Comparative Analysis of Shopping Reward Apps

5 min


User engagement is a hot topic in digital marketing. It can boost revenue and ROI. However, it can also be difficult to measure. It depends on the business model and users’ personal preferences.

One important metric to look at is daily or monthly active users. This metric shows whether users are using the app regularly.


apps similar to Shopkick represent an important new digital touchpoint for retail brands, offering multiple opportunities for attenuating the gap between the firm and consumer by facilitating value creation and co-creation (Lima, Mittal and Verhoef 2010). These unique capabilities can also help firms attain competitive advantages by creating strong emotional bonds with consumers. However, existing marketing knowledge of apps is fragmented and based on diverse theoretical perspectives. A synthesis of these views reveals substantial gaps and highlights areas for future research.

Existing studies focus on the influence of various factors on consumers’ initial predispositions toward an app, the adoption of the app, and its use and stickiness. These include consumer involvement theory, which assumes that app usage influences consumers’ cognitive and psychological responses to the medium. In addition, other theories posit that the user experience and the app’s design may affect consumers’ perceived utility, functionality and ease of use.

A majority of these studies focus on examining the relationship between the app’s features and user satisfaction, with some highlighting the moderating effects of personal characteristics such as age and gender. A few studies, including van Heerde, Dinner and Neslin (2015) and Fang, Zhao, Wen and Wang (2017), examine the role of branded apps’ characteristics in fostering psychological engagement.

In the literature, several themes emerge from these studies: customer app satisfaction mediates the relationship between cognitive experience and loyalty; and, hedonic and relational experiences are a vital driver of customer loyalty. It is important to note that the hedonic experience has a stronger effect on loyalty than the relational experience. This means that retailers should focus on leveraging apps to deliver a pleasant, fun, exciting and interesting experience for customers. This can be done by introducing palatable colour schemes, immersive features or entertaining games. The hedonic experience is a critical element of retail app satisfaction, and its impact on customer loyalty has been well-documented in the literature. It is important to note that the euphoria associated with shopping via an app can diminish over time. Therefore, it is important to monitor the level of hedonic experience and adjust the content accordingly.


If you’re a consumer who’s been using shopping apps like Fetch Rewards, you know that it’s an excellent way to save money on groceries and household items. However, if you’re considering switching to another app, there are some things you should keep in mind before making the switch. First, make sure you’re aware of any potential issues with the app. For example, if you’re a frequent user of the app, it’s important to note that some apps may not have access to your payment info. This can lead to an accidental charge and a loss of your hard-earned savings.

In addition to these issues, it’s also important to note that some retailers have their own app-specific terms of service. These terms of service can include stipulations regarding the minimum purchase amount and other limitations. It’s important to read these terms of service carefully before signing up for an account with a particular retailer.

The marketing literature on app growth reveals the importance of fostering brand loyalty through a variety of mechanisms, including app-specific strategies and user engagement behaviors. Some of these include brand attachment (i.e., a mental link between the customer and the brand, see Peng et al. 2014); brand identification (i.e., a shared identity between the brand and its consumers, see Romaniuk and Sharp 2016); brand affection (i.e., a deep emotional connection between the brand and its consumers, see Baena 2016); and app-specific branding (see Lee and van Heerde, Dinner and Neslin 2019).

Existing research on retail app satisfaction and loyalty focuses on various theoretical approaches, including motivation theory (Herzberg, Mausner and Bloch-Snyderman 1959), flow theory (Wu and Ye 2013), transportation theory (Green and Brock 2000) and media engagement theory (Kilger and Romer 2007). Despite these differences, most theories highlight that app benefits are essential to customer app satisfaction and retailer customer loyalty.

To help retailers increase customer app satisfaction and loyalty, they should focus on CX with their apps. Recent research on CX with retail apps focuses on four experiential dimensions: cognitive, affective, relational, and sensorial. This approach, based on the major faculties of the human mind and tenets of cognitive psychology (Pinker, 1998), provides a clearer conceptualization of app experience than existing models of CX that measure second-order constructs (i.e., persuasion theory, involvement theory, self-congruence theory, and consumer-brand relationship theory).


A retail reward app is an ideal way to help customers earn rewards for buying at participating retailers. These apps can be downloaded from online stores and are usually free to use. However, it’s important to check if an app has any potential issues before downloading one. These may include limitations on the number of rewards a customer can earn or payment methods. Also, it’s crucial to check how quickly rewards can be redeemed.

The convenience of the fetch rewards alternative depends on how easy it is to set up and use an account and whether the app offers convenient payment options. For example, some apps offer cashback rewards while others allow customers to redeem points for gift cards or other products. Some retailers also offer exclusive deals on their mobile apps that are not available anywhere else. Additionally, an app’s user experience should be comfortable, exciting, and pleasant. These factors can help a retailer attract customers and increase customer loyalty.

Previous research highlights the importance of customer-related attributes in influencing consumers’ positive attitudes and evaluations of an app (Bruner and Kumar 2005; Hong and Tam 2006; Karaiskos, Drossos, Tsiaousis, Giaglis, and Fouskas 2012; and Wang and Li 2014). Moreover, these factors are key to encouraging the adoption and use of retail apps and to building customer loyalty.

Our results show that the impact of sensorial experience on customer retail app satisfaction is more pronounced than the impact of cognitive and affective experiences. Furthermore, the relationships between these variables are moderated by age and device type. This suggests that the effect of sensorial experience on CS is higher among younger users and those who use smartphones rather than tablets.

While the results of this study confirm that customer retail app satisfaction is a strong predictor of app downloads and usage, there is considerable scope for future research on the underlying mechanisms. In particular, there is a need to identify the specific features of an app that are most likely to create hedonic and utilitarian value for different consumer segments. Moreover, future studies should examine the link between app performance and customer brand loyalty.


Apps are a key touchpoint in the customer journey and offer retailers an opportunity to shape unique experiences for their customers. However, there is a need for further research on the impact of the design and functionality of apps on their consumer outcomes, such as satisfaction with the app and loyalty. The existing marketing literature on the topic reveals a range of different assumptions and conceptualizations for app engagement, which differ in terms of their emphasis on various benefits (i.e., utilitarian and hedonic) and outcomes, such as app adoption, usage, and satisfaction.

For example, some researchers have focused on the effects of branded app engagement on consumers’ perceived value and attitude toward the brand (e.g., Viswanathan and Malthouse 2017). Other scholars have examined the effect of branded app engagement on behavioral changes in a specific context (e.g., Gill, Sridhar, and Grewal (2017)). Finally, others have explored the relationship between hedonic and utilitarian values and the perceived importance of different features of an app (e.g., McLean et al., 2018).

This study expands previous work in several ways. First, it extends the theoretical underpinning of app engagement by examining the moderating role of two user characteristics, namely age, and gender, on the relationship between app experience and satisfaction with the app. Second, it further explores the impact of specific app features on satisfaction by measuring a multidimensional construct, namely “cognitive,” “affective,” and “relational” experience. Lastly, it offers empirical evidence on the influence of these variables in an offline setting using a controlled experiment.

The results of the current study support that enhancing app experiences will increase the likelihood of users’ adoption and use of the app. This can be done in a number of ways, including making the app easier to navigate, offering exclusive offers, and providing more interactive content. Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the affective elements of an app, as these have a greater impact on satisfaction than the other components of an app.

Retailers should take note of the findings of this study and use them to improve their existing e-commerce app experiences. In particular, they should focus on the affective element of an app by promoting the feeling of pleasure through the app. This can be achieved by utilizing attractive design elements, such as palatable color schemes and augmented reality features.

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