App Challenges Rise As People Spend More Time In Them

The average person will spend the majority of their time on a mobile device using apps rather than web browsers, with the average person spending 2:57 in apps vs. 0:26 on a mobile browser, according to data from eMarketer.

The increase in app use has prompted marketers to build in features like advanced search and opt-in push notifications, but one in five marketers now say they face high opt-out rates, poor click-through rates, and cumbersome program management challenges, according to the survey findings released this week.  

While only 20% admit to having issues with mobile app push notifications, 16% are unsure about whether they are having issues because they do not have the technology or the skills to determine what the challenges are.

The survey, conducted on mobile devices by Strop Insights on behalf of Penthera, analyzed responses from 403 brand marketing strategists whose company has or is building a customer-facing mobile app.

Survey participants were given a list of the types of issues they have. Some 45% said their users opt out, 40% have issues with Android and iOS, and 36% said they don’t click through. About 33% would like to include video but do not know how, while 31% find the technology limiting with regard to how they can use push notifications, 26% do not have analytics to understand the data, 31% said the technology is cumbersome to manage,  and 26% said there are too many failed sends.



Participants were also given a list of uses for push notifications and were asked to select all that apply. Some 61% said they send new promotions in push notifications, while about 58% send product announcements, 54% send new video content, 50% use them for service updates, 50% send news, 44% send tips and recommendations, 31% use them for educational and tutorials, and 22% use push notifications to share support material such as sharing changes or charges in the account.

Penthera Chief Revenue Officer Dan Hurwitz believes that in some ways push notifications are the search ads of the mobile devices. Whereas brands bought search ads to capture attention on search results pages, branded apps are competing for attention on users' phones, he said. Sometimes these apps house great content that might go unseen. So similar to search, it's another way to capture that attention.
"Search's relevance appears to be in decline," Hurwitz said. "As earlier this year, Google saw clicks across its properties decline 9% from the fourth quarter in 2018 to the first quarter in 2019."

Brands need new ways to engage with consumers, which is perhaps why mobile push notifications are the third most popular method for engaging mobile app users, behind only email and social, according to survey results.

Some 36% of those participating in the survey said they send push notifications multiple times per week, followed by 32% who said they send them daily, 12% send them once a week, 9% send them multiple times per month, 4% send them once a month, and 7% send them less frequently.  

Video seems to be the most desirable media to include in push notification. Survey participants believe video is the best media to increase engagement. Fifty-four percent tied video and engagement together when given a list of organizational goals. Some 53% cited brand awareness, 52% named driving sales, and 51% cited product information. About 44% said they would like to use video in push notifications to launch products and 36% said they would like to use video to help users discover new content.  

But push notifications are not the leading way that these marketers reach users. Email at 77% is the No. 1 media used as a form of communicate with app users, followed by social media at 72% at No. 2, mobile app push notifications at 53%, digital ads at 52%, text messages at 46%, phone calls at 42%, coupons and promotions at 41%, among others.

Next story loading loading..