The world of apps is hardly shrinking and lots of money is changing hands.
Consumers will download 102 billion apps from mobile app stores this year and spending on and through those apps will hit $26 billion, according to research firm Gartner.
The number of apps downloaded will be 60% higher than last year and money spent will be 47% higher, says Gartner.
An interesting point in the research is that in-app purchases will account for almost half (48%) of the app store revenue in four years, up from 11% just last year.
It looks like those who are happy with the experience will pay more once using a particular app.
And this may be a good thing for app developers, since monthly app downloads per device are in the range of five to six.
And this brings me to the issue of how this plays within the realm of mobile shoppers.
Retailers continually tell me the large majority of their mobile customers are using their mobile websites, not apps.
As a result, a lot of resource is being put into developing robust mobile sites where commerce can occur. It’s
not a total app experience, but some, like Staples and Sears, are getting very close.
Most merchants also appreciate their loyal customers, many of whom download the company’s app.
It just could be that these loyal customers, like the in-app purchasers in the Gartner study, spend more time within the app.
Just as in the physical world, mobile shoppers can fall into dual categories: those who use the mobile website and those loyal and perhaps regular customers who gravitate toward the app.
At the moment, retailers must serve both.
How do you see this playing out over time?
Update: Speaking at OMMA Mobile at Advertising Week Monday and Tuesday: MasterCard, comScore, USA Sports Media Group, BBDO, Usablenet, Havas Media, Pandora, Catalina, IAB, Leo Burnett, Foursquare, and many more. You attending? If so, come say hello. Here’s the Agenda.