Brands May Have An App For That, But Here's Why Consumers Don't Use It

Brands developed apps to fit consumer needs, complete sales, cement deeper loyalty and create engagement. But what is the value of the apps and how do they help with conversions and connections -- especially when so many consumers are deleting or ignoring them once they are downloaded to their mobile phone?

App owners visit brick-and-mortar stores about 41% more in one year than non-app owners, a study finds.

InMobi surveyed more than 8,000 adults across the U.S. in 2021 through InMobiPulse, the company’s market research tool. It combined that data from 10 million daily users of mobile apps -- more than 2 billion devices globally -- and 100 million home locations, with physical behavior, purchase data web-browsing behavior, and more.

Brands included in the analysis include Adidas, Pizza Hut, Albertsons, Starbucks, Costco and Walmart, among many others.



The data, released Tuesday, revealed that retail and quick-service restaurants with mobile ordering or delivery (QRS) apps say consumers visit stores as much as 39% more frequently. Store visits for app owners at big-box retailers visit about 24% more frequently, and for grocery app owners, they visit more than 25% more frequently.

The Value of Apps, InMobi’s report, compiled survey data and measured the value of apps based on consumer behavior. Researchers viewed aggregate app behavior and first-party data, survey data, and app software development kit data.

Big-box stores have created the most app awareness, with the top three garnering between 25% and 29% awareness. Some 60% of consumers ages 55 and older cited convenience as the top reason they shop through retail apps. Besides word-of-mouth, consumers cited mobile ads as a top way they find out about an app.

Pharmacy app owners visit a brand's physical store around 27% more frequently than non-app owners, and grocery app owners visit a brand's physical store 25% more frequently than non-app owners.

About 33% of consumers said saving time was the reason they shopped through QSR apps, while 26% of consumers cited convenience. The study found that app downloads are generally low.

How do consumers discover a brand's app? The top discovery methods are mobile ads and word of mouth, 31%; TV ads, 31%; and mobile ads, 29%. Many companies push app use, especially those in the fast-food industry such as Chick-fil-A, and McDonald's.

Which major QSR brand's mobile apps have Americans ordered through? The survey found that 15% ordered through KFC, while 14% ordered through Sonic, and 14% through Chick-fil-A.

Brands with the highest app awareness in the category include:

• McDonald's: 44% (53% for women, 51% for people 55 years and up)
• Starbucks: 29% (35% for women, 33% for people 55 years and up)
• Burger King: 25%

Apps Most Often Used To Make Purchases:

• McDonald's: 18% (26% for Americans 18-34 years old)
• Starbucks: 11% (15% for Americans 18-34 years old)
• 7-Eleven: 9% (15% for Americans 18-34 years old)
• Panera: 9%

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