

Saggezza is a proven technology and consulting partner that delivers personalized, high-value solutions to accelerate business growth.

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