Top 10 mobile shopping apps

Posted on: September 7th, 2012 by writers

ShopKick shopping app © by Robert Scoble

Almost half of all smartphone users use mobile shopping apps, according a recent survey released by Nielsen. Mobile shopping apps remain a popular category for smartphone users, with branded shopping apps and price comparison apps leading the charge within the category.

The survey showed that 47% of all smartphone consumers used mobile shopping apps over the course of a month. The top ten mobile shopping apps generally fell into three broad buckets: branded shopping apps from popular online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, shopping companion apps from companies like ShopKick and RedLaser, and group buying apps from deal sites like Groupon and Living Social.

Shopping companion apps are often used for showrooming, the act of checking for prices online via a mobile device when shopping at physical retailers. According to recent data, 35% of smartphone owners have “showroomed” while shopping in-store and then later gone online to buy the products at a cheaper price. Branded shopping apps from online retailers can also be used to showroom, since sites like eBay and Amazon may often have the same product at a cheaper price.

These mobile shopping apps are also growing in popularity, with healthy gains showed by the top apps in the category. The mobile apps from eBay and Amazon have seen 30+ percent growth over the course of the year, outpacing the overall growth of smartphone owners in the market.

To download the full report, please visit the Nielsen website here.

Top 10 Mobile Shopping Apps

1. eBay Mobile
2. Amazon Mobile
3. Groupon
4. Shopkick
5. LivingSocial
6. Walgreens
7. Target
8. RedLaser
9. Out of Milk Shopping List
10. SavingStar Grocery eCoupons

Mobile App Monetization: In-App Purchases

Posted on: September 6th, 2012 by writers

YoVille Monetization Structure and Strategy © by

Many mobile app developers have traditionally set a business model wherein consumers are asked to pay for a mobile app download or a mobile subscription service. As more and more apps continue to saturate the app stores, it has become increasingly difficult to convince consumers to pay for an app when so many free apps are available. This makes it tough for paid apps to gain the customer base needed to generate a significant flow of paying users. As such, app developers are now turning towards different methods of monetization, including in-app purchases.

In-app purchases differ from paid downloads by letting the consumer download the mobile app for free and opt to pay for purchases within the app at a later time to enhance the overall experience. This provides the publisher with an opportunity to interact and engage the user beforehand, making it an easier proposition to up-sell them consumer at a later point. Mobile game makers have successfully executed this model through the use of virtual goods. These virtual goods can include items within the game, personalized avatars, access to additional levels or other customized offers. These virtual goods are often sold for small amounts, allowing the developer to engage the consumer in repeated micro transactions over the lifetime of the app. Zynga has long been a pioneer in this space, and more recently NaturalMotion, a mobile game publisher based out of the U.K., conducted $12 million dollars in in-app purchases during a single month. Those small micro transactions sure add up to big chunks of change when processed over a large user base!

According to a recent study by OPA, 24% of smartphone users have purchased some form of mobile content over the past year. Yet only 14% of smartphone apps downloaded by these same users were paid apps. These statistics indicate that many content purchases are happening after a consumer has conducted an app download, and show a changing trend in mobile consumer behavior.

Mobile App Monetization: Free Apps

Posted on: September 5th, 2012 by writers

Home screen © by Stylva

When looking for business models for your mobile application, you have several different methods at your disposal. You can opt for subscription services, in-app purchases, pay per downloads, the freemium model or advertising supported models. However, all of these approaches fall into two categories: having users pay for your app content or having advertisers pay for your app content. Consumers today are becoming increasingly resistant to paying for mobile content, leading many mobile publishers to turn towards advertising supported models for revenue flow.

Although many consumers still download mobile apps all the time, a shrinking few of them still pay for these downloads. Last year alone only 14% of mobile apps downloaded were paid apps. Android users in particular will not pay for mobile apps, with only 34% of Android users reporting paying for mobile app downloads. This is possibly due to the fact that 73% of the apps on the Android marketplace are free. Of these free apps, 80% of them use advertising supported models. iPhone apps fared much better, with 70% of iPhone users having downloaded a paid app within the past 12 months.

Free apps are also more likely to be downloaded that paid apps, according to a recent study conducted by Cambridge University computer scientists. The study found that only 0.2% of paid apps were ever downloaded over 10,000 times, while 20% of free apps went on to secure 10,000 downloads or more.

Successfully monetizing a mobile application is a tricky proposition. With so many free mobile apps available on the Android and Apple App stores, it’s hard to convince a user to pay for your paid app when so many free alternatives exist. As advertising supported mobile apps become more popular though, and mobile advertising platforms become more robust and personalized, we anticipate a big shift towards this direction that’s embraced by both the consumers and mobile app publishers alike.

Mobile App Monetization: Content Purchases

Posted on: September 4th, 2012 by writers

minimo © by yuichirock

There are many different ways to monetize your mobile application across various platforms. There are several popular models to choose from, including subscription services, in-app purchases, pay per downloads, the freemium model and advertising supported models. Each of these models generally falls into two broad categories: getting paid by your users or getting paid by advertisers for your mobile app content.

Focusing on app users, what types of content are they purchasing? According to a recent study, 24% of consumers purchase some form of app content, ranging in type from video, books, movies, TV shows, news, sports, magazines and newspapers. Consumers purchased this content via both native mobile apps and web mobile apps.

The pay per download model for mobile apps appears to be losing popularity, as only 14% of smartphone apps downloaded last year were paid apps. The rest of the apps were free apps. Android users have especially become overwhelmingly opposed to paying for mobile apps, with only 34% of Android users reporting having spent any money on smartphone apps over the course of the last 12 months. 70% of iPhone users reported paying for an app download over the past year.

These same content buyers were also more likely to view mobile advertising favorably compared to non content buyers. Not only do these users view the ads more favorably, but they are also more likely to take action based on these ads. In fact, content buyers indicated that they were twice as likely to take action based on mobile ads than general mobile users. More interestingly, iPhone users responded even better to mobile ads across the board. iPhone users viewed mobile ads more favorably and were more like to take actions based on mobile ads than Android users in the same categories.

Mobile web smartphone users

Posted on: August 31st, 2012 by writers

Mobile web camp © by Frédéric de Villamil

Accessing content and information is the primary action that the average consumer performs with their smartphones, but did you know that the average mobile consumer spends more time accessing this information with the mobile web versus a native mobile app? All this according to a recent report released by the Online Publishing Association (OPA) which covers the behavior of today’s smartphone user.

Smartphone content consumers access content with mobile web applications 57% of the times versus with a native mobile app. Mobile web apps have become more popular lately primarily due to their cross-platform compatibility. Some developers continue to only develop native mobile apps, but many are turning to mobile web apps for their ease of deployment and management. Since market accessibility is paramount to the success of any mobile strategy, it’s no surprise that many companies are turning to mobile web solutions to meet their consumer needs.

Some of this content accessing varies by content category. Certain activities, such as checking the weather (incidentally, the #1 activity performed on a smartphone), were more often accessed via native mobile apps than with mobile web apps. Other categories, such as news and entertainment, leaned more towards mobile web app access. The sports category was tied evenly between mobile apps and mobile web. Although some of the activities varied, on the whole mobile web access was still preferred over mobile app access.

Still, mobile app downloads stayed strong, with nearly all (96%) of the study respondents indicating that they download apps onto their smartphones. These same respondents indicated that on average they downloaded 36 mobile apps within a 12 month time frame. And 56% of these users reported that they use at least half of the apps downloaded onto their smartphones. So although mobile web apps appear to have gained ground on mobile apps overall, the download and usage of mobile apps still remain a strong presence in the mobile landscape.