Key Stats about Mobile App Use in 2016

Mobile technology is growing at lightning speed and mobile apps are a part of that ecosystem. This means the world is moving from desktop to mobile devices and it is apparent that every brand is making its presence felt via mobile apps. Basically, mobile apps are software applications designed to run on smartphones, tablets and wearables and are usually available through platforms known as app stores.  Some businesses have in-house app development teams but most companies will contract with a mobile application development company to build their app for them.

The idea that mobile users have a wide variety of choices is an understatement. Today, with over 1.6 million apps available on Google Play and over 1.5 million on Apple’s App Store, the idea that mobile users have a wide variety of choices is an understatement.

There are millions of apps to choose from, including social media apps, business apps, eCommerce apps, banking apps, gaming apps and business apps. But how many apps do people actually use? According to a new Nielsen report, smartphone owners use an average of 27.1 mobile apps per month.

Statistics about mobile app usage were gathered using Mobile NetView 3.0 data, which comes from mobile users who agreed to have tracking software installed on their devices. Approximately 9,000 panelists aged 18 and older participated in this study.

Despite rapid evolution throughout the marketplace, such as broadened device capabilities, additional device functionality and proliferation of new apps – the amount of time users are spending on those apps remained quite constant since the end of 2012, the study found.

However, since last quarter of 2012, the time spent per user every month has increased from 23 hours to nearly 41 hours.

The data collected by Nielsen was also broken down by gender and age. The study found overall, women spend slightly more time on apps than men do. They spend nearly three more hours each month using apps than their male counterparts do.

Another academic study conducted in South Korea also discovered that women spend more time on their smartphones. The report also stated that women tend to use social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc. more than men.

Younger millennials also spend more time on apps.

Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1997 and are now at the adult age of 19-35 years. These are people who grew up in the computer age and also witnessed the rise of mobile phones. In fact, they are the main audience for mobile marketing. With that said, Nielsen noted that millennials aged 18-24 use less apps per month (about 25.5) than millennials aged 25-35. Older millennials use (about 28.2 applications). Though young millennials use fewer apps on a monthly basis, they invest more time making use of mobile apps compared to older millennials.

All said and done, if the growth trend of app usage is any pointer, the near future looks bright for businesses adapting to the mobile world, especially with smartphone and wearable shipments expected to increase by a huge percentage over the next few years.

Pic: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1Uz9FXd

Want to Improve Your Advertising ROI? Try Mobile

In a recent study from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), they looked at the complete marketing budget for four businesses: Coca-Cola, Walmart, MasterCard and AT&T. MMA’s goal was to determine the value of mobile ad spending. After reviewing budgets and campaigns from these four companies they determined that bigger mobile budgets lead to higher advertising ROIs.

Companies are not just shifting their budgets to iPhone application development, Android application development, mobile web sites and mobile advertising because it is trendy, they are making the shift because it works.

A perfect example of this is when Coca-Cola launched its campaign for its Gold Peak Tea, they found that mobile accounted for 6% of the sales despite only requiring 5% of the budget. MMA goes on to show that if Coke had spent 10% of their budget on mobile instead of 5% that they would have seen an extra 4% in sales on this single campaign.

When it comes to Mastercard, MMA states that by allocating just 8% of their budget to mobile, they could reinforce their image as ‘a good card to carry while traveling’ by 7X. When looking at campaigns, Mastercard found mobile marketing produced 2X the results compared to campaign average. “I was surprised at how effective [mobile ads] were in relation to other media,” said Adam Broitman, vice president of global digital marketing for MasterCard.

According to Greg Stuart, CEO, MMA, “With very limited effort, brands can increase the performance of a campaign by 30 percent on average (and potentially much more) by simply reallocating funds.[to mobile]”

A key feature to mobile marketing programs, according to the report, was location targeting. Walmart program utilizing proximity targeting to reach people within range of a store proved 1.5X more effective than simply sending ads to people who had visited the store before.

Additionally, the MMA study also points out that ads that contain audio or video components produce a higher return on investment than standard display ads.

5 Hot Mobile Application Trends For 2015

Mobile app development is a rapidly growing industry that continues to evolve year each year. In 2014, we saw incredible growth in the industry. Businesses looking to improve their current mobile offering or looking to hire an iPhone application developer or Android app developer should be sure to consider these trends when starting their project.

User Experience

User experience will become even more important in 2015. With the number of smart phones, tablets and mobile applications growing every day, user experience becomes an even more important consideration. With more and more apps to choose from, businesses releasing mobile applications need to be careful not to turn customers away with an app with a poor user experience. Good usability can be worth its weight in gold in the mobile app world.

Mobile Payments

With powerful sales numbers coming out of countries all around the world like 40% of retail e-commerce sales in the UK in 2014 being made on a smartphone or tablet (BizReport), mobile is more important than ever to businesses. Using a mobile phone to pay instead of debit or credit cards will make rapid growth over 2015 and businesses not prepared to accept payments via this method will find themselves losing business.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is growing incredibly rapidly with more and more people connecting more devices every day.  The application market will further evolve as integration with additional devices continues and clever companies take advantages of the many new opportunities.

Wearables

The Apple Watch is coming to market in less than a month and developers need to consider creating apps for not only the iPhone and iPad but also the Apple Watch and other wearable devices. Developers can extend their app’s functionality to work with Apple’s wearable device and increase engagement with their audience.  While most of applications for wearable devices so far have focused on health care and fitness, that is about to change this year, as we will see businesses releasing apps to improve productivity.

Beacons

With beacon technology, location based services become more powerful than ever.  Apple’s offering iBeacon extends location services for those with iOS devices. With iBeacons, iOS app developers and retailers can target customers in a specific location. Apps interacting with iBeacon will be on the rise in 2015. Retail establishments and other businesses are installing iBeacons to share information with users with Apple devices. Beacons will change the providing of locally-focused content. Businesses should focus on creating apps utilizing this technology to provide information and offers to consumers.