App Downloads Slow, Brands Pressured To Make Apps Relevant For Users

Mobile accounts for 50% to 70% of all consumer interactions with brands, with app session launches increasing 51% year-over-year. But the growth in mobile may have some advertisers scratching their heads. New monthly app downloads are slowing, only growing 5% since last year because interest by consumers in some apps continues to wane, per Adobe Digital Index.

In fact, most use an app once and don't go back to it. In retail, consumers use an app 13 times and abandon it, says Matt Asay, VP of mobile at Adobe Systems. "Most companies have built an app, but realize they don't have anyone using it," he says. So how do you get a consumer to keep using an app? "If you could answer that question, you'd be a trillionaire," he says, admitting loyalty must come first.

Apps are the brand's direct connection with consumers, especially as younger users come on board. Asay points to Ericsson's estimate that by 2020, 90% of the world's population age six and older will have a mobile phone.

Since these challenges put pressure on marketers to understand why interest in their apps continue to fade, Adobe integrated two Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions -- Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target -- to help advertisers understand how their apps perform in real time.

Redbox has seen their app user base grow by 100% since 2012, since tying their 40,000 DVD, Blu-ray and video-game rental kiosks throughout the United States with a digital network of email, mobile, Web and loyalty programs. About 60% of its online traffic comes through a mobile channel.

Using Adobe Analytics and the Mobile Core Services SDK, the company measures the effectiveness of mobile campaigns and monitors the experience to drive engagement and rental behavior. The Redbox app lets customers locate the nearest kiosks and browse and reserve titles for quick pickup.

The mobile app and the Adobe platform taught Redbox that 9 a.m. works best for pushing messages to consumers, doubling the increase in rental numbers within the first hour of a message being sent. During the day, Redbox saw rentals rise by 1.5-times. In the first half of 2015, push messaging became the No. 1 driver of new sign-ups to the Redbox Text Club.

Retailers use messaging in a variety of ways. Asay hinted at one large home improvement retailer installing beacons through the store to help consumer find products on the shelf.

The biggest challenges are a brand or retailer's loyal users. Getting consumers committed to the brand comes first.

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