There are more than five million mobile apps, yet consumers only download a tiny fraction of them, and regularly use no more than 20 or 30 a month.
Mobile users favor them over websites and expect them to be fast, comprehensive, and easy to use.
How big is the mobile app retail market?
According to Forrester Analytics, U.S. shoppers are expected to make $118 billion in retail purchases through their smartphones in 2018, up from $13 billion in 2013.
Deloitte says “Brands view apps as a golden opportunity to communicate directly with consumers and in a more meaningful, long term manner. When brands get it right, the returns can be huge.”
Getting it right means the apps are built with the user’s needs in mind – they have real functionality, they solve a problem, and they provide features that are genuinely meaningful.
But most are getting it wrong.
An online survey of 1,000 brand app users by WillowTree generated these key findings:
- The most popular brand apps are from banks, restaurants, and retailers.
- Users say only half of brand apps turn out to be useful; the majority do not address their needs.
- Half of users say the branded app experience is such a poor one that they delete the app after just one use.
- Negative brand app experiences lead people to make fewer purchases.
The even bigger problem is most consumers avoid brand apps because they see them as just a one-way marketing tool.
The best-rated mobile brand apps?
We don’t think many will be surprised that Nordstrom, Starbucks, Walmart, and Amazon have the most well-liked mobile apps.