App marketing among retailers is falling way short of the mark in the UK, with the top 50 retailers squandering opportunities to incentivise consumers and offer personalised communications. 

96% of the country’s top retailers, defined by turnover, currently have an app. But research by analytics company Teradata brings into question whether they really are as useful as they could be.

For example. just under half (44%) don’t have a setting which allows customers to tweak what notifications they see, and of the group that do, only third actually send them.

Let’s look at where else retailers are missing open goals…


The study found that just 44% of retailers welcome new customers to their app with an offer, while just half with physical stores encouraged users to visit their outlet, despite two thirds (67%) asking for a geographical information.

Cart abandonment push notifications featured on none of the apps in the study, despite offers on neglected items being seen as a proven and effective way of increasing conversions.


Half of the apps in the study (50%) used a ‘sign in to use’ feature, enabling the collection of basic personal details and access to further SMS and email channels, yet just 13% of the apps welcomed consumers by their name.

The selling power of presenting personalised offerings is also being largely overlooked, with just a fifth (21%) of the top-ranking retailers employing a personalised homepage.

The potential

Retailers have little excuse not to be integrating these features effectively into their apps, as according to Teradata’s research, 93% of the apps are native to the operating systems they are available on.

It’s now imperative for retailers to reap the missed opportunities of app communications, not just for the sake of conversions but also for increasing brand loyalty and customer experience, says Jon Williams, country manager UK & Ireland for Teradata Marketing Applications.

“It’s time for personalisation to be at the core of customer communications, and retailers must use push notifications more effectively to influence purchasing decisions,” he adds.