App Install Addiction Shows No Signs of Stopping

By: Simon Khalaf

It has been just over four years since Apple was awarded a trademark for “There’s an App for That.” Since then, mobile apps have multiplied at an accelerated pace and have even surpassed the weband TV in total time spent. Lately, however, many industry analysts cautioned that in mature markets such as the US and South Korea the rate of app downloads is decelerating and the app market is reaching a saturation point. For example, in August of this year, CNN Money ran a segment on app overload and the slowdown of app downloads. This fall, Paul Adams of Intercom, wrote a thoughtful and provocative post on the future of apps, predicting that apps will become more of a service layer, replaced by enhanced notifications as the consumer interface. At Flurry, we were curious to see whether our Analytics data validated these theories, so we took a look. We found that consumers are still downloading apps at very nearly the same rate since 2011.

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deceleration? What Deceleration?

For our research, we focused on the US, one of the most mature app markets. We found that in the US, consumers are downloading apps at the same rate over the past four years. The chart below shows the number of apps an average US consumer downloads per month from 2011 till now. On average, US consumers are downloading 8.8 apps per month in 2014, compared to 8.8 apps in 2013, 8.6 apps in 2012 and 8.9 apps in 2011. This is both iOS apps downloaded from the Apple AppStore and Android Apps downloaded from Google Play or any other Android App store operating in the US. That is a lot of apps downloaded by a single consumer.

This means that there is actually very little change in the rate of downloads since 2011. It doesn’t mean that consumers are continuously using all the apps they’ve downloaded over the years. In fact, they are not. You can look at previous research we’ve published where we shared the half life of apps and their rate of decay.

In our research, we also looked at the percentage of apps downloaded as a result of app marketing (or app install ads) by dividing the estimated yearly app install ads market in the US by the average Cost Per Install (CPI) in the same year. Despite the fascinating growth of app install ads, the vast majority of app downloads are still organic. In fact in 2014, 93% of all app downloads in the US were organic, compared to 95% in 2011. The only thing on a slight decline here is organic downloads. This is a very small change and a further validation of the growth opportunities in app marketing in general and app install ads in particular.

“Install Addicts” Are Keeping up the Pace

We dug a little deeper into our data to gain better insight into the US consumers responsible for these steady download numbers. The distribution is shown in the chart below. The majority of consumers (54%) are actually downloading less than eight apps per month. What is keeping the average up is a new segment of mobile consumers that we are calling “Install Addicts.” These are US consumers that download more than 17 apps a month. This includes apps downloaded on all smart devices such consumer owns. This segment represents 20% of the US mobile consumer base or an estimated 32 million people.

 

The Profile of “Install Addicts”

We were intrigued by the large number of Install Addicts, so we dug a little deeper in our data to better understand the audience behind these 32 million US consumers.

First we looked at gender. Install Addicts are 53% female and 47% male, compared to 48% female and 52% male for the average mobile consumer. That means that females over-index by 10% compared to the average mobile consumer.

We then looked at age groups. Install Addicts over-indexed in the 13-17 (Teens), 18-24 (College Students) and 35-54 (Middle Aged) age groups and under indexed in the 25-34 (Adults) and 55+ (Seniors) age groups.

The analysis gets a lot more interesting when we looked at the differences in Flurry Personas. On the female side, the following Personas over-indexed as Install Addicts: Gamers, Mothers and Social Enthusiasts. For males, the following Personas over-indexed as Install Addicts: Gamers, Social Enthusiasts and Parenting and Education.

The “over-index” is shown in the chart below. It refers to the division of the percentage reach of that Persona in the Install Addict segment compared to the percentage reach of that Persona for the average mobile consumer. For example, in the female Install Addicts segment, Mothers are 32% of the total, compared to 4% of the average female mobile consumers. In other words, female Install Addicts are much more likely to be Mothers than non-Addicts.

Looking at the three charts above and comparing this Install Addicts audience to the mobile addict audience we highlighted earlier this year, it is becoming clearer to us that what we call family devices (or shared devices, or hand-me-down devices) make up a good chunk of the Install Addicts audience. Such devices are for the mother or the father, but the children (teens) have access (and most likely passwords) to them and routinely visit the App Stores and download their new favorite app.

It is also hard for us to ignore the over-indexing of the Social Enthusiast persona. This is the Flurry Persona of consumers that heavily use social apps, including messaging apps and photo and video sharing apps. It could be a mere coincidence that Install Addicts are also messaging and social networking addicts, but it could also indicate that consumers are discovering apps through social and messaging applications. In the United States, both Facebook and Twitter have solid app install businesses. In Japan and China, LINE and Tencent, respectively, have bet big on game and app distribution, organic and paid, as lines of business. While it is still hard to measure the true impact of social discovery on app downloads, the chart above seems to indicate a big one.

We are a week away from the height of the holiday season, one that traditionally accelerates app downloads and brings app developers in general and game developers in particular more consumers to their apps. But as the data above suggests and as the past four years have demonstrated, app developers don’t need to wait for Saint Nick. They simply need to keep hoping for app install addiction to keep going strong.

Canadian Small business, improve customer relationships by developing smartphone applications

Great Article in the Toronto Star as to how important Mobile Apps are for Business Owners.

Apps – those things you install on your smartphone or tablet to perform specific tasks – have traditionally been seen as a luxury offering available only to large or tech-savvy organizations.

Apps – those things you install on your smartphone or tablet to perform specific tasks – have traditionally been seen as a luxury offering available only to large or tech-savvy organizations.

A small business can’t easily afford to invest $10K – $40K to develop a customer-friendly app. But new products available now let small businesses purchase their app services on a monthly basis, just like internet and phone. These cover areas such as payments, scheduling, and appointments, messaging and marketing with coupons, deals and social sharing.  This means that, for the first time, apps are now affordable for small businesses — and they may be one of your best secret weapons to staying competitive.  With more than one million applications available across the Google Play and the Apple App store, and users spending nearly half a day each month using the programs, the message is clear: users like apps.  With this in mind, here are five reasons why a small business should consider investing in its own mobile application:

Customer service – providing information at the fingertips of your customers is a significant value add. From the convenience of wherever/whenever they are, they can find information that is essential to their purchasing decision.
Retention through brand recognition – Staying top of mind is easy when an app puts your company’s logo in front of your customers.
News and information updates – Whatever you need to share, an app gives you the ability to ensure a customer’s smartphone has up-to-date information. From holiday closures to extended hours to trending news and reviews or something as simple as construction they might want to avoid while making their way to your business, an app can be a valuable information resource.
Company image – Having your own app projects a professional, tech-savvy image. It shows you’re invested in the latest customer trends and can make your business appear larger or more well established than it may in fact be.
Push out messages for promotions/launches – Apps are a new direct line of communication with customers. You can push out notifications for promotions and new product and service launches, literally putting the news in the palm of your audience’s hands. Plus, these notifications tend to stand out from the stream of emails most people receive about the other guy’s promos.

What our Customers Have to Say!

We have recently received a great testimonial video from one of our customers.  Danny, the owner of Denim Industries has been with us for approximately 1 year, and has received a great response to his “Denim” app from his customers.  According to Danny ” it took a while to grow my user base, but now we have customers coming in for our ‘App Only’ promotions, and all of our regulars have really enjoyed the fact that they now earn rewards.  I even had one customer bring her friends from out of town to the store, and encouraged her to purchase a thousand dollar jacket and she took the points.”

Danny From Denim Industries

Sunshine Greer from Cuppa Sunshine Coffee & Tea had this to say: 

“OMG!!! Love the new feature that asks # of punches so we don’t have to punch it in so many times for multiple drinks!! awesome!! If you want to market this to coffee houses on the west coast (Seattle area), I can write you a coffee house specific review. You guys (maybe you are just a one man team?) are the best!!  Thanks,

Sunshine=) ”

Ahmad from Organico Vitamins :

“That is even more AWESOME. I am running out of adjectives.  Now I have to start thinking about putting together rewards format.  What great news to start our day. Everyone is excited and cannot wait.  Actually you may get some referrals from other merchants also. They had asked me who did my APP.  This is my top priority so everything is secondary. We need to have this off the launching pad as quickly as possible!”

Sam from Back to Cali:

“Having  our very own app on the app stores gives us that extra credibility, that has not only helped with customers, but with our suppliers. Before this, my emailed newsletters, were getting absolutely NO attention from my customers, any promotion taking place in store would have to be repeated because they weren’t opening my emails. NOW, however, I have customers visiting weekly with phone in hand asking me to point out the newest items (in store) showing on their app!

-Sam

Ben from Audio Basics:

My only regret when purchasing my custom app is NOT DOING IT SOONER! It’s given my business to a whole new level of sophistication. So visually & aesthetically pleasing, has my clients thinking we are an industry giant with multiple locations!!!  -Ben

Oral from Natural Touch Rehab:

At first look, I felt the idea of the app didn’t really fit for our clinic, but it’s actually much more than i envisioned!! The “notification’ feature has really helped us stay connected to our patients. Our patient response times have never been quicker! Every time a new update is available, me and my staff can’t wait to see what feature have been added! Good Job guys!

-Oral

 

5 Ways to Maximize your Mobile Strategy

For the first time, mobile devices outnumber people. This benchmark underscores a crucial fact for entrepreneurs: as the number of mobile devices rises, so do their importance.

Apple Will Constantly Remind iPhone Owners to Buy an Apple Watch

Eighty-five percent of consumers believe their mobile devices are essential to daily life. Clearly, the mobile interface is crucial for consumers, and the savvy businesses that hope to connect with them increasingly choose to do so via smartphones and tablets. A mobile strategy can help companies of all sizes reach more customers and help maintain a strong market presence.

But creating a mobile strategy involves more than building an app. A great strategy ensures that your in-person, mobile and traditional online experiences communicate a cohesive message that motivates customers to interact with your business. Here are five ways to maximize your mobile efforts:

  1. Design great experiences.

Make sure you deliver a customer experience that enables users to interact with your brand in new and exciting ways. Most users have experienced the frustrations of trying to navigate a mobile website, with distorted layouts and impossible navigation.  This is why they prefer a native app experience.  So when you are planning your app with your developer, make sure you address ease of use, and functionality.

  1. Make your strategy scalable.

Mobile App downloads are projected to double during the next 3 year period, and the smartphone market is forecasted to grow by more than 10 percent every year for the next four or five years. Your mobile strategy must be flexible, so allow and plan for rapid growth.

  1. Look to Unify User Experience.

When possible look to align user experience across multiple channels, make the visual of your app align with that of your website, online shop, and your bricks and mortar location.  Having the ability to link to your facebook, twitter, website and ecommerce sites is a definite plus.

  1. Find a strong team.

A bare-bones app can cost upwards of $10,000 to develop, and developing a more in depth experience can run in into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having a solid team of developers is critical to building successful apps.  Look at the experience of your prospective developers, and if at all possible contact some of their existing clientele for feedback on support, and overall satisfaction.

  1. Extend your OWN Brand.

There are 2 different models that enable business owners today to launch a mobile strategy.  The first is to join a community of merchants inside of the app of the developer. Your company will appear geographically alongside other participating merchants. While you may expose your brand to potential customers that may have never heard about you, the probability is that you will not.  Why because users of these types of Apps, do not look for other merchants when using the loyalty aspect of the app at their businesses of choice.  Additionally you will be required to promote this app to your customers, and if you do gain some from your inclusion you may also lose some for the same reason.  The second and most effective is to develop your OWN custom app, where you do not share your customers with your competition, and you extend your own brand, with your logo and the credibility that comes along with having your own custom app.

Denim Industries is a great example of a merchant that tested several of the multi merchant platform, and eventually ended up going with their own mobile app, developed by Mass Mobile Apps.

A mobile strategy that’s tailored to your goals and connected to your customers’ needs will help you connect with your target audience on a deeper level, additionally a strong mobile strategy will also accelerate your company’s growth in a market place where mobile technology is quickly becoming an expected avenue to maintain and nurture customer relationships.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Costs of Custom App Development

Figuring the costs of custom mobile business app development

How much are custom mobile business apps going to cost you? Here are some estimates, analyses and offers we’ve found that should help set some reasonable expectations.

General app development costs

This post is primarily about apps for for mobilizing business processes, but if you are interested in the more general topic of app development costs here are some pointers:

Business app development costs

Surveys

Update: A November 2014 Kinvey report based on a survey of CIOs and Mobile Leaders found that mobile application development is “costly, slow and frustrating.” According to this survey:

56 percent of mobile leaders surveyed say it takes from 7 months to more than one year to build one app. 18 percent say they spend from $500,000 to over $1,000,000 per app, with an average of $270,000 per app.

costspng

Source: Kinvey Survey

survey of IT professionals conducted in 2013 by AnyPresence, a backend-as-a-service company, asked about the initial cost of developing a typical mobile application. Over half reported spending more than three months and over $50,000  developing a typical app. Very nearly a quarter reported spending over $100,000.

Analyses

App development company Propelics specializes in iPad apps and posted a very informative blog post in December 2011 with a breakdown of iPad app development costs. This is recommended reading on the difference between consumer and enterprise apps. In a nutshell, Propelics describes three levels of complexity in enterprise apps corresponding to three price ranges:

  • Simple Enterprise iPad App Development Cost: $50,000 (+/- 20%)
  • Medium Enterprise iPad App Development Cost: $100,000 (+/- 20%)
  • Complex Enterprise iPad App Development Cost: $150,000 (and up)

Features that bump an app into the $100,000 range include a branded and highly tuned user experience, and integration that leverages your existing enterprise capabilities. For real-time integration, mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) infrastructure, you enter the $150,000+ category.

In a late 2012 webinar Propelics reiterated these figures in the context of mobile budget planning for 2013.

An October 2012 post provided some very detailed estimates by the CTO of 5App and his conclusion:

It’s safe to assume that using traditional development techniques to create a cross-platform enterprise app won’t come in under £100K.

He lays out a grid splitting out costs for design, development and testing on one, two or three platforms for four app categories.  Here are some example estimates (converted from GBP to USD for comparison to other estimates here):

  • An app that extracts data from a database and displays it in a simple list can be expected to take 4-8 weeks to create at a cost of $26,000 on a single platform.
  • An app with more complex server-side integration and offline data caching will probably take 8-12 weeks and cost $71,000 to develop for two platforms.
  • A full-scale enterprise automation app with integration to business processes will take anything from 3-6 months and may cost over $150,000 to develop on three platforms.
  • Assorted Quotes
  • An October 2012 analysis of why enterprise apps fail begins with this rather revealing anecdote:
  • The head of digital for a major UK interactive agency shut the door and slid the iPad across the table with a pained smile. Her team had developed an app for a major financial services firm. $140,000 and six months later they were about to start again. The client was, unsurprisingly, unhappy.
  • Kevin Benedict:
  • Companies are under tremendous pressure to develop and deploy mobile apps for their business systems, yet the traditional approach to mobile app development typically costs $250K+ and takes 6+ months for a single app.
  • StarMobile:
  • Based upon complexity, the initial costs to develop a native enterprise application for one mobile device platform can range from $50,000 to $250,000. Those costs grow exponentially if you need that app to support multiple mobile device platforms.

A Mobile App – A gift that keeps on Giving!

No longer hold the belief that building loyalty is through discounting, but rather by building a strong bond between brand and customer.  The connections that customers attach to a brand must also be considered as being added value.  Businesses that have already made their brand mobile and sociable have risen to the top by prioritizing loyalty and by developing emotional connections with their customer.

The customer is the heart of a business, and a good way to increase customer satisfaction is to keep the customers needs central to all business operations, from the top down.  Furthermore, by incorporating current technology to ensure a business provides the customer service that consumers expect, business owners can expect to turn that loyalty into increased revenue and a healthier bottom line.

The most anticipated holiday season of the year is only 30 days away businesses must be prepared to leverage this technology to increase customer retention which will translate into a successful Christmas season!

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your Holiday Season is the best one yet!

1.  Content Marketing – Keep it fun and reflective of the season, special promos and themes

2.  Discounted Shipping – Offer special rates for delivery

3.  Social Media – Make regular updates, especially during the holidays when usage is at its peak!

4.  Customer Service – OVER DELIVER!

5.  Support a Local Charity – Tis the season for giving…setup a promotion with a local charity

6.  Appify – Get a gift that keeps on giving – to your customers!  Mobile apps can update customers on current events and offers that your business has, and with features like push notifications, you will have access to your customers 24/7!

PROMOTE, ENGAGE and REWARD

A common mistake made by many retailers is investing too much of their marketing budget on trying to get new customers, rather than investing in the customers they already have.  Companies/brands must first reward their profit makers for being loyal.  A business should differentiate between customers who bring the most value to their business and reward them accordingly.   To drive activity and boost revenue from a business’s loyalty program it needs to incorporate a tiered reward based platform to reward it’s most valuable asset it’s repeat customer. A spend more – earn more strategy  by rewarding VIP customers based on the value that they bring to your business. By offering discounts and special privileges business’ are afforded the opportunity to build closer relationships with their ideal customers.  Rewarding VIP customers in a tiered loyalty program may include:

1) offering  free goods for liking and sharing on social media.

2) discounts and promotions.

3) special buying opportunities(e.g. advanced viewing of new product).

4) offer preferential service terms/ offer special service(e.g.waiving minimum order quantities).

5) offer cost on products that are affiliated with a big regular priced purchase(e.g.purchase of a coat at regular price, offer either hat, scarf or gloves at 50%off retail).

6) reward introductions and referrals (e.g.offer discounts or free gifts for every new customer they introduce to the business.

7) entice customers to spend more then intended (e.g. spend $50 and get double rewards).

It is a mistake to underestimate the a value loyal customers brings to your business, since they are the ones who purchase more frequently and recommend your brand!

Does your loyalty program recognize the benefit of differentiating rewards to reflect the value they bring to your business?

Hackers gonna Hack

This was written by Laura Betterly…i thought it was a good read and good advice!

Websites have always been under attack by nefarious individuals who try and gain control of personal data or the site itself.  This is nothing new, it’s been part of having an online presence since the birth of the Internet.  Hackers make a sport out of looking to find new ways in, and hacker protections always run one step behind, plugging up the holes.

While this may make the steps you can take to protect yourself seem futile, since hackers are gonna hack (it’s what they do), it’s actually worth taking a few minutes to read and implement the suggestions that follow.
If you’re using WordPress, or any open source or flexible framework website software, your risk of being hacked increases.  Here are a few tips to help you preserve your security.

WordPress Security Tips

  1. Select unique user names.  The most common user name for a WordPress site is “admin”.  Why? Because it’s the default suggested when you do a new WordPress install, and most people are too eager to get their site up they assume they will come back and change the user name.  Few do.  Avoid using admin or your name as your WordPress login, it’s far too hackable.
  2. Use a secure password.   The easier a password is for you to remember, the easier it is for a hacker to guess or deduce.  It’s always a good idea to use a long password that contain a combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers and special characters.
  3. Don’t procrastinate on the updates.  It seems like WordPress comes out with an update every couple of weeks.  Be sure to update your WordPress install every time you see that there’s one available.  Most of the wordless updates include security fixes to plug up the back doors and vulnerabilities.
  4. Don’t stop with the WordPress install- update your plugins too.  Update your plugins every time you see a new version come out, and delete old plugins and themes that you aren’t using any longer.  Sometimes plugins from the WordPress repository are designed for older WordPress versions and contain back door security issues.  If you’ve recently updated your WordPress and there hasn’t been a corresponding update to your plugin shortly after, check to see that the plugin is still active and supported.
  5. Beware unscrupulous developers.  Some app developers will sell you a plugin that is really cheap and seems too good to be true.  Many times it is because they either won’t support it going forward or it contains vulnerabilities.  Seems like everyone I know has at one time or another installed a plugin that contained some malware and found out by seeing Google’s big red malware-infected warning when they tried to visit their domain.  Google will take the site offline until you get it fixed.  It’s time consuming, and definitely will hurt your business when visitors can’t access your information.

Why My Hackers didn’t hack me…

I started this article telling you about how I was hacked.  LauraBetterly.com had 247 attempts of someone trying to log in.  But I have a plugin called Wordfence that saved my bacon, (there is a paid and free version).

https://WordPress.org/plugins/wordfence/ (the WordPress repository link)

http://www.wordfence.com/ (their website- not an affiliate link)

With Wordfence someone tries to login after a number of failed attempts (I set it up for three) the plugin blocks their IP address.  In my case the guy persevered for about an hour, changing IPs and trying again until they decided my site was too secure and moved on to an easier target.

The paid version of WordFence scans your website and compares the code with the WordPress repository code, and lets you know by email if someone injects code into your site.  That’s how I learned of my hack attempts.

Hopefully my experiences have helped to increase your awareness about some potential vulnerabilities.  It only take a few minutes to implement secure site practices, and it can save you a few hours, days, or even months of misery at the hacking hands of a bored teenager in his parent’s basement.

I have the survey results for you, I’m working on compiling them and I’ll share them with you soon.  Be on the lookout for this as well as a special invitation for you to join me on vacation next year, coming up next week.

XO,

Laura

P.S. I forgot to mention an added benefit to ensuring that your site is secure against hacking.  When you implement a trust seal from a virus or security company, your sales conversions will increase!

I leave you with this awesome sensationalist news article I found.  If it were written today it might say something like “Hackers can spread ebola through your home computer”! 🙂