How to Get App Downloads & Keep Your Users| By |Bob Hutchins

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So, you want to build an app… but how will people find you? Will they download it? Keep using it? Pay for it? How much?

The list of questions surrounding app development goes on and on. As more brands and marketers decide to implement a true mobile-first strategy in 2017, we’ve noticed an increased interest in app development.

A recent report from ThinkWithGoogle (which you can download here), “App Marketing Trends and Mobile Landscape,” digs into these important, strategy-shaping questions. The report is the result of a 15-minute survey (conducted in October 2016) of 999 individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 in the U.S. Here’s what they found…

#1 Friends help, but price matters.
To discover new apps, people turn to those they trust: friends and family. This idea in itself is nothing new. We’ve been blogging for years about how people always trust their friends and family over all other sources when it comes time to purchase or act. Interestingly enough, the second and third most influential circumstances occur within the app store – not as the result of a marketing campaign that pushes users directly to the app store. (2nd/3rd top methods – “By browsing app stores,” (48%), and “Recommended to me in the app store,” (34%).)

No matter who recommends the app or how interested the user may be, price is the most motivating factor in downloading (or not downloading the app). Survey respondents ranked the following factors as “extremely important/very important.”

  • 85% – price
  • 84% – privacy or security of information
  • 71% – how much I’ll use the app
  • 71% – description
  • 66% – memory used
  • 61% – reviews
  • 60% – ratings
  • 28% – friends or family using it
  • 28% – number of users
  • 20% – a video about the app

By the way, half of people have never paid to download an app.

#2 Apps help most with specific tasks.
Apps tend to be more common when a specific task is needed/desired. 91% of survey respondents, for example, played an app game, while only 13% used the mobile web for the same activity. On the flipside, 39% used an app to find things to do/places to eat or drink while traveling, while a much larger 65% used a mobile website to achieve this. The report includes a long list of activities; the general trend suggests the more discovery/exploratory-driven the task, the more likely it is to be done on a mobile website. The more specific the task, the more likely it is to be done on an app.

#3 Simplicity of use is key.
Far and away, the factor that users rated “most valuable about their favorite apps” is that “they’re easy to use and navigate” (61%). What did users care the least about? That “they have good discounts or offers” (16%).

#4 Memory is a dealbreaker.
Big apps face big problems: storage space. Do you know what tied as a top personal reason for abandoning an app?

“I needed to free up memory”
(53%).

…and the top app-related reason for abandonment: “It was taking up a lot of memory” (46%).

Do you have an app?
There’s so much more packed into ThinkWithGoogle’s report, including insights regarding push notifications, preferred features, install rates, and usage frequency. (Be sure to check it out!)

We want to know… does your brand have an app? If not, why? Is it cost? Not knowing what features to include? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below.

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