We said it once, and we’ll say it again; 2019 was a game-changing year for the mobile industry. According to our friends at App Annie, annual worldwide downloads increased by 45% since 2016, reaching 204 billion app downloads. Users weren’t just hitting Install and moving on, in fact they were spending more time and money in apps than ever before. Consumers shelled out $120 billion in apps, over two times more than in 2016, and spent an average of nearly four hours every day on their mobile devices, a 35% increase from 2017.¹ We covered several trends driving this growth in mobile, like subscription-based apps and streaming services, but what other mobile marketing movements will make an even bigger impact in 2020? We sat down with our team of experts, both AdAction veterans and newcomers, to talk about all things mobile in 2020 and what they’re excited to see in the industry. 

Retail Apps Mingle with Brick-and-Mortar

Sarah Greenlee, Director of Strategic Accounts

With the click of a button, consumers can get all of their favorite products delivered in two days or less, making online and mobile shopping an asset for busy schedules. In 2019, over 5.4 billion shopping apps were downloaded worldwide, and the time users spent in these apps increased substantially.¹ Digital shopping experiences are the perfect complement to brick-and-mortar retailers, giving us the phrase “bricks-and-clicks,” or sometimes “click-and-mortar.” These retailers strategically use their online and offline stores simultaneously to drive conversions at all phases of the buyer journey. 

My 2020 prediction: More users shopping on mobile means that bricks-and-clicks retailers will fight to create the best user experience in their app to drive engagement and conversions…think AR features, digital showrooms, detailed product descriptions, and on-demand customer support. I think that more brick-and-mortar and ecommerce brands will develop apps (if they don’t have one already) to meet consumers’ needs — increasing competition in the vertical. 

Augmented and Virtual Reality Go (more) Mainstream

Joey Kublanow, Business Development Manager

Being new to the mobile space, I’m excited to see how AR and VR-based mobile app development trends progress throughout the year. Last year, it was estimated that nearly 69 million people in the US used AR, and 43 million people used VR at least once per month. This year, those numbers are predicted to grow, hitting 78 million AR users and 52 million VR users.²

My 2020 prediction: Although these technologies have been around for several years, and became household names once Pokémon Go blew up in 2016 and VR headsets created great content for viral videos, I believe AR and VR are going to remain a hot topic in 2020. It will be interesting to see how companies like Google, Facebook, Uber, and Apple are designing and implementing solutions to make their technology more mainstream by adding these features into their service and product offerings. Once 5G coverage expands even more, I think the adoption of AR and VR will accelerate and more developers will begin to implement these technologies. 

On-Demand Apps Stay In Demand

Matt Swim, Account Manager

There’s an app for everything, and almost anything we need can be conjured up by our smartphones. These days, time is money, and people are willing to pay a little extra to get what they want and get it fast. On-demand services like ride-share and food delivery apps saw massive growth in total sessions last year. Sessions in food delivery apps alone increased by 240% from 2017.¹ 

My 2020 prediction: Because on-demand apps create a positive user experience and users know what they are getting each time they use the app to fulfil a specific need, retention rates are high. Seeing the success that on-demand apps have achieved, I think more of these apps will begin to pop up in other verticals beyond ride-share, food delivery, and entertainment. To be successful, these apps will have to tailor their services based on their intended audience’s needs while strategically pricing these services.  

Apps and Games Launch Via Facebook Ads

Angela Winget, Business Development Manager

Ever since I made the move from the lead gen space to the mobile app space, I’ve been interested in how new apps and games launch and scale their product using Facebook Ads. Last year, Facebook simplified and automated UA processes with algorithm-driven advertising, alleviating some work for UA managers. While the algorithm is great for automated bids, budget management, and automatic ad placements, many advertisers are (and should be) involved with the creative strategy process.

My 2020 prediction: More platforms will automate user acquisition actions, and advertisers will work in tandem with these algorithms to optimize their app for launch. Creative testing in the soft launch and keeping creatives fresh throughout the campaign are things advertisers should look to control, while trusting the algorithm to use data and learning phases to maximize ROAS.

Interested in leveraging any of these trends in your 2020 performance marketing efforts? Start here to connect with our team of mobile experts and start driving quality conversions at volume.  

Sources: 
1. https://www.appannie.com/en/go/state-of-mobile-2020/
2. https://artillry.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/eMarketer-VR-and-AR-in-2019.pdf

About AdAction Interactive
Driving 300+ million installs since May 2013, AdAction is the mobile app industry’s leading performance-based marketing platform with over 320% average year-over-year growth. Our team of experts deliver over 6 million monthly conversions for Fortune 100 companies and elite agencies, including exclusive partnerships with top media sources around the world.

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