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The Digital Trends Series – Part 2: The app explosion

The Digital Trends Series – Part 2: The app explosion

$77 billion.
That’s how much revenue app downloads are predicted to generate this year. It’s a staggering number. No wonder app’s are one of the biggest digital trends for 2017. ¹
The Digital Trends Series – Part 2: The app explosion

There are over 4.92 billion mobile users worldwide (2), each spending an average of two and a half hours on their devices, 80% of which is spent using apps (3). Considering there are 2.2 million apps currently housed in Google Play and 2 million in the Apple App Store, it’s no surprise that 42% of all mobile sales generated by the leading 500 merchants came from mobile apps (4, 12). Apps are transforming the way consumers and brands engage and the marketing methods required of businesses in order to stay ahead.

So how do you cash in on the app explosion?

The Digital Trends Series – Part 2: The app explosion

Get your app out there

With millions of apps vying for the most downloads maximising your online presence it vital, and AdWords is the answer. 50% of app users were influenced by search ads when downloading an app. (5)

  • Mobile app Installs campaigns are specifically geared towards driving downloads across a single platform with an individual ad. Users click directly through to download an app and the more downloads it receives the more its rankings could improve. This in turn increases the potential for more exposure, leading to even more downloads.
  • Universal app campaigns create a variety of ads across different platforms and networks. Bidding on keywords relevant to the app is the best way to increase awareness; Google will test and analyse the AdWord combinations, promoting the best performing ones more often. Not to be underestimated, fashion brand Very had phenomenal success, their Universal app campaign increased in installs by 198% (6)
The Digital Trends Series – Part 2: The app explosion

Beat your competitors

With only 1 in 4 apps being used daily (5) promoting your app shouldn’t simply stop when it’s been downloaded onto a device. With an average of 36 apps per mobile user, mobile phones have become the new advertising real estate. Being able to capitalise on users ‘Idle Thumb Time’ is vital for ensuring app relevance and usage. 90% of consumers admit to browsing or buying on smartphones and tables during there commute and that number is only set to rise (7). Knowing how to utilise this time can make or break the success of an app.


  • Push notifications boost app engagement by up to 88% (8,10). By allowing messages to be delivered to a user’s home screen or whilst they’re using a different app is a tactful way of pushing users back to your app, boosting repeat visits and maintaining app usage and brand awareness. Content, frequency and timing is paramount to this strategy; broadcasting generic messages or doing so too often can have the opposite effect, decreasing interest and brand credit.
  • In-app messages can boost engagement by 3x. Creating a richer user experience by tailoring and segmenting personalised messages within the app  (triggered by an individuals interactions) fulfills expectations of a highly personalised experience. This boosts the value of the interaction with the app and encourages conversations and purchases. (9,10)

Driving strong mobile engagement is critical to keeping users alert and engaged. The more an app can fuse with a user’s everyday life the more likely they are to become repeated, power-app users.

App abandonment is fueled by loss of interest which can be triggered by non-message apps, static apps that are created but never updated or developed, or simply by newer smarter apps taking the limelight. With so much to choose from and more always cropping up, users need a compelling reason to start re-using an app.

  • Incentives are a popular re-engagement method, 30% of users would use an app again if it offered a discount and 24% would reuse if the app offered exclusive or bonus content (5)
  • App engagement campaigns are also a great way to encourage people to retry your app by serving as a reminder and increasing  how much they’re likely to use it. With the ability to also promote incentives, it’s a strategy designed to promote app value and reel old and new users in. (11)

Don't forget

Don't forget
  • Price is important, 82% of users claim price affects their decision to download, with 3 in 4 expecting them to be free.
  • 60% of users are affected by app reviews. The better the review the more appealing it is to download (5)
  • The app market is still young. There’s plenty of room for the development of innovative, breakthrough applications.


Although the current focus for apps is largely mobile, this wont always be the case. Over the next few years we’ll see apps confidently marketing across a variety of platforms, changing the way we live and revolutionising the way technology engages with us.

  • https://www.biznessapps.com/blog/mobile-technology-trends/
  • https://thenextweb.com/insights/2017/01/24/digital-trends-2017-report-internet/
  • https://venturebeat.com/2013/04/03/the-mobile-war-is-over-and-the-app-has-won-80-of-mobile-time-spent-in-apps/
  • https://www.business2community.com/infographics/mobile-apps-usage-statistics-trends-infographic-01248837#MDFGSt9mLUFbLGrf.97
  • https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/mobile-app-marketing-insights.pdf
  • https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/advertising-channels/mobile/shop-directs-very-sees-189-increase-in-installs-using-universal-app-campaigns/
  • https://www.nevillehobson.com/2015/07/10/idle-thumbs-why-commuters-are-the-best-audience/
  • http://info.localytics.com/blog/6-stats-that-prove-how-important-push-notifications-in-app-messaging-are-to-your-apps-success
  • http://info.localytics.com/blog/push-messaging-vs-in-app-messaging-whats-the-difference-for-app-marketing
  • http://info.localytics.com/blog/push-messaging-vs-in-app-messaging-whats-the-difference-for-app-marketing
  • https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6247380?hl=en-GB
  • https://www.internetretailer.com/2014/08/21/how-often-do-shoppers-use-retail-apps