As we head into the heaviest retail season of the year, one local company has some insight for stores that are anticipating that mobile will play a big role in sales. This morning, Framingham-based app testing software company Applause released its “State of the Retail Apps Economy” and “State of the U.S. Travel Apps Economy,” two report cards that provide the first industry specific breakdowns of mobile app quality among brands.
The company used its app analytics, online app reviews, and other data to create the first ARC 360 reports on mobile retail apps and travel apps.
The data for retail apps found that heath & beauty retail apps scored highest on its quality ratings system, with Walgreens, Amazon, Pizza Hut, and eBay demonstrating the most positive quality ratings. Applause also discovered that the companies with the lowest app quality scores were Burger King, Kohl’s, McDonald’s, and Michaels stores.
And as you begin to think about heading home for the holidays, Applause also analyzed apps that the travel industry has released. Online booking applications scored highest, while, maybe not surprisingly, car rental apps had the lowest quality scores. Companies like Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Kayak performed well in the travel report while airline apps and companies like Hertz, Hyatt, and Hilton scored poorly in terms of their mobile applications.
Matt Johnston, Applause’s chief marketing officer, said he was surprised by the disparity between brands on the high end and low end of the scale. “There are some very stark winners and very stark losers in retail and in travel,” he said.
“To the extent that a brand thinks that digital and mobile are important, you are talking about a stark advantage for some brands you wouldn’t expect.”
The report is a great resource for retail companies to gauge how their mobile apps stand up to both users reviews and data analysis. The ARC 360 project, spearheaded by (somewhat) recent Applause hires Dan Rowinski and Ben Gray, is a resource the Johnston said is “not about marketing or buzz, but is about creating more informed clients and brands.”
The company plans to release more industry specific reports in the next few months including one focusing on media apps in December and a fitness/health geared one at the start of 2015.