Marketers to Improve App Functionality

Apps are growing in popularity, especially as more consumers begin using smartphones. And marketers are rushing to get their apps ready for consumers to download and use. But after initially experimenting with apps, consumers are finding that they prefer them only for select activities. In most cases, they prefer to use mobile browsers.

According to eMarketer, consumers appreciate and use apps most for the following activities:

  • Games 61%
  • Music 55%
  • Social media 54%
  • Local information such as weather and maps 42%

When it comes to online shopping, consumers are using mobile browsers instead of apps at the following rates:

  • Research product and price information 81%
  • Price/​product comparisons 71%
  • Registering online for offers/​promotions via mobile device 69%
  • Reading reviews/​rating 68%
  • Keyword searches 68%
  • Sharing info with friends through Facebook 61%

Given these results, retail marketers should be asking themselves about the functionality and purpose of their apps. eMarketer analysts theorize that consumers are not impressed by what they’ve seen with respect to some apps. In some cases, they could be “frustrated with the limited functionality many mobile-​optimized sites provide.” If the purpose of the app is to be more than a brand reminder on the home screen, then the user must be presented with something unique or valuable and a process that is as speedy as what they can find through a browser.

[Source: Mobile Users Prefer Browers over Apps. eMarketer​.com. 27 Oct. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.