What makes a great app if not its inventory?
To understand mobile users, you have to break into a series of facts and learn their motivations.
In this post you’ll find key information about the similarities and differences between US and LaTam app users.
Let’s go into it.
Understand your inventory
Imagine your app is a cereal box on a shelf of a store, many customers walk by, some of them try your product once, some of them do it periodically and some of them buy it every week.
In this case, the customers are your users and, as well as a store would do, you have to make efforts so they can buy your cereal box every week.
But, how will you know which actions to take if you don’t know the people who use your application? Well, you won’t.
Summing up, the first step to have loyal users is to understand them.
Do you know where your users are?
There are targeting details publishers have to take in consideration other than gender and age. The users’ location, for example, is a big deal in terms of app content, usage, interface and experience.
US inventory has priorities users from India don’t have. Users from Latin America search for features european ones don’t really care and so on.
A deep study of where your target is, is as necessary as what your application is for.
Get anticipated of what’s new
So, you have a great application and you want it to be successful asap. Chill out just a bit and think about your users.
Who is your audience?
What do they need?
What problems is your app solving for them?
The more answers you have, the better. Especially before taking a big step.
Grandma may have already told you to try to predict a problem before it happens, and she’s right.
Of course this is a hard thing to do and some apps are more successful on locations they didn’t even think about before. But if your product is the perfect solution to the needs of a certain audience, it’s hardly going to be like that.
Mobile behaviour US vs. LaTam
Physically, America is just one whole continent but the cultural and economic differences between the locations may change the efforts publishers have to make.
Users in the US
The United States is maybe the best on developing new technologies and devices, which means their population is aware of what’s new before everybody else.
According to ComScore, on average, americans spend 73 hours per month on their smartphones.
Also, the mobile usage is increasing between elderly generations: all of them except Baby Boomers spend more than 40% of their online time on mobile.
Having this in mind, publishers can understand that US audience is, in general, a little older.
Culturally, North America is very different from the rest of the continent. For example, while LaTam users have instant messaging apps installed in their phones, US ones text each other via SMS.
These differences don’t just stick to social. Simple habits like having a meal, for example, are also divergent. If you have an application for recipes you have to know that lunch is the most important meal of the day for latin americans, whereas US people have it during dinner.
Despite of that, these singularities can be tricky: the hispanic population in the US reached more than 50 million people and this stands for 17.6% of the american population. Which means some of the information you know about LaTam users can also be applicable to american inventory.
A recent study from IMS Corporate gives all the details you need to know about mobile market in Latin America.
The first thing you may notice is that only 56% of the population is connected to the internet, whereas, in the US this number raises to 89%.
Although this number may seem a little upsetting, it’s safe to say that almost all the users connected to the internet are doing that through smartphones. 9 in each 10 people connect through their phones.
A great opportunity is waiting for publishers in Latin America since users spend about 40 hours connected and 11 hours on their smartphones in a week.
Even though Latin America is composed by several countries, the cultural differences between them are not so drastic. All countries speak spanish except for Brazil and the people is usually warm, welcoming and more friendly.
Latin American countries are similar to each other and different from US. It’s obvious their users would have the same singularities.
Android vs. iOS
One of the most important things publishers have to take in consideration is the operational system to work with.
In Latin America, over 80% of the users have Android smartphones, consequently, their apps are downloaded from Play Store.
In the US, this number goes down to 52%. A percentage of 43% of american users have iOS apps in their phones.
This is expressive. If your inventory is mostly located in Latin America, you have to think Android. Otherwise, don’t forget iOS.
Downloaded apps and app usage
The users from US and LaTam also don’t have this in common: number of apps.
While in Latin America users have almost 20 apps installed in their devices, most of american users have 6 to 10 applications in their phones.
This means Latin American audiences are more willing to try new apps, therefore, they are an open market to publishers who wish to expand.
Popular types of apps
You may intend to reach specific layers of users, but before you have to know if your product is popular between them.
For US users, social media apps are on top, followed by entertainment and utilities (Google Maps, for example) in this order.
Latin American users, in turn, have different cravings. Although social media apps are still on top, instant messaging applications are a close second, followed by entertainment.
The mobile market in 2016
It’s also important to take a look at the big spectrum of the mobile market so we can understand the mobile behaviour.
For instance, the differences between types of users and the opportunities surrounding them.
Mobile users in 2016
When we compare web and mobile usage, maybe the most outstanding difference between them is time: web users spend only 11% of their time on media whereas app users elevate this number to 89%.
As desktop usage decays (to 35%), mobile doesn’t stop rising.
2016 was a great year for the mobile industry. Now, it represents more than 65% of all time spent on media.
As the mobile market rises, it becomes more competitive. Even though users are spending more time on mobile, publishers are having a hard time reaching them.
As said by ComScore, people are not downloading as many apps and the ones downloaded are getting more likely to be forgotten.
Publishers have to keep up with what’s new on this tight market if they want to be remembered by their users.
Usage, experience and all of these details also must be taken in consideration because they usually are what brings people to your product a second time around.
Users are willing to spend a lot of time on their mobile devices, but they are demanding and they don’t forget mistakes too.
What’s different about Millennials?
Never forget new generations and their ability to transform habits and anticipate what’s new.
Did you know Millennials are a lot more interested in entertainment apps?
How about that they usually use their smartphones with only one hand?
This may sound silly and pretty much intuitive but can actually be important. Of course not just these pieces of information themselves, but what you can do with them.
They can lead to better insights, new features, predictions of what’s coming next…
Millennials are dictating what’s is trending or not, what’s cool or not, what’s down or not. It’s important to keep up with their expectations and needs so you can be successful in mobile market.
However, just like Millennials are on the spotlight right now, other generations will be in the future. Get anticipated and try to make predictions of new trends by keeping in touch with what’s new everyday.
M-commerce: an unexplored world
Despite all that was said about how mobile is dominating online environment, m-commerce is still a challenge.
Even though people use their devices for pretty much everything, including banking, they still don’t buy as much stuff as they do on desktop.
The differences don’t stick to the type of device only. While on e-commerce internet is mandatory, it’s not the same for m-commerce.
It’s strange to know that people still rely on big brands and their renowned websites to purchase for the things they want and need.
Despite of that, the advantages of m-commerce are endless and it has a beautiful future ahead just waiting for a solution to attract new users.
After all, mobile is closer, safer, easier and (indeed) handier.