The decline of the app: what does this mean for marketers?
According to a recent Deloitte Report, one in three smartphone users do not download any apps on their device in a typical month and nine in 10 people never spend any money on apps. Whilst on the face of it this doesn’t seem like good news to mobile marketers, the results cannot be taken at face value. One reason that Deloitte cites for this apparent unpopularity of apps is that the burgeoning over 50’s market is not as interested in them. This is hence one explanation for the decline in the number of downloads per smartphone user.
Users’ needs and interests are changing
In our own research it was found that, whilst only 9% of people would be interested in having more apps from retailers, 40% would be interested in having a connection through their mobile with their household devices, for example, so that you can turn on heating after a holiday – much like the app Hive allows users to do.
These findings suggest that far from apps being dead, users’ needs and interests are simply changing – they are seeking more innovative and useful apps. Whilst the market for apps such as angry birds and candy crush is still popular, it is reaching (if it hasn’t already reached) saturation and people simply don’t have the time to engage with multiple gaming apps on their mobile devices.
Don’t underestimate the role of mobile
Mobile has a vital role to play in marketer’s communication with consumers. When asked in our survey ‘what role should text messages or in-app push messages play as part of an organisation’s communication?’ 23% of respondents said it should provide personalised information such as appointment reminders, football scores, bank statement updates, and almost 20% said ‘to receive location-based discounts’. These stats go some way towards demonstrating the need for mobile and the desire that consumers have to be communicated with through this channel.
So whilst apps may be in decline, they are certainly not dead. Whatever the reason for this decline – be it the increasing over 50’s sector, the changing interests of smartphone users, or simply that the novelty is wearing off, it should not come as a surprise that apps are not on the rise given the huge growth in the market over the last few years. For marketers, this should not be seen as a negative, as a wealth of alternative opportunities exists for marketers to communicate with consumers through mobile.
The information included herein is distributed for informational use only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be taken as such. All clients are responsible for meeting legal requirements and other rules that apply to their messaging programs. Consultation with legal counsel is strongly recommended.