Our feature this week is a joint effort between Lorraine Akemann of MWA and Oren Todoros of AppsMarketing.mobi. We are parents based on opposite sides of the world, who come together on occasion to share our enthusiasm for mobile apps. Oren’s team recently launched “Apps for Girls” and “Apps for Boys“, two new app catalogs to help parents find apps for their kids. This launch is an opportunity to comment on the trends of how consumers shop for apps in an overwhelming app marketplace.
[Note: Since this post was originally written, Oren’s team has focused on collecting feedback on their new apps, and already implemented changes to better serve their customers. This interactive approach to app development is a unique characteristic of the independent app marketplace – which is one of the reasons why we like to support indie developers at Moms With Apps.]
Let’s start with the App Store
In a sense, the app customer’s shopping experience is making a quick transition from visiting the app store to strolling through a mega app supermarket. With app development and user demand growing by leaps and bounds, Apple is working fast to segment apps by categories so visitors can connect with them on a more personal level. An example is the addition of app categories such as: apps for healthcare professionals, college survival apps, game starter kit and back to school. These new app stores within the app store offer niche classifications beyond the general segments. Apple’s effort attempts to solve the app discovery chasm of getting more apps to the “right” audience.
The App Discovery Sweet Spot
Based on analysis, 62% of apps are discovered via searching for a specific app, 60% of users brows through top app store rankings, and 46% rely on word of mouth. With this in mind, AppsMarketing set out to create a series of apps, starting with Apps For Girls, which focuses on a specific and highly engaged demographic.
Despite app discovery being such a major hurdle, it’s still just the first phase towards generating a lasting revenue stream. Once developers complete the hands-on coding work, they often find themselves hitting the “What Now?” wall. Cross-promotions, up-selling, providing support, increasing brand awareness as well as keeping a careful eye on competitive apps are all parts of a long lasting marketing strategy.
How is the industry trying to get your attention?
With hundreds of thousands of apps, on multiple/competing platforms, and developers engaging in an onslaught of marketing practices – we’ve got a lot of activity going on.
App review sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, curated lists, mainstream press, podcasts, web casts, promotions, giveaways, and word of mouth all add up to a burgeoning peripheral industry around APPS. Deciphering whose review is credible, which webcast to watch, and which giveaway to attend can be a daunting task for the app consumer.
Don’t be daunted
In an effort to “make sense” of the app marketplace, we’ve got more options than we know what to do with. In a perfect world, we’d have an accreditation body consisting of early childhood educators, kid beta testers, world-class developers, and seasoned reviewers to sort through the selections and give us recommendations based on our specific needs.
In the meantime, there are people making an effort to get the App House in Order – as demonstrated by these new App Catalogs, and the many “Industry Resources” on our sidebar. But we still need parents to take the lead, and think critically about the products we introduce to our children.
We’d like to hear from you. How do you think the various app stores can continue to improve showcasing apps by consumer segments? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on Twitter – @OrenTodoros