top of page

APPsolutely Fabulous

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

The latest and greatest APPs you need to know all about

According to recently published Hootsuite’s research on New Zealand digital usage 2021:

· 6.56 million mobile connections in NZ in January 2021

· The number of mobile connections increased in 12 months by 78,000

· The number of mobile connections in NZ in January 2021 was equivalent to 135.6% of the total population

I am a cynic, so there are either a lot of drug dealers, people having affairs or trolls in NZ, or good people separating their work and personal life 🤨 Technology is clearly part of the fabric of our everyday lives. If you are like me, you are more likely to leave the house without your wallet than your mobile phone and mobile shopping is just the norm.

Interestingly, a recent Australian research study by Power Retail found the number of retailer apps that shoppers have on their phone remains relatively unchanged since 2019. While the number of retailers who have apps has increased over time, this doesn’t necessarily translate into an increase in the number of apps that consumers download, plateauing at around five. This means that app real-estate is extremely competitive.

Furthermore, the study found, “ the importance of apps to shoppers has gone down over time, dropping in importance from 7.1 out of 10 in 2019 to 6.6 out of 10 in 2021. Not a huge decrease, but enough to show that if shoppers passion for retailer apps can be summed up in a bit of a shoulder shrug accompanied by an ambivalent ‘meh’. That being said, we know that 22 percent of shoppers on mobile are using apps (compared to 25 percent of shoppers on mobile not using them). So apps are obviously a relatively important part of the purchase funnel for many.”

Competitive right. The following apps are inspired by true insight.

The KBot

Kmart recently released the KBot, Augmented Reality (AR) technology to help Kmart customers see how homewares products look in their own homes. The app also uses conversational artificial intelligence (AI), powered by Oracle’s Digital Assistant to provide information about product dimensions, features, and recommendations of complementary products.

I love this app and it was designed to bring joy and inspiration to customers’ lives, and to make shopping easier. Another sprinkle of Kmart fairy dust.


Tegut…teo is a new automated supermarket concept in Germany from grocery chain Tegut. The small-format store is conceived as a local shop with the added convenience of being open around the clock.

One way that it differs from other automated supermarkets is through access. Customers can use the partner app to enter the store, scan their chosen purchases and pay, but it’s not the only option.

Shoppers can also swipe a payment card to enter the store and then use the self-service terminal to scan their purchases. This makes tegut…teo a more accessible concept that genuinely serves the wider community which includes people who may find using an app difficult.

Tegut…teo is also particularly innovative in its store design. Around the outside of the store are various service points that customers can use for free such as a book exchange and bike repair station. Again, it emphasises the idea of the store as a community hub.


Getir, is a start-up based out of Turkey that has built a $7.5 billion business out a mobile app that lets consumers buy groceries and get them delivered in minutes. It’s at the forefront of a new category of super-fast hyper convenience disruptors that is challenging the well-stocked corner store with a service that needs even less effort and time from the average shopper.


Custom made clothes have always been seen as a niche offer with a hefty price tag attached, but Amazon launched a way for customers to create custom clothing with Made for You, which lets shoppers create a custom T-shirt to their exact measurements. This service doesn’t require lots of measurements like other apps and only requires users to provide their height, weight, body style and two photos of themselves to get measured for their custom fit.

Once you get going you get to choose from a selection of eight colours, and style preferences such as fit, sleeve and shirt length, neckline and fabrics. The shirts can even include your name printed on the label, as a small perk.

At just US$25 this is fabulous and we love the innovation that you can view the product on a virtual version of yourself before you buy it.


We have covered this before, but it’s worth covering again. Last year, Burberry teamed up with tech giant Tencent to create the world’s first luxury social retail store. This store in Shenzhen, China blends digital and bricks and mortar via a WeChat mini programme giving the shopper access to product information, store tours, and book services.

Every interaction with Burberry through the WeChat programme builds the customer’s ‘social currency’ enabling them to unlock new rewards and experiences, including access to the exclusive Trench Experience space.

This is incredibly innovative and connects with the attitudes and behavioural influences of a Burberry shopper.


HERO isn’t a new app but we have been talking about it since it launched and we met with the founder Adam Levene in 2015. HERO is a social shopping platform designed to provide consumers with inspiration, advice, and immediately shoppable content produced directly from retailers' physical stores and it is incredible. Through Hero, everyday across the world, stores and associates are no longer standing idle, but are proactively assisting millions of online shoppers - creating a formidable advantage against pure-play online retailers.

For online shoppers – it’s the next best thing to being there. At the tap of a button, HERO offers digital shoppers all the benefits of being in store, through personalised chat and livestreaming, increasing conversion and average order values. This is a real competitive advantage.

For sales assistants it empowers them to drive a better experience and better outcomes for customers. No longer do they feel threatened by ecommerce, they feel like an active participant in driving engagement with their brand, engagement with their shoppers and empowered to deliver more results.


Creating an immersive environment in retail needs to extend beyond the physical limits of your store. Success is all about seamlessness and creating an experience for the customer wherever they engage with your brand. But the landscape is cluttered so your app needs to really resonate if you want to beat out the masses.

Do you need help navigating the landscape to determine if you need an app for your business? Give us a help and we can help you work your way through what is right for the age and stage of your business.

bottom of page