Digital-First Apps To Strengthen This Holiday Season: Data

Digital-first apps will strengthen their market presence over the course of this holiday season, App Annie predicted on Wednesday based on the latest industry data it compiled. As part of its latest report seeking to prove why data should drive the mobile strategy of every contemporary business, the firm estimated that the next holiday period will see users in the United States spend over 12 million hours in the top five digital-first apps based on time spent on Android devices - Amazon, Amazon Shopping, Wish, Etsy, and Zulily. The company's prediction hence entails a 40 percent year-on-year increase which App Annie states will largely be fueled by app-exclusive offerings, promotions, and related deals, all of which are set to be more abundant than ever over the fourth quarter of the year.

The trend itself will be observable in the run-up to the upcoming Black Friday and will presumably maintain momentum following the largest shopping day of the year, the firm said. The 2016 Black Friday was the first one to break the billion-dollar mark in the context of mobile devices and Cyber Monday repeated that achievement, with App Annie's findings suggesting such patterns are likely to repeat themselves this year. However, as consumers are becoming more inclined to spend significant sums on various goods and services over the holiday season, the market as a whole is becoming significantly more competitive, with a rising number of companies looking to seize a portion of annual holiday sales, which is why every business needs to have a carefully planned digital strategy in order to capitalize on the opportunities enabled by the mobile segment, App Annie said.

The trends outlined by the company's latest report have been gaining momentum for some time now, with the analytics firm discovering that the average American mobile user spent close to 50 minutes in shopping apps on a monthly basis in the first half of 2017. With consumers in the U.S. now apparently committing around 20 hours to shopping apps every year, retailers are presented with a new opportunity to take advantage of the rapid growth in the e-commerce segment. Compared to the first half of 2016, mobile users in the U.S. spent 60 percent more time in shopping apps over the six-month period ending June 30th, consequently beating the 50 percent year-on-year growth of bricks-and-clicks apps - software which exists to complement a physical retail operation. Digital-first apps are now understood to be the go-to solution for online shoppers who tend spend more time in them over Wi-Fi connections and use bricks-and-clicks offerings on mobile data, i.e. in a manner that isn't as premeditated. This state of affairs is yet another reason for digital-first apps to have an established business strategy seeing how they may not count on as many impulsive sales as their alternatives do, as implied by App Annie's data.

With all of the aforementioned findings and implications in mind, the app analysis firm suggests that companies start building their mobile presence through app downloads which they could generate by delivering a highly personalized and consistent user experience with a wide variety of features. Given the competitive state of the market, generating downloads is harder than it has ever been and such an endeavor warrants a carefully planned app store optimization and advertising strategy, App Annie said. Acquisition campaigns can also benefit from cross-app usage, which is a segment that's certainly worth exploring should the opportunity to do so present itself, the report suggests, adding that businesses should position themselves in a more aggressive manner in terms of monetizing their sessions given how monthly sessions in the U.S. are growing in a steady manner, almost 25 percent year-on-year based on the data from the first half of 2017.

The global market may also be set for some major shifts seeing how App Annie's findings suggest that Alibaba managed to gain a foothold in the West and is currently directly competing with Amazon for online sales using its AliExpress e-commerce platform. The market is still conducive to general expansion and businesses of all sizes are able to penetrate it if they position their efforts in an effective manner, the report suggests, recommending companies to facilitate the checkout process within their apps, prioritize search conversions, and introduce robust loyalty programs in order to take maximum advantage of the current situation and grow their businesses on the back of the snowballing e-commerce adoption rates observable on a global level.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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