Retailers’ branded mobile apps boost sales on multiple levels

Just how effective are retailers’ branded mobile apps in boosting the frequency, quantity, and monetary value of purchases?

According to a new study published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, branded mobile apps not only boost sales and purchase frequency on a retailer’s website, but also in its physical stores.

Mobility image apps 4444Unnati Narang and Ventakesh Shankar, both of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, modeled the relationship between a retailer’s mobile app launch and the frequency, quantity, and monetary value of purchases in its online and offline channels, as well as product returns.

The researchers leveraged data on a large retailer’s launch of a mobile app and used a difference-in-differences approach to see how mobile app adopters differ from nonadopters in their shopping outcomes.

The results of the study revealed:

  • App adopters buy 33% more frequently, buy 34% more items, and spend 37% compared to non-adopters in the period after app introduction.
  • App adopters return 35% more frequently, 35% more items, and 41% more in dollar value.
  • App adopters spend 36% more in net monetary value.
  • App adopters’ purchases in both the online and offline channels increase after app launch.

“Overall, we found that retail app users are significantly more engaged at every level of the retail experience, from making purchases to returning items,” said Narang.

“Interestingly, we also found that app users tend to purchase a more diverse set of items, including less popular products, than non-app users. This is particular helpful for long-tail products, such as video games and music.”

“For the retailer, the lesson is that having a retail app will likely increase customer engagement and expand the range of products being sold online and in store,” added Shankar.

“We also found that some app users who make a purchase within 48 hours of actually using an app, tend to use it when they are physically close to the store of purchase. They are most likely to access the app for loyalty rewards, product details and notifications.”

Top 50 cheapest countries in the world for mobile data are in Sub-Saharan Africa

Contrary to what one might expect, ten out of the top 50 cheapest countries in the world for mobile data are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is in stark contrast to the cost of broadband on the continent, which is almost universally very high or non-existent.

Rwanda and Sudan feature in the top ten, with 1GB of data costing just $0.56 and $0.68. Sub-Saharan Africa also lays claim to the most expensive nation in the world for mobile date: Zimbabwe, whose average cost for 1GB of mobile data is an eye-watering $75.20, while its most expensive gigabyte is an even more shocking $138.46.

According to a recently released survey by Cable.co.uk, in contrast with the cost of broadband on the African continent, 10 out of the top 50 cheapest countries in the world for mobile data are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Also, seven Northern African countries included in the report appear higher up the table than the majority of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, although none of them is among the top ten cheapest in the world.

The report includes data from 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries around the world between October 23 and November 28, 2018. The average cost of one gigabyte (1GB) of data was then calculated and compared to create a worldwide “mobile data pricing league table”.

The report also reveals that the price of mobile data is dependent on ubiquitous 4G infrastructure, heavy reliance on mobile data where there is little or no fixed-line broadband, limited consumption of data, and a wealthy economy.

In Africa, which is the poorest continent by GDP per capita, countries in the southernmost part of the continent pay the most for 1GB of data.

Mobile data cost across Africa
Image Source: Howmuch.net

Zimbabwe pays the highest price both on the continent and in the world ($75.20), followed by Equatorial Guinea ($65.83), Saint Helena ($55.47) and Djibouti ($37.92).

According to the report, mobile data is more expensive in countries like Equatorial Guinea and Djibouti because although it is widely available and SIMs are relatively cheap, the available infrastructure is overburdened.

Consequently, data bundles are predominantly available in small amounts with single-day validity.

“When multiplying such quantities to figure out the cost of 1GB, then such countries tend to find themselves at the expensive end of the table.”

On the contrary, Rwanda ($0.56), Sudan ($0.68) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ($0.88) have the cheapest mobile data in Africa. With DRC and Sudan being two of the poorest countries in the world, it comes as no surprise that mobile data in these countries would be as cheap as a number of the population can afford.

In Northern Africa, Egypt has the cheapest average cost of mobile data at $1.49, followed by Morocco and Western Sahara, both at $1.66 for 1GB of data.

In Africa’s largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, the average cost of data is still relatively expensive at $2.22 and $7.19 respectively.

In contrast, the 2018 edition of the Inclusive Internet Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released last year ranked Nigeria as number one in Africa and 17th in the world, with South Africa, Morocco and Egypt, following in that order.

Internet of Things market (IOT) 2022

Internet of Things (IoT) Testing market is estimated at $302.9 million in 2016 and is expected to reach $1776.52 million by 2022 growing at a CAGR of 34.2% from 2016 to 2022. Need for shift left testing of IoT applications and increasing importance of Devops are fueling the market. However, lack of consistency among standards for interconnectivity and interoperability is inhibiting the market growth. Moreover, advent of software-defined application platform and controllers provides huge growth opportunity for the market in the future.

Amongst Professional Services Type, mobile application testing held the largest market share. Mobile application testing service providers offer both automated and manual mobile application testing to their customers to test both hybrid and native mobile applications. North America is anticipated to hold the largest market share. The growth in this region is attributed to major dominance with sustainable and well-established economies encouraging them to strongly invest in research and development activities, thereby contributing to the development of new technologies such as IoT, big data, DevOps, and mobility.

Internet Of Things
Internet Of Things

Some of the Key players in the market include Happiest Minds Technologies, Novacoast, Inc., HCL Technologies Ltd., Ixia, Tata Consultancy Services, Apica System, Rapidvalue Solutions, Afour Technologies Pvt Ltd, Saksoft Limited, Beyond Securit, Trustwave Holdings, Praetorian, Smartbear Software, Rapid7 Inc., Infosys Limited and Capgemini S.A.

Regions Covered:

  • North America
  • US
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Europe
  • Germany
  • UK
  • Italy

Service Types Covered:
• Managed Services
• Professional Services
• Device Field Testing Services
• Device and Application Management Services
• Business Consulting Services
• Training and Support Services
• Platform Testing Services
• Mobile Application Testing Services
Testing Types Covered:
• Compatibility Testing
• Network Testing

By Application :

Smart Healthcare
Vehicle Telematics
Capillary Networks Management
Smart Building and Home Automation
Smart Manufacturing
Smart Utilities

2019 Mobile App Development Trends to Watch Out for

The shift from accessing the Internet on desktops and laptops to browsing on smartphones has been rather swift. According to a global digital report from We are Social, the number of smartphone users worldwide, crossed 5.135 billion. Unlike what the skeptics had predicted, mobile app development was no bubble, nor was it an impermanent trend destined to run out, like an iPhone battery running on iOS 11.

Mobile apps are a culture we have all grown accustomed to, given their presence as location-based apps, to their development on the spectrum of augmented and virtual reality. In fact, as per Statista, by the year 2020, mobile apps are expected to generate $188.9 billion as global revenue.

Gaining more speed and momentum from the statistics mentioned above, 2019 is likely to bring about an even brighter future for mobile app development. We will either be seeing brand new mobile app development trends or a huge upgrade from what users are already using.

With 5G network trials set to be underway across the world, the realm of app development will witness a change. The integrated chips powering our smartphones are being improved as I write this, and in 2019, they are set to go a notch higher, thus allowing mobile app developers greater room to play, when it comes to app intricacies. Fans of augmented and virtual reality can already feel the surging adrenaline rush.

1. Accelerated Mobile Pages through AMP and EMM

Accelerated mobile pages

AMP (Application Performance Management) listings were integrated into Google search in 2016, and since then developers have not looked back.

By inculcating these within the app framework, developers have been able to use this boiled down version of HTML for better user experience and retention, with Facebook Instant Articles being one of the many success stories.

These monitoring tools and metrics that help resolve bottlenecks as well as enhance overall performance are due to become a staple by 2019.

2. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning have dug their heels deeper into mobile apps that we may have realized. AI makes itself manifest in the form of chatbots. Siri is, in fact, one of the biggest proofs why machine learning and artificial intelligence are very much a part of mobile apps and ones that cannot be separated now.

The rising demand for machine learning and AI in the form of virtual assistants and chatbots is what we’re looking at, and that is what 2019 will bring for us.

3. Rise in the Demand for Wearable Devices and IoT

Waerables and IoT in mobile app development

Thanks to Apple, the affordability constraint is out of the equation. App developers are and will be looking to develop apps for wearable devices, mostly smartwatches.

Currently, it’s mostly horology and fitness industry that are looking towards smartwatches, but a few big names like Zomato and Uber have invested in wearable app development. Although, like most, they only have scratched the mere surface.

2019 promises to bring more wearables – watches, fitness bands, movement trackers, and more.

4. Chatbots will be Integral

As per Statista, the global Chatbot market is projected to grow to 1250 million U.S. dollars by 2025 – a jump of more than 1000 million U.S. dollars from 2016. One can simply deduce that chatbots are very well a part of the digital reality now.

Chatbots will now act (in fact are already acting) as virtual assistants within mobile applications. Thanks to the advancement in AI, it is now an easy job to integrate chatbots within apps without involving intricate coding.

A rather interesting infographic Digital Commerce suggests that as many as 50% of B2B buyers prefer self-service CRM. Chatbots is the new way to extend that sort of customer relationship management.

5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will Influence Mobile Strategies

AR/VR trends in mobile app development

‘Pokémon Go’ may have been a temporary storm on the eastern seaboard, but AR and VR are here to stay. Predicted to reap over $200 billion in revenues by 2020, developers are expected to create breathtaking mobile app experiences in AR and VR, and with compatible hardware entering the market, we can’t wait to get this party started.

6. Mobile Wallets and Payment Gateways

Frictionless payment methods are what customers demand from all the apps they use. There has been a gradual but significant change in the ways that users prefer to shop. We’ve slowly moved from cash to credit, debit, to mobile wallets, and digital currencies.

Mobile commerce has, thus, successfully, become a preferred shopping mode. So, for businesses, to be able to create a great app experience, integrating payment gateways as well as mobile wallets (like Amazon Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, etc) that provide secure encryption will become staple in 2019.

7. More Businesses will Invest in Cloud Integration

cloud integration in mobile app development

It took years but the world is finally waking up to the possibilities offered by cloud computing and integration. Streamlining operations, reduced costs in hosting, better storage, and loading capacity, along with increased user retention, are few of the many advantages of developing mobile apps over the cloud.

8. Instant Apps are Coming around

2016 saw the birth of instant apps – native mobile applications that are smaller in size than usual apps, user-friendly, and highly convenient because there is, well, just no need for downloading. As the name suggests, they can be accessed instantly without any download at all.

With users constantly demanding better user experience and shorter load times, instant apps are indeed the trend that 2019 will welcome, and for good, thus eliminating the waiting time required in the installation.

9. Mobile App Security to Gain Extra Attention

mobile app security

Yes, we know it is nothing new, but with Uber coming out of the metaphoric closet and accepting the hacking, and even Facebook and Google admitting their security lapses, app developers will be looking to invest more in cybersecurity, given it is directly linked to users’ data privacy and protection laws.

The finest minds in the industry will have to up the ante to drown out the uncertainty around mobile apps.

10. Beacons Technology

The Beacons technology has been around for some time now, and 2019 will make its presence stronger still.

We’re likely to see it more than ever in the form of beacon-enabled airports, mobile payments beacons, and even automated personal beacons. So, the trends will be to create more useful apps to work on beacons technology and make virtual guides and personalized information sharing smoother.

11. Predictive Analytics to Influence Mobile UI/UX

Predictive Analytics in mobile app development

Mobile apps are going to move on from being mere utilities to being an integral part of your workflow. Giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple are already employing AI to use predictive analytics to enhance the customer journey across the UI/UX of their apps, and 2019 is set to witness advances in this field.

12. Rising Popularity for On-Demand Apps

On-demand mobile app development

What was once being termed as an inevitable bubble in the realm of mobile app development, is now the future. With industries embracing the on-demand business model like an old friend, one can expect UI/UX enhancements, mCommerce facilities, predictive analytics, and business bots, to fuel the growth of Uber and Zomato-like apps in 2019.

Summing Up

At the risk of sounding like a cliché, one cannot emphasize enough about smartphones being the future, given how trends in mobile app development have managed to captivate users across the globe for the last 3-4 years. As we usher in another year, inquisitiveness and excitement galore reside in some of the finest brains in the business, that look forward to the future of mobile app development.