Maximise the merriment: making your app fit for Christmas

Maximise the merriment: making your app fit for Christmas

According to a report compiled by Flurry, a US mobile analytic s and advertising company, owners of handheld devices are now using apps six times as long each day as they are using browsers. The study looked at mobile usage of American consumers during Q1 2014 and discovered they were using their devices an average 2 hours and 42 minutes a day, of which only 22 minutes (14%) were spent accessing browsers.

No question then, for small business owners looking to harness the advantages of marketing to and communicating with present and potential customers via smartphones, the need to create and launch an app appears more pressing than ever. The message is that if you’ve been looking the other way on the app issue, it’s now unavoidable – you need to come up with a strategy to deal with it.

The report’s findings also suggest that, while admittedly one-third (32%) of people access apps for gaming, only 4% less are accessing them for social media offerings (the most popular platform being Facebook on 17%, followed by other social messaging such as email on 9.5% and, a long way behind, Twitter on 1.5%).

It’s become something of a broken record to stress that making the most of the marketing opportunities that social media offers (i.e. informing users of latest developments, promotions and getting reviewed on-line) – in addition to maintaining a dedicated website – is critical for any business nowadays, whatever its size, but it appears enabling customers to do so via app technology is pretty much just as critical. The ever evolving smart phone industry is giving people choice in how they access information – and in apps versus web browsers, people are increasingly and overwhelmingly choosing the former.

Indeed, this isn’t a sea-change in terms of how people access all the Internet has to offer via their mobiles. When the results of Flurry’s 2014 report are placed next to those of a similar study it carried out in 2013, it becomes starkly clearly that apps overtaking and outpacing browser usage isn’t a blip; it’s a trend that’s come about and grown over the last five years – since apps first appeared on the market. In 2013, 80% of users were choosing apps over browsers; one year later that figure had grown by six percent. Meanwhile, accessing of social media (via apps) was at 24% in 2013; it had risen by four percent 12 months later.

Quite frankly, if you’re a small or medium-sized business and looking to exploit the power of the handheld mobile (and if not, why not?), then you really have no alternative than to follow the principle that you need to be where the users are. In which case, the evidence is pretty overwhelming: apps are the way forward.

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