Why aren’t more retail apps being downloaded?
A new comScore study finds that part of the reason retail apps are seeing meager downloads is that people only want to engage with a limited number of apps overall.
On average, 45 percent of consumers’ app time is spent on a single favorite app, according to the comScore study. About nine out of every 10 minutes spent on mobile apps are spent in their top five favorite apps.
In order, the top 15 apps based on time spent using are: Facebook, Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play, Gmail, Pandora, Instagram, Amazon mobile, Apple Music, Apple Maps, Pokémon Go, Snapchat and Pinterest.
A related challenge is that people aren’t looking for new apps to clog their mobile phones. Some 49 percent of consumers don’t download any new apps in an average month and 13 percent download just one every month.
Among retailers, the only popular app was Amazon, which was found to be on 25 percent of smartphone users’ home screens and accounted for 34 percent of the time consumers spend in the shopping sector. The second was eBay, representing eight percent of time spent shopping.
With the rise in mobile shopping, a Washington Post article suggested retailers may need to focus on chatbots, artificial-intelligence-powered robots that enable retailers to communicate with consumers via other apps.
The comScore study suggested that companies looking to grow their app usage need to “rethink how to break through to the consumer’s screen” with people limiting the number of apps they use.
Belly, known for its iPad-based loyalty program near cash registers, just launched its first enterprise platform, Blue, that promises to solve the low amount of downloads for retail apps by connecting loyalty efforts across channels and touchpoints. The suite promises to integrate e-mail marketing programs with rewards, whether the shopper checks-out in-store, online or via mobile, to continually provide compelling reasons to download and engage with an app.
Wrote Greg Sterling for Marketing Land about Blue’s launch, “Absent app adoption, retailers will perpetually have to pay Google or Facebook as gatekeepers for traffic.”
- The 2016 Mobile App Report – comScore
- More people are shopping on phones — but many stores will struggle to reap the benefits – The Washington Post (tiered sub.)
- Blue – Belly
- Belly Launches ‘BLUE’; A New Loyalty Platform For Enterprise Retailers – Belly
- Belly launches loyalty platform geared at major retailers – Chicago Tribune
- Loyalty a key tool to drive retailer app adoption, says Belly – Marketing Land
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the low rate of low downloads of retail apps due to the general nature of app usage or more about the incentives and features missing from retail apps? Should retailers shift investments from their own retail apps to chatbots and other tools supporting mobile purchases via more popular apps?