In 2017, the UK will be home to 43.6 million smartphone users and it is estimated that there will be 197 billion mobile App downloads worldwide. In particular, mobile versions of printed media saw a growth of 135% in 2016.
Mobile is therefore a platform that no business can afford to ignore.
Why Apps over Desktop Web?
Users have already switched from desktop to mobile:
- In 2014, mobile media use was greater than on desktop for the first time, a trend which has continued into 2017.
- The average UK adult spends 60 hours per month using their smartphone.
- In 2016, App revenue worldwide was £41 billion, with this figure set to increase to £79 billion by 2020.
Why Apps over Mobile Web?
Users are switching from browsers to apps, which provide a rich and more convenient experience:
- 89% of mobile media time is spent on apps, as opposed to only 11% on browsers; users find apps quicker and more convenient.
- Apps do not always require an internet connection to be used, as they store data locally on the device.
- They can also take advantage of the native features of the phone, such as the camera, messaging and GPS.
Customer Engagement and Loyalty
Apps offer an enhanced and engaging user experience with new services and tools:
- Apps create a direct marketing channel to your customers, with features such as push notifications allowing you to engage with them 24/7, in real time and even by location. There is also no limit on how frequently this can be done or any costs associated with doing it.
- All the information you might like to provide to your customers is on hand to them at all times, including special offers or extra features. 30% of users that stop using an app say they would use it again if offered a discount, whilst 24% would reuse an app if offered exclusive or bonus content.
- Likewise, they give customers a highly convenient way to contact you through messaging services or helpdesk features.
The average person spends more than two hours per day on their mobile device:
- Even when the app is not being used, the logo is constantly visible on the device screen, reinforcing your brand further.
- The more frequently users are exposed to and engage with the app, the more likely they are to be influenced to buy into your services (known as the “effective frequency”).
Staying ahead of your competition is key in any marketplace:
- For smaller businesses, apps are still fairly uncommon. This gives you the opportunity to take a leap on your competitors and be seen as a forward-thinking company.
- Whilst larger brands will most likely have an app already, it is still important not to get left behind. Users are considerably more likely to open up your competitors conveniently installed app than open a browser and search for your website.
By having an app for your business, the opportunity for increasing revenue are twofold:
- In-app purchases, which can be made without the need for cash, PayPal or even credit cards, in some cases. For example, tickets to a performance could be purchased through the app and then scanned at the venue directly from the phone, without the need to print them out.
- Native advertising within the app is predicted to account for 72% of all digital ad spending by 2019.
 Morgan Stanley Research
 Go-Globe (http://www.go-globe.com/blog/mobile-apps-usage/)