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Mobile plays a role in most retail purchases these days, making it imperative that retailers live up to consumers' rising expectations of their favorite brands.

Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru estimates that roughly half of brick-and-mortar retail mobile sales are made in apps. Even if consumers don't actually purchase on mobile, there's still a high likelihood mobile was a part of their customer journey: A study by Facebook IQ found that 45% of shopping trips include some mobile shopping.

Investment in digital retail strategies is more pertinent and complex than ever, so where should brands focus their efforts?

Retail brands can look to the successes of their peers to help answer that question. We'll take a look at what makes Kohl's, eBay, Walgreens, and Amazon (four of the top retail mobile apps) successful.

I'll share the three strategies all four apps have in common, and examine the specific tactics these retailers use to create mobile customer experiences consumers actually enjoy.

Three Strategies for Mobile Shopping App Success

What sets these top apps apart from the competition? We identified three essential strategies all of the apps use:

  1. Reduce friction in the path to purchase.
  2. Make customers' lives more convenient.
  3. Create seamless omnichannel experiences.

Let's explore some tactics the apps use to execute on those three overarching strategies.

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Emily Carrion is head of marketing at Apptentive mobile customer engagement software, which empowers brands to build meaningful relationships with their customers.

LinkedIn: Emily Carrion

Twitter: @Emily_Carrion