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JCPenney revamps its mobile app and adds in-store pickup to attract shoppers

JCPenney has redesigned its mobile app to make shopping easier for consumers, reportsMobile Commerce Daily.

The legacy department store has had trouble keeping sales up in the age of e-commerce, and this redesign is likely aimed at digitally-savvy shoppers who are moving online. The new app design features a cleaner, simpler look to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to browse items and checkout.

Simplicity is especially important for mobile retail apps. Retailers often have trouble getting consumers to download their apps due to clunky functionality, particularly when it comes to the look of items on smaller screens and channels for entering payment information. Making an app simple to use is vital for any retailer looking to grow its mobile presence. This is especially true for JCPenney because attracting younger shoppers could help revive its business.

In addition to redesigning the mobile app, JCPenney also launched its Same Day In Store Pickup option for app users. This feature was previously only available via JCPenney's browser. Bringing the offering to the app could benefit JCPenney by reducing declining foot traffic in brick-and-mortar locations. In 2015, click-and-collect sales averaged 6.7% of total e-commerce sales among a select group of top retailers, according to a report from Slice Intelligence.

Click and collect is a useful tool to help attract shoppers who want the convenience of browsing and buying online but don't want to wait for a delivery. It could also lead to incremental sales for JCPenney — 69% of shoppers that have used click and collect bought additional items upon collection of their purchases, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

JCPenney has likely turned much of its focus to digital tools and e-commerce after a disappointing first quarter this year. The company reported a 1.6% year-over-year (YoY) top-line decline in Q1 2016. Revenue contracted to $2.81 billion, compared to $2.86 billion in Q1 2015. Same-store sales declined 0.4%, signaling a drop in foot traffic in established locations.

Overall, department stores have been floundering in the e-commerce era as shoppers are attracted to wider selections online, often at lower prices. In order to combat this, we expect to see JCPenney and others increase focus on digital tools that can help keep foot traffic up and attract shoppers.

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