In an era where the average person is using their smartphone for more than 25% of the time they are awake, it’s natural that retailers are targeting shoppers more and more through mobile apps. Studies show that mobile apps may be even more useful than websites for encouraging purchases.

In 2016, eMarketer found that we spend 86% of our smartphone time in-app. That number has only increased in the subsequent three years. Additionally, retail app users spend more than 200 minutes shopping per month. On the other hand, website users spend fewer than 11 minutes shopping each month.

If brands do not differentiate their mobile experience, they will not be able to keep up. The future of closing the deal with a customer will rely on how well a mobile experience is personalized to the individual customer, showing just how much the brand cares about them as a shopper.

Here are five brands on the cutting-edge of this trend:

Show You Remember Like thredUP

Gone are the days of seeing that perfect top online, only to find your size sold out. thredUP saves size preferences online and in-app to filter products, only showing those that fit. The up-to-date sync on the app provides shoppers with recommendations within their actual sizes, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Utilize Augmented Reality Like Warby Parker

Showing a customer exactly what a product looks like on a five-inch screen is a challenge that many retail apps face — especially when it comes to products that require precision fit. Warby Parker has a solution. Using best-in-breed augmented reality and 360-degree imaging, the retailer shows shoppers exactly how products look on their faces.

Personalize Categories Like

Protein supplements aren’t the only way this brand gets its customers pumped up.’s retail app clusters products by user goals, brands, and ingredients. This allows customers to quickly find the products they want by taking into account many explicit, filtered preferences.

Pay Attention to Preferences Like Under Armour

A mobile preference center is a crucial tool for a retail app, and Under Armour’s goes above and beyond. Under Armour’s in-app preference center allows product recommendations to be personalized for the shopper based on the activities they do, who they shop for, and what influencers they follow.

Integrate Important Moments Like Bloom & Wild

Save the date! The retail app for UK floral company Bloom & Wild allows customers to add important dates to an in-app calendar or sync their own calendars. Bloom & Wild then sends reminders about upcoming events like Mother’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays, along with corresponding personalized product recommendations.