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2018: the year retail goes mobile as apps take centre stage, predicts study

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It may not even be December yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking at what the key trends for 2018 are going to be – and first out the gate is App Annie, which predicts that 2018 will see mobile become the key driver of retail sales.

According to its predictions, apps will become the main point of sale for most retailers, with stores becoming collection locations – something that will also see cash registers become a thing of the past and AR in store become a real thing.

The company also predicts that delivery as a service (DaaS) will become ever more prevalent off the back of this trend and, again, will be driven my apps.

The predictions are set against a wider backdrop of a burgeoning app economy in 2018, says the company. Worldwide gross consumer app store spend will blow past the $100 million mark, with App Annie forecasting worldwide consumer spend across all mobile app stores will grow approximately 30% year over year to exceed $110 billion in 2018.

The company expects China’s growth rate for app store consumer spend to significantly outpace the rest of the world.

App store curation will drive higher overall in-app purchase revenue and expand opportunity for independent publishers, says the company. In June 2017 both Apple and Google announced updates to the iOS app store and Google Play store aimed to alleviate the problem of app store discovery through app curation and editorial content.

App Annie also predicts entertainment apps will benefit the most , as they’re more likely to connect with consumers casually browsing through the app stores.

The  implementation of PSD2 legislation in Europe will open the door for more players to provide comprehensive, app-centric, financial-related services, while providing users with the security that comes from government oversight and legitimacy. This will unbundle the banking value chain in Europe, with aggregation apps increasingly becoming the primary gateway for consumer finance.

As the benefits of these changes become realized, we expect that it will drive similar innovation in markets outside of Europe. In addition, traditional retail banks will also continue to innovate across the globe. For example, in November 2017, Wells Fargo announced that it will launch Greenhouse, a standalone app that combines mobile-first bank accounts with spending analytics, in the first half of 2018.

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