Marketers should increase their focus on Android and mobile apps in general instead of mobile web offerings, app data insights company App Annie suggested on Tuesday as part of two new reports detailing the latest trends in the global mobile software economy. The firm's latest mobile strategy report reveals that worldwide app usage almost doubled in the last two years, with consumers on average spending two hours in apps on a daily basis, which is a sevenfold increase compared to 2015. By 2021, App Annie believes consumers will invest over three trillion hours into mobile apps on a global level, indicating that these offerings not only became everyday tools of billions of people but have also largely replaced mobile websites in the process of doing so.
The firm's latest study outlines a number of reasons that put apps ahead of mobile websites as far as general popularity is concerned. One, applications are able to provide users with a more consistent user experience that's also better suited for a smartphone, being able to take full advantage of its hardware like cameras and other sensors. This consistency doesn't only pertain to versatility but also general performance, with apps usually being significantly faster than mobile websites even if they heavily depend on online capabilities. Finally, apps are able to get additional exposure on platforms which drive organic traffic, being eligible to show up in search results of both internet search engines and app stores. E.g. while you can't find the BBC website by searching the Google Play Store, you can find its Android app through any search engine on the World Wide Web, with this unique opportunity prompting the growth in the field of app store optimization (APO), a counterpart to traditional search engine optimization (SEO), App Annie said.
Besides performing better than their web alternatives, Android and mobile apps in general also tend to attract the more loyal part of your audience and are hence more suitable for easily filtering through it, the research firm suggested, noting how mobile websites and web applications that are kind of a hybrid between the two categories still have their uses. However, marketers looking to reach their core demographic as quickly as easily as possible should consider committing more resources to mobile apps instead of websites, the analytics company indicated. Its interviewees from the mobile advertising industry seemingly agree with that overall sentiment, as 65 percent of them said they feel the global app economy is set for another consecutive growth phase, whereas another 14 percent of them think it's more likely to stagnate for the time being but still not decline.
Retailers are also keen to follow the latest app-related trends, seeking to convert the popularity of contemporary mobile software into sales. According to App Annie's latest App Economy Report, shops embracing Android and iOS channels are converting views into sales three times more successfully than mobile websites are, which the firm believes is yet another indication that this format is the future of e-commerce. Close to two thirds of industry members interviewed by App Annie believe that app marketing budgets are in for an increase in the near future, with approximately 23 percent of them claiming those funds are to grow "a lot."
While revenue growth is still one of the main motives for making apps, many companies are now also turning to mobile tools in an effort to acquire new users or engage and consequently retent their old ones, the firm's new study indicates, noting how apps are only seen as traditional revenue engines by 60 percent of marketers. Just over a quarter of apps are still made for the purpose of promoting other such software on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, according to the same research, though it's still unclear how successful they are in doing so.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of app developers still sees the number of active users as the most valuable metric for measuring the success of their offerings, with the only exception being the gaming industry which puts a larger emphasis on user retention and lifetime value, while it considers the number of active users to be equally important as the average revenue per user, as evidenced by the chart seen in the gallery below. Finally, App Annie suggested that the global app industry may continue growing and diversifying itself in the future as more industries embrace this rapidly evolving field.