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Big UK Brands Get to Grips With Apps, But Retailers Are Playing Catch-Up

App Annie

We were delighted to be asked recently by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to contribute our app economy insight to their latest brand audit report. The IAB’s audit, which launches today (login required), looks at the uptake of mobile across the top-spending advertiser brands in the UK and highlights where the uptake is good and where it still needs improving.

In pulling together the data for the IAB and then reading through the final report, we’re encouraged to see that 68% of the top UK brands are now embracing mobile and have created an app. We’ve long touted apps as a key channel through which to improve brand awareness, attract customers and drive sales. Apps’ inclusion in a truly multi-channel strategy, alongside offline and in-store channels, can dramatically enhance a business’ ability to reach its target audience and grow the sales funnel.

App Annie looked at the top 100 apps by combined iOS and Google Play downloads from leading brands in the UK. Brands in the tech and telecom sector dominated the list, providing 39 of the top 100 apps. Entertainment brands contributed 28 apps and retail brands contributed 17 of the top 100 apps. App downloads for the top brands in the UK are predominantly coming from the iOS App Store, which accounted for approximately 1.9x as many downloads as Google Play for the top 100 brand apps. Of the iOS App Store downloads, approximately 70% were for iPhones and 30% for iPads.

However, the audit report does reveal that some sectors are slower in their adoption of an app strategy. In particular, of those retailers included in the audit, only 32% have a transactional app and this has only increased by 2% in the past 2 years.

This was something we saw for ourselves at last week’s Internet Retailing Expo in the UK. We spoke to many retailers who said that, up until now, they have been busy developing a mobile-optimized site but their next focus was an app strategy.

While this is great news, it’s important to not strategize blindly. Our data showed several retail advertisers like Argos, eBay and Amazon — all high on the top 100 brand apps list. This suggests that if you do mobile well you will reap the rewards. However, only through understanding the wider app trends within your sector will you ensure your mobile app provides a return on investment and generates a competitive advantage.

For more on this topic, download our European Retail Spotlights to discover key app trends from the top 25 retailers in the UK, France and Germany.

March 31, 2015

Market Data

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