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‘Appily ever after: maximising the app ecosystem for post-pandemic success
June 25, 2021
The way many of us use our mobiles has changed over the last year or so, largely due to the pandemic. At the start of the global lockdown, we saw a surge in the number of app downloads, especially entertainment and fitness apps. We also saw an increase in the number of video calls, as we craved face-to-face contact with our loved ones. And as lockdowns eased we saw a rise in the download of hospitality apps, as many restaurants and bars switched to contactless methods of ordering and payment.
It can be argued that this change in behaviour hasn’t been caused by the pandemic, but it acted as a catalyst for this increase in app usage. Fitness apps like Peloton were already seeing a surge pre-pandemic, and Wetherspoons already had its popular app that allowed punters (in fact, anyone, anywhere) to order from the table.
The global pandemic aligned with a time where consumers were demanding greater privacy. So this rise in app downloads has coincided with many of the privacy updates to operating systems and devices. Apple has already responded to consumer privacy concerns with several updates to its iOS platforms. Notably, the ability for users to opt-out of app tracking, and the new focus mode due to be released in iOS 15, that will allow users to stop all notifications during a set time, in which app owners will inevitably see a drop in open rates and dwell time. Email marketers also need to be aware of the iOS 15 update that allows users to protect their mail activity. Whilst over on Android, Google has announced that they will be following suit with AAID restrictions set to roll out later this year.
These updates give users greater control over the data they choose, or choose not to share, but poses many challenges for marketers. How do you strike the balance between personalisation and privacy? Apple has stated that they believe privacy is a fundamental human right that requires zero trade-offs. And on Android, Google has started to follow suit with a range of privacy changes of its own. They have already catered to the growing demand for better connectivity and measurement from websites to app with the release of Google Analytics 4, which consolidates properties from the web-based Google Analytics with its app analytics platform Firebase.
The only route for marketers is to fully adopt a privacy safe future, so what’s next in mobile? I believe more apps will be shifting to in-app purchases or subscription services now that monetising through ad revenue alone will not be as lucrative for apps. It will also be harder for apps to acquire high-quality users due to the restrictions in user targeting and creative testing.
I would expect a surge in apps looking to optimise their app store pages and using this as a place to A/B test creatives and messaging. App owners and App Store optimisers (like us at Jellyfish) will soon be able to produce up to 35 custom product pages for the app store, something that marketers have been requesting for a while as well as A/B test screenshots from organic traffic (something that has already proven to be a popular feature on the Google Play Console). These pages will allow optimisers and owners to test product pages ahead of app launches, provide different information for different audiences which will hopefully increase conversion rates and therefore, downloads.
So, what should smart app marketers be doing?
- Adopt a privacy-first approach to marketing and product updates
- Invest time in understanding the new app marketing tools within the App store
- Switching and upskilling in Google Analytics 4
Focusing on these key areas will ensure maximum app success in an ever more crowded app marketplace.
Want to chat more about optimising your app for post-pandemic success? Email email@example.com and we’ll be in touch.