What’s in your wallet? Better yet, what apps are on your smartphone? Loyalty was once measured by the frequency of your store visits or the reward cards you carried. But plastic picture holders in your billfold have given way to photo sharing apps, and the day planner you once carried in your briefcase has been replaced by a calendar built into a native application on your phone. Although mobile payment has yet to replace credit, debit, or even loyalty cards, our phones do represent an extension of our wallets, even ourselves. They may also symbolize the last vestige of brand loyalty. According to a recent report, the average person with a smartphone has 26 installed apps. Even above average users, like the typical smartphone user in South Korea, only have 40 apps. For me, at least, that number remains steady due to limited free data storage and an unwillingness to part with favorite pictures, music or movies that are also taking up space. In fact, to make space for the recent iOS update, I cleaned up my apps, and ones that were seldom used or provided the same functionality as a mobile web site were deleted. The remaining 40 apps were categorized based on how often they’re used.
Just because an app gets deleted doesn’t mean a brand is written off altogether. But it does mean that brand isn’t top of mind when the phone is in a user’s hand and they’re looking to make a quick purchase or planning their next trip to the store. It also means that the digital marketer who is measuring the success of this year’s mobile program, building next year’s mobile plan and budget, and trying to solve for their conversion rate and ROI better look beyond downloads to find the answer. Simply measuring downloads is not enough when 22% of mobile apps are abandoned after one use. Tracking ratings in the app store isn’t a silver bullet either. Just like most customers vote with their dollars, mobile consumers vote with their screen and storage space, rating apps when they’re highly satisfied or dissatisfied and simply deleting or not using the apps that are irrelevant or mildly disappointing. Mobile app analytics are required to get a complete view of usage and opportunities for improvement. Also consider fundamentals like consumers’ mobile behavior, app functionality and usability, and mobile marketing tactics and content that will keep users coming back on a frequent enough basis to ensure your app makes the cut next time they’re looking to free up space.
What are your favorite or most frequently used mobile apps and why?