Mobile apps typically dominate users’ time with their smartphones and tablets, except in the world of retail, where websites still reign supreme. Experts believe that trend may shift in the coming year, however, if enough retailers design their apps to cater to consumers’ specific wants and needs, according to BizReport.

Nearly 1-in-5 current smartphone owners have tried out a new store because of the retailer’s mobile app, Apigee Institute’s Bryan Kirschner told BizReport. Kirschner believes the platform’s consumer appeal lies largely in the ability of developers to design the software to adapt to users’ tastes.

“Some companies now are pulling away from the pack by organizing, delivering, and creating information based on the person’s context,” Kirschner said. “As they do this, consumers are finding apps are capable of molding to their personal context exciting, novel and interesting.”

We previously touched on the popularity of this trend among large chains like Macy’s and Walmart. Smaller companies would be wise to begin implementing features like in-store maps and location-based digital coupons if their owners hope to compete with the big stores, and perhaps, join their ranks.

Click here for the full story from BizReport, and tell us what you think about the future role of apps in the retail world.