Mobile apps: the good, the bad and the ugly!

May 10, 2014 |5 min read

The world of mobile apps is hot news, there is no denying that. However we at EXP feel there is a real disconnect in terms of desired behaviour and consumers actual behaviour when it comes to app usage…

On the one hand:

So with more apps available, people downloading more and users spending more time interacting with them, all appears to be very positive, no?!

Well maybe not…..there are a number of studies that highlight some key discoveries within this noisy app landscape: 

With these staggering growth rates that show no sign of slowing down anytime soon, and a power struggle in terms of the commitment required from consumers, there appears to a gap that needs bridging.  The answer, well the need for a deeper relationship is evident when encouraging this longer-term usage amongst these increasingly promiscuous app users…..so how can EXP feed into this? Evaluation is the key! 

A recent branded app test carried out by EXP had some very interesting findings. The branded app allowed people to claim free product after they went through a series of desired stages, what we call the user funnel..

1) Download the app

2) Claim the free voucher (weak conversion from download stage)

3) Redeem the free product (strong conversion from redemption stage)

We found that conversion from stage 2 to 3 was strong, so once people had invested time into the app they were more likely to redeem the product.  However fewer users got to this final stage as there were not many people entering stage 1. Essentially many people were unaware of the app and therefore the voucher in the first place!

By increasing awareness levels more people would be fed into the funnel initially, resulting in more users redeeming their free product at the final stage.

Of those lost at each conversion stage of the funnel i.e. NOT claiming the voucher or NOT redeeming the voucher, we found the biggest barrier to be consumers ‘forgetting about it’. A key recommendation from our project was to remind consumers to redeem their voucher, essentially jogging their memory and keeping it top of mind.

So what’s the best way to remind people, well a study into the power of SMS echoes our findings and suggests SMS could be the way forward in positively impacting on:

So knowing what the app does in terms of user’s behaviour is all well and good but what about putting this into a competitive context? Within the study above we asked about competitive apps which again allowed us to make actionable recommendations to really optimise the app offering going forward.

And what about going another step further to explore the offline impact of the app? What about understanding how the app has impacted on the brand as a whole?

Well for those of you that are familiar with EXP you will know that while exploring the specifics of any digital (or live) offering is key, we without fail evaluate the impact this has on the brand.  Identifying which brand metrics have been positively (or adversely) affected as a result of digital activity and how this affects actual purchase and consumption habits is a priority for us, essentially we want to give you the full story to feed into strategic comms planning.

SOURCES

  1. http://ansonalex.com/infographics/mobile-app-usage-statistics-2012-infographic/
  2. http://www.telecom-cloud.net/mobile-apps-and-user-experience/
  3. http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2011/05/three-layers-of-mobile-user-experience.php
  4. http://www.drucker-associates.com/MUE.htm
  5. http://www.localytics.com/blog/2012/loyal-users-generate-25-more-in-app-purchases/
  6. http://mobile.smashingmagazine.com/2012/07/12/elements-mobile-user-experience/
  7. http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/11005-20-experiential-web-design-trends-for-2012
  8. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/app-developers-must-harness-messaging-to-drive-app-loyalty-1711013.htm
  9. http://news.cnet.com/8301-10797_3-20077213-235/games-reign-as-most-popular-mobile-apps/