The trends that are shaking up the mobile app industry

The trends that are shaking up the mobile app industry

There were so many developments last year that excited consumers and challenged app developers to up their game. From experimenting with AR/VR technology to harnessing the power of personalization to deliver an even more intuitive smartphone experience, apps are getting bigger, bolder and brighter. With such rapid developments, I reached out to some of our industry’s sharpest thought leaders and most influential innovators to get their thoughts on what to expect this year. We covered everything from how OEMs are making it easier to discover apps away from crowded app stores, to how AI will be completely mainstream by 2023. In short, based on their predictions, I think we are just entering the golden age of mobile phones.

OEMs and operators: Simplifying application discovery

Over the past few years, mobile manufacturers have played an increasingly important role in app discovery. OEMs see the benefits, especially in terms of brand awareness and improved customer satisfaction, by making it easier to discover apps directly on devices. Daniele Servadei, CEO and co-founder of e-commerce payment processing platform Sellix, said the key to the success of top-ups and on-device discovery is the convenience and efficiency of these models. However, he noted that to take full advantage, OEMs are partnering with third-party platforms to “extend their reach, tap into new user segments and enhance their brand image – enabling them to offer a wider range of services and experiences. to users.”

Kevin Lee, BT Group’s director of consumer digital, noted that there will be a greater focus for manufacturers to strike a balance between driving users towards specific apps and services and creating a self-contained mobile experience for customers. “While OEM partnerships and preloaded apps prioritize specific utility and ‘household name’ apps, OEMs and operators must find a balance between growing their installed base and promoting individual apps while still offering autonomy customers to create a personalized device experience. them, he explained.

Of particular importance is how the role of OEMs and operators in facilitating app discovery will continue to evolve. Gökhan Yüksektepe, director of digital communications and advertising at Turkey’s leading telecommunications company Turkcell and CEO of BIP, predicted that as it becomes increasingly difficult for users to discover new apps through traditional channels, there will be more emphasis on preloading and the device level. discovery. However, according to Gökhan, other channels should not be overlooked: “It is also worth noting that other discovery models such as social media, influencer marketing and user reviews are also becoming increasingly important in app discovery. As users increasingly rely on from friends and influencers to discover new applications, these models may become more important in the future.” Gökhan predicts that the growing demand for third-party discovery platforms will also help manufacturers and operators maintain their competitive edge. “By partnering with these platforms, manufacturers and operators will have access to a greater number of applications to promote to their customers, leading to a more diverse and personalized application experience.” – He told. “These partnerships can also help manufacturers and operators stay abreast of the latest trends and innovations in the application ecosystem, which can help them stay competitive and meet changing needs. about their customers.”

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Jinesh Vohra, CEO of mortgage app Sprive, said third-party platforms have been key to his app’s success: “With Sprive, partnerships like this have quickly enabled us to offer our customers a solution where every time they shop with brands like Morrisons. , M&S, Waitrose, Costa, Primark and many more who pay extra for your mortgage. Such partnerships can lead to joint marketing efforts to acquire new customers, build trust and improve the app’s overall brand awareness.”

Personalization: Creating a unique mobile experience

Today, customers demand a completely personalized and completely personal device experience. Already in 2015, surveys showed that this was the number one expectation from users. App personalization is the surest way to keep your audience engaged and responsive, statistics consistently show that app personalization increases retention and conversion rates.

Predictive analytics is an effective tool for creating greater personalization. Machine learning techniques allow us to analyze past data and identify patterns to understand future customer behavior and preferences.

James Malcolm, head of engineering (mobile) at digital development firm xDesign, said that to harness the power of data analytics, app developers should consider rolling out features at an “incomplete” stage to track customer engagement with the feature without taking too long. develop it. “From an application perspective, the ideal scenario is to release a lot of features in an incomplete phase and see if the end user interacts with them. That way, teams and companies won’t spend months developing features that end users don’t and won’t care about,” he explained. “A developer or team can spend a day on a missing feature and outsource it with analytics to track engagement. If the user uses it after that, they know it’s worth spending time on this feature. If not, they know they can leave that feature and focus on something else.”

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Successful personalization corresponded to the development and utilization of artificial intelligence technology, said Adnan Masood, chief architect of AI at software company UST. He noted: “Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to understand user preferences and behavior and deliver targeted marketing messages for demographic, contextual and personalized marketing messages. Any app that understands a user’s purchase history and current location can deliver highly relevant and time-sensitive promotional offers, just as a news or social media app that understands a user’s interests and reading habits can display articles tailored to their preferences, which is a better enjoyable and informative experience.”

Adnan predicted huge advances in how AI will better personalize the user experience. He said that the future will have even more fluid, seamless, efficient and effective interactions, especially with the rise of multimodal interactions and conversational interfaces. He said these intelligent interfaces will “transform the smartphone landscape with capabilities such as understanding speech, images and text.”

Emerging trends: The future of mobile

Data from mobile marketing platform Adjust shows that there are several app categories that continue to grow in strength. Statistics show that fintech apps had an outstanding year in 2022, with average annual sessions for this type of app increasing by 17% year-over-year globally. In the EMEA regions, this rate was 37%.

According to Alexandre Pham, EMEA Vice President of Adjust, this is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened certain trends – in this case, users are much more used to managing their finances digitally. “What’s more, as the rising cost of living drives consumer interest in easy money management, consumers will continue to recognize and take advantage of fintech applications in 2023,” added Alexandre. “Simple payment processes, quick access to funds and efficient money management tools, to name a few, continue to appeal to consumers.”

Additionally, Adjust predicted the rise of so-called “citizen developers,” which will emerge as a popular way to develop apps beyond traditional tools. “Complex coding practices are being widely replaced by low-code and no-code tools, enabling non-technical individuals on everyday teams to use simpler development formats to create more customer-centric applications,” explained Katie Madding, SVP of Product at Adjust. “Businesses can no longer rely solely on highly skilled developers, data scientists or engineers for product development.”

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According to Turkcell Gökhan Yüksektepe, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the application industry and irrevocably changed consumer behavior. He said one area where this is most evident is the dominance of food and grocery delivery apps, which have proliferated during the pandemic and remain hugely popular. Gökhan also highlighted that healthcare applications, especially virtual consultation services, as well as remote work and education applications, as well as e-commerce applications, remain in demand for the same reasons.

Gökhan also noted that mobile personalization will become even more sophisticated this year as AI and ML are integrated into more apps. “This enables apps to provide more personalized and relevant content to users, optimize app performance, enhance security measures, and enable new capabilities and features,” he commented.

Finally, data from digital analytics firm Amplitude shows that several trends remain in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January 2020, the use of food delivery apps has grown 164%, faster than any other industry in the analysis. The use of personal finance apps has also seen significant growth, with 77% of all end users accessing banking products through apps by December 2021 – the highest percentage of app usage among industries. Daniel Bailey, vice president of Amplitude, said: “Additionally, the growth of digital activity over the past two years means that companies with digital products have even more touchpoints with customers and more internal data at their disposal. Using this information to create a seamless digital experience is critical for any forward-thinking company. After all, every customer touch point is an opportunity to drive engagement, retention and growth.”

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