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The freemium model is in the ascendancy when it comes to apps.
Paid apps peaked in 2013 according to Jon Reynolds, CEO of SwiftKey. SwiftKey provides an app bringing smart prediction technology to your mobile keyboard and, indeed, has itself gone down the freemium route.
The app used to cost $4 and was consistently in the paid charts, now it's free to download, with in-app purchases available.
So, what are the reasons for and consequences of the rise of freemium apps?
The World Cup is upon us and if you want to stake your reputation and something other than money on a sporting event, Sporting Mouth is for you.
The app allows you to make sports predictions against friends for bragging rights and prizes.
Here's what John Owrid, the Chairman, had to say about Sporting Mouth's functionality, development challenges and future in the market.
Digital has changed our world. The web has transformed the way we gather information, make purchases and carry out daily tasks.
Social media is altering the way we interact with friends and even the nature of society as a whole. And mobile has nurtured the 24/7, always on culture.
Organisations are scrambling to adapt to this new reality. Some businesses have been too slow and digital has forced them to close their doors. HMV, Tower records, Kodak and Blockbusters are all high-profile victims of the digital revolution.
But some organisations are making the transition, even in sectors harmed by the arrival of digital. One such organisation is the Guardian newspaper.
How many video views has Buzzfeed accrued? How many CMOs are on Facebook (and how many priests)? How has the reach of organic posts on Facebook declined?
These are just some of the delights from the US digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Enjoy, and make sure you take a look at the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium for more stats.
If you are looking solely at Western countries for new mobile innovations, you are looking in the wrong place.
Asia is where to look for new and interesting insights into our mobile future.
China and India, in particular, with their large populations and geographies are seeing new mobile innovations take off. We can learn a lot from Asia, which is the largest mobile market in the world.
Here are just a few examples...
The desktop is still a big part of buying gig tickets and associated travel and accommodation, but is that what users want?
As more people try to use mobiles on the go, to buy tickets etc. when they first hear about a gig, the opportunity is there for an app that encapsulates the live music experience, including sharing socially before and after the event.
This opportunity is one GIG BUDDY is hoping to capitalise on. it's a joint venture by SEE Tickets and PayPal, and built by RE:SYSTEMS. I spoke to Tim Hutchinson, Director of RE:SYSTEMS (who built the app), to get a flavour of this new service.
If you've used the app, let me know what you think.
NatWest, Bupa and Hiscox have been rated as offering the best mobile user-experience among the UK’s financial institutions.
The IAB study found that around a quarter of the top spending 50 UK finance brands still don’t have a mobile presence, so competition to find the best UX wasn’t all that tough.
However there were also some positives to take from the survey. I’m not a huge fan of using percentages when there are only 50 brands included, however the report shows that 22% of those surveyed had a responsive site compared to just 2% of retail and 4% of travel companies.
Furthermore, 70% of the banks that were analysed as part of the survey had a mobile app, with the most common functions being a cash point locator and a money transfer tool.
Conversion rates from mobile commerce remain extremely low when compared with desktop and tablet, as people often prefer to use smartphones for research rather than purchases.
However, I’ve recently come across data which shows that smartphone apps are an exception to this rule, and in fact convert at a rate that’s closer to desktop than the mobile web.
Data from mobile commerce platform Poq Studio shows that in November and December 2013 conversion rates from smartphone apps was 1.8% compared to 2.4% on desktop and 0.73% on the mobile web.
This is indicative of the fact that mobile apps are generally used by loyal customers, as the data also shows that 78% of apps users were return visitors, compared to 40% on mobile sites.
Furthermore, former ASOS director James Hart previously stated that the company’s apps saw a “much higher” conversion rate than the mobile web.
Push notifications have the potential to be a powerful tool for mobile marketers as they allow businesses to target app users with timely, relevant news and offers.
A new Mobile Maturity Report from Urban Airship indicates that they are a widely used marketing tactic, with more than half of companies with apps reporting that they use push notifications to engage their audience.
With the exception of finance companies, 70% to 80% of companies with apps use push regularly.
However from personal experience I’ve found that very few companies make use of push messages. My phone is loaded with various apps from all the reviews I’ve written over the past few years, yet only one or two have ever sent me notifications.
I’ve previously blogged about Debenhams’ clever use of push messages, which were timed to coincide with seasonal sales or events such as Valentine’s Day or payday. These messages were enough to make me click through to the Debenhams app, even though it’s not really the sort of retailer I tend to buy from.
Here I'll look at the push messages I've received from Walmart, Asda and The Rolling Stones. And for more information on mobile marketing, download Econsultancy's Mobile Commerce Compendium.
It’s no secret that in spite of the boom in mobile web traffic, conversion rates from smartphones remain far lower than on desktop.
This is largely due to the fact that people use mobiles for research and searching for product ideas, before making a purchase on their laptop or PC.
The low conversion rates are mirrored by high abandonment rates, with new data from remarketing firm Cloud.IQ showing that during January the abandonment rate for smartphone users on ecommerce sites was 84%, compared to 72% on tablet and 68% on desktop.
The question is, what can be done to reduce basket abandonment on mobile? In truth a large proportion will continue to drop out simply because they use mobile for product research, however there are still ways of shortening the purchase journey on mobile so shoppers are nudged towards a conversion rather than dropping out.
To give some inspiration for mobile designers, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite UX features from various mobile checkouts that might help to limit user frustration and abandonment rates.
The time consumers spend on mobile devices is increasing every day, making mobile a central channel for business activity.
As a result, an mobile strategy that drives results is essential for today’s businesses. Companies that don’t effectively engage customers on mobile channels will fall behind more innovative competitors.
Mobile usage has grown exponentially around the world, and it continues to accelerate. By the end of 2013, more than 1bn smartphone units will have been shipped worldwide.
More consumers have smartphones than ever before, meaning they have access to their favorite brands with the swipe of their fingers.
Read on for predictions of key mobile trends we expect to see in 2014, and how brands can take advantage of these consumer behaviors.
We're in the midst of a great migration to portable devices and the opportunity for marketers is immense.
It will be much tougher to cultivate a relationship with users than it was on the web, but if handled properly we’ll find the perfect balance between the ultimate user experience and advertisers’ agenda.
One thing marketers can all agree on: advertising makes the digital world go 'round. What's less a settled matter is how, exactly.