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eBay finds that retail app market is booming, but is littered with costly mistakes

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eBay’s first ecommerce app is five years old this week. 160 million downloads later, new research from eBay – in partnership with Conlumino – shows the challenges retailers face in cutting through this crowded market to engage customers on the move.

According to the research 64% of apps that started development were never finished or were rejected by app stores, accounting for £3.19 billion of development costs globally. The average price of a basic app to develop is now £12,000 and more advanced apps are an estimated £55,000. And updates can be expensive – overhauls to cope with new devices and major operating system upgrades can cost up to 42% of the original development cost, while even basic and partial updates can cost around 17% of the initial outlay.

According to eBay, more than a million consumer facing apps went into production last year as brands and retailers raced to take advantage of the opportunity to engage with consumers via their smartphones and tablets.

Apps involving retail products or services had a 42% success rate for reaching launch stage, with just shy of 73,000 retail apps made available in app stores last year. The majority of these were ‘informational’, but around one in five (18%) allowed consumers to purchase goods, underlining the importance of mobile in the rise of ‘anytime, anywhere’ shopping.

Olivier Ropars, Senior Director of m-commerce, eBay Europe, commented: “Sales of mobile devices have rocketed and smartphones are the mission control for our lives. They are always on, always with us and changing everything, including how we shop and pay. Many brands and retailers have created apps, but driving regular traffic to the app is another matter.

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