The Future of Mobile Apps and the Overall Apps Economy

By: Anand Jain, Co-Founder, CleverTap

The global app economy is estimated to be valued more than $100 billion by 2020. If market analysis and general trends are to be believed, the growth of the global app market will continue to remain on the path of progression. India is a promising internet market, it has over 4000 startups. India also happens to be the biggest user of Whatsapp, Facebook and Google. The number of smartphone in India is more than 300 million.

The world of apps is packed with more than 3 million apps for iOS, android and windows. These apps are constantly competing against each other for screen space. On an average a smart device user has about 15 to 20 apps on the smartphone, with an estimated uninstall rate of about 90% for new apps. Smart device users in India collectively downloaded a whopping 9 billion apps in the year 2015, which is 5 times than what they downloaded a year ago in 2014.

The success of every app is important for the mobile app ecosystem. Apps should to become sustainable with a strong backing from investors. Raising a billion dollar is not the only yardstick to measure success, app success should largely depend upon cracking a unique code of doing business in India that makes their business invincible.

Businesses are now majorly focusing on taking their goods/services to a larger audience through the internet. Most businesses are now developing mobile websites and apps that can allow users to access at all times through their smart devices.

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives. We work, communicate, socialize, shop and entertain ourselves through the apps on our smartphones. Technology and software has drastically changed in the last decade. Mobile technology has changed the way people engage with media. App economy has undergone exponential change in the last decade and is constantly transforming our lives. Back in 2007 apps were primarily used for entertainment and gaming purposes, over the decade apps have evolved and focused towards business enterprise. It is now inevitable for businesses to have in place an effective mobile strategy to drive engagement with new users and increase conversion.

Year 2016 has been a game changer when disguised advertising has really come onto its own and the industry is being defined by in-app advertising. Native mobile ads are going to shape up the future of app monetization, this would be clearly establish in the coming year. There is huge untapped potential within mobile advertising. Mobile owns 24% of overall media consumption and less than 8% of total ad expenditure. Advertisers and marketers fail to capitalize on the vast opportunities the world of mobile has to offer.

In-app notifications would upgrade the experience and naturally live alongside the existing content rather than being a distraction. In order to provide enhanced level of experience, maximum companies will start ascending big data. There is a substantial shift from desktops to smart devices when it comes to spending in terms of both time and money. Android phones have become better and more affordable (high resolution screens, enhanced inbuilt and expandable memory, faster processors for a fraction of the current market rates). This will give ample and equal opportunity to small as well big players to flourish in the mobile app market.

Prominence will be given to the value of a download versus the actual cost of marketing for each download. App focus will shift to systematic engagement and retention of users versus just the acquisition as and when the market growth progresses gradually.

There has been a consistent pursuit for personalizing technology. To make it effortless, more user friendly, even look more appealing and attractive in terms of hardware. Technology has already transcended to the next level of smartness but more effective virtual accomplice, health and fitness assistance, and more personalized and correlated advertisements will be the favorite affair in 2016.
Wearables are the most obvious evidence of a more personal technology push, but I think this approach will spread wider and integrate in lots of new products.

New technologies and tendencies will have a considerable clout over the decisions that the developers and buyers alike will take as consumers will have more options to pick in terms of the content and the handsets they engage with. Cunning craft and design will be employed to optimize the worth of the end user, after they download the app. Means and ways to engage and retain the user will be of prime focus for the app developers. As user adapt better with mobile technologies, payments being made through mobile handsets will gain popularity and acceptability.

Tap-and-go services that leverage Near Field Communications (NFC) like Android Pay and Google Wallet will start to permeate, leaving retail businesses to focus on an easier checkout to help increase sales. In order to understand and respond to consumers who are constantly on the move from one device to another, cross platform user experience will become critical.

Computing analytic data metrics depending on mobile handsets will gain popularity offering useful insights to developers and marketers. In today’s time, many users make use of their mobile handsets as their primary computing device. As mobile phones match the performance levels of personal computers, app developers are devoting more time concentrating on developing innovative methods to utilize our mobile phones rather than getting hung up on all glitches where a mobile handset just cannot perform. What we witnessed in 2015 was only the mammoth awakening. Each and everything pertaining to video will grow on your mobile handsets as users tend to get access to unlimited data plans and amplified streaming speed. More number of apps will offer incentivized installs to boosts organic discovery. While app stores are working on surfacing quality apps organically.

Trends that are gradually fading away are those that only take into consideration number and rankings. 2016 will be the year of user engagement with apps. Trends like manipulating and engineering App Store ranking algorithms, minimizing CPI while maximizing downloads. Retention and engagement will become more important than the number of downloads or incentivized downloads. Rewarded ads traditional banner and display ads are no longer the preferred engagement and retention methods of app marketers.

App markets within India and around the world are now focusing on growth of In-app usage and conversion. Measuring the value of an app solely by the number of downloads it fetches is sure to change. Major mobile markets are showing strong growth in terms of increased monetization and use of current mobile app products.

With the surge in app usage and monetization, advertisers are increasingly using profits towards mobile. If you are a developer or marketer, its time you engage into mobile marketing and benefit from the rewards it offers. The Indian and global app economy will continue to grow at a dynamic pace. We are still in the initial stages of the global growth possible in the app economy, so if you are a brand or business planning to cash on the mobile revolution, its time you develop a mobile strategy.

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