Mobile App Should Stand Out To Woo The Enterprise
User interest in app stores will continue to grow in the coming years, but it is important for app providers to make them stand out in the crowded app marketplace. A recent Gartner study notes that with a growing maturity in its adoption, user interest in apps has now somewhat ‘mellowed.’ As a result, app providers must focus on retention strategies to ensure relevance in the app marketplace.
In order to quantify how users feel about their use of apps, Gartner conducted a survey of more than 2,000 consumers last year. The study found in the US and Germany - both countries are considered mature markets - although usage remains high, users may not want or need more apps in the future. This is cause for some concern for app providers because if users become too complacent then app businesses could suffer from lack of engagement or slowing growth.
The survey reveals that app use is high across all categories, and some categories of apps, such as social networking and video, have a very high overall weekly usage. Even for a less-used app category, for example fitness, there is high use within that group.
According to the survey, smartphone users are content with their current level of interest in apps. With such a strong indication of users keeping the status quo, Gartner expects to see a continued high level of interest in apps. That interest, however, may not change dramatically over time and engagement with apps overall may be reaching a plateau. Although this may be good news for app engagement overall, app product managers will be challenged to create and monetize new opportunities because many users won’t change their app consumption patterns.
For example, Apple recently teamed up with Pinterest to offer new ways of discovering apps and yet ensure the money keeps flowing through to developers. According to a report, Apple, developers earned $10bn through its store last year, while Google Play store earned them $7bn.
“It’s not that smartphone users have lost interest in apps, users remain excited about what apps can do for them in their daily lives, including for work and non-work app scenarios,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner.
He added, “However, app users need to be convinced about the value of the app. Users will try new apps, but they need to be convinced of an app’s value before they adopt them and change use patterns over the long term.”
IDC too offers an optimistic outlook on app companies, forecasting that revenues from Google Play and Apple’s app store will double by 2018. In a report last year, the research firm sees much opportunity in innovative mobile apps that help increase loyalty of the consumer. These could go beyond the popular category of social and video apps to include utility apps such as. shopping apps.
Apps that can provide high user-experience are likely to have higher traction than others, said the research firm, which recommends that operators that engage with popular content and service brands and bundle their apps and services with their data plans can interest users, leading to greater mobile usage.
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