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Consumers increasingly turning to apps to simplify their lives

Apps are where its at – perhaps

Mobile app experience company Airship today released new global consumer research detailing what motivates consumers to continue to use mobile apps, how they discover them, and why and when they are likely to delete them.

Research shows that 42% of British consumers continue to use apps from their preferred brands because of “ease of use”, while word of mouth and browsing app stores (both at 41%) are the most popular ways for UK mobile users to find new apps. 

So finds research from mobile app experience company Airship, which goes on to say that consumers today are turning to apps for convenience and efficiency. Overall, the top three reasons 11,000 global respondents use apps from their favourite brands are “ease of use” (35%), followed by “simplifies my life” (31%) and “saves me time” (27%). While the economic climate is challenging, and deals, rewards and targeted offers grew the most as opt-in motivators, the reasons consumers continue to use apps are increasingly about higher-level benefits: ease, speed, and simplicity.

Searching and browsing app stores continues to be the top way people discover new apps to download. This holds true across household income levels, generations and the majority of countries. Search engines are the second most common app discovery method, followed by word of mouth (WOM). Personal recommendations are a key driver of app downloads in the UK, France, and Canada where consumers turn to WOM as much or more than the app stores. In the US, Germany, and Singapore WOM is the second most common method of finding apps.

When asked why they delete apps, “freeing up phone storage” (32%) and “too many in-app ads” (30%) rose to the top. Alarmingly, “never used” (26%) was the third most common reason for deleting apps globally. In Canada, France, and Germany, “never used” was the most common reason for app removal, and in the US, UK and Singapore, it ranked second. This data suggests that brands must quickly and clearly convey the value of the app to customers. Improving mobile app onboarding experiences are crucial to fostering app usage and optimising retention. Additionally, establishing connections with customers outside of the app, such as through email or SMS, can help drive them back to the app.

First and second impressions are everything for new app customers. Most consumers (57%) only use an app once or twice before deciding whether to delete it or not. Furthermore, within the first two weeks of downloading a new app, 73% of consumers will decide if they’ll delete it – a behaviour consistent across all countries, household income levels and generations.

“App user acquisition means almost nothing if brands aren’t able to retain their users and drive repeat usage. Brands today need to deliver value by using every opportunity to make life better for their customers,” says Thomas Butta, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Airship. “No one else besides Airship can unify and optimise the entire mobile app customer lifecycle, from app features and discovery to campaigns outside the app and experiences inside the app.”

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