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Consumers and Mobile Apps

Most consumers first hear about mobile apps from friends and family, according to a recent report from Google and Ipsos, titled Mobile App Marketing Insights: How Consumers Really Find and Use Your Apps.

The report is based on data from an online survey of more than eight thousand people conducted in September 2014. Respondents were aged 18-64, and they were ask about how they find, buy, and use smartphone applications.

Just more than half of respondents said they typically become aware of mobile apps from friends and family. Other common discovery methods are app stores (40%), search engines (27%), company websites (24%), and television (22%). Search engines are often used for finding technology, travel and local apps. Although there are estimated to be over 1.2 billion apps in the App Store, the average user has 36 apps installed but only about a quarter of them are used on a daily basis, and another 25% are never used.

Consumers often uninstall apps that they are required to install to complete a specific transaction. More than a third of respondents said that they would download an app when it’s required to complete a purchase, but half of those would uninstall it after the purchase was complete. These users were receptive to incentives to prompt them to restart using an app or even reinstall it. Discounts, bonuses and exclusive content are examples of incentives that drive reengagement.


An interesting note for marketers is the finding that search ads are effective in driving app downloads, including social ads, banner/graphical ads in apps and websites and video ads. Apps also play a significant role during purchasing decisions. Fifty percent of app users turn to apps to help them make purchasing decisions. 45% of these people use their apps to look for more business and product information, and almost one-third use apps later in the buying process to actually make the purchase, either online or offline.

Consumers typically spend an average of thirty hours per month using apps, and it is no surprise that social and gaming apps have the most daily use. The breakdown by category is:

68% social and communication
46% games or gaming related
33% media or entertainment related
19% retail stores or retail related

Eighty percent of respondents said that price is the most important factor when deciding to download an app, followed by descriptions, reviews, ratings and free trials. Most consumers expect apps to be free, and the key number for the overall average willingness to pay for an app is $2.17. People are willing to pay the most for technology apps and the lease for gaming apps.
The most frequently used apps help to simplify the life of the user and they are easy to use. Frequently used apps share the same attributes, including ease of use, appealing design, and consistent experience on multiple devices.

Check out the whole report at