MOBILE ENGAGEMENT: 5 TRENDS TO TRACK IN 2020

21 January 2020

Paris, December 10, 2019 – HEROW – leader in mobile engagement and user context – today unveils the 5 trends related to data privacy, notifications, and user experience to follow closely in 2020.

In the hyper-competitive mobile app industry, where retention rates average from 4 to 32% after 90 days, app publishers must maximize the retention of their users by offering them a better experience and more transparency about the use of their data.

The use of user data will continue to lie at heart of the matter as publishers reflect on their strategies to strengthen user loyalty. After significant investments around the concept of “big data” were the rage, companies now seem to realize that more specific data allows them to better understand the needs and desires of consumers. Thus, the concept of “small data” has emerged in 2019 and is expected to make sense in 2020.

1. Data Privacy: brands need to regain consumers trust

According to a study by Futurum Research, only 54% of consumers are confident in the ability of brands to protect their data. After several leaks or breaches scandals, consumers are increasingly nervous and demand more transparency and choice about their data use.

In 2018, GDPR paved the way for other consumer legislation. Effective January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) aims to protect the rights of consumers in that state, and promote greater privacy, while improving transparency in data usage.

Taking the lead this year, Google and Apple released Android 10 and iOS 13 respectively. These two new versions have strengthened information about the data shared with mobile applications. The new iOS 13 authorization options will require marketers to focus on the value offered to mobile users in exchange for collecting their location data. But marketers will need to rethink their mobile strategy more comprehensively in line with this new established balance of power.

2. Notifications, a mode of interaction in its own right

With the ever-increasing volume of notifications users receive, brands must now stand out from the crowd by optimizing notifications.

Beyond segmenting their audience to adapt the message, publishers are now looking to understand and analyze their users’ behavior to move towards the “perfect” notification.

Thus, the concept of notification is quickly transformed into the concept of conversation, which means that the user interacts with the app through a notification message, resembling like a chat feature. This trend is strongly driven by both Android and iOS, which have for some years offered developers the ability to program actions in notifications. These can be customized to ask the user for a notice or to allow them to respond live to an advisor.

The evolution of user interfaces is slowly moving towards a “notification management center” with history. Some brands even begin to analyze the semantics of returned messages to anticipate dissatisfaction and act accordingly.

3. Progressive Web App will help increase conversion by simplifying the user experience

In 2020, the Progressive Web App will be on a roll! This alternative between the website and the mobile application will appeal to a number of brands thanks to many advantages including:

  • The price. On average, THE PWAs cost 5000€, compared to multi-platform apps (Android and iOS) that cost 25,000€ and native apps 50,000€.
  • The ease of access. The user does not need to download the app so they provide easier way to access the app’s services.
  • The speed. Even faster than websites, the user will not be frustrated by the latency of page loads and can run offline.
  • The search engine optimization. Like a website, PWAs are referenced on search engines and have the opportunity to work on their SEO to optimize their ranking.

PWAs will be used primarily by small applications, before turning to multiplatforms or creating their native app when their audience is large enough. However, the native application remains paramount in order to ensure a better user experience and retention.

4. Treat data at a local level for greater responsiveness and privacy

With more and more data collected by our smartphones through integrated sensors – accelerometer, gyroscope, facial recognition… – the world of mobility is overwhelmed with data causing two major problems: the lack of data protection and latency. The first problem poses a risk of inferring sensitive and/or personal data by merging it with algorithms. The second problem shows that the stable and rapid transmission of data is slowed down, even with the arrival of 5G.

The solution to these problems is to process the mass of data directly within the uses’ devices by implementing machine learning solutions. Apple and Google are now providing developers with dedicated frameworks to analyze and process data collected by sensors to build models locally, securely, and confidentiality within the smartphone.

The latest example is the case of Sonos. By acquiring the French start-up Snips, Sonos no longer becomes dependent on the voice assistants of Google and Amazon. Unlike the connected speakers offered by these two GAFAs, the American company will now have its own artificial intelligence and no longer be dependent on cloud computing, thus providing a solution 100% respectful of the privacy of its users.

5. The most anticipated categories of apps

  • Educational apps. With a greatly enhanced experience with voice features and augmented reality, educational applications will pique the interest and engagement of mobile users.
  • Streaming apps. According to App Annie, by 2020 consumers will spend 674 billion hours in the entertainment and Video Player categories on Android phones around the world (compared to 558 billion hours expected in 2019). YouTube and Netflix represent the vast majority of time spent on Android phones, but new players will want to get a share of this growth, such as Disney
  • The rise of super applications. Driven by a wave of such applications in Southeast Asia like WeChat or Grab, the daily applications will become a suite of services to meet the needs of users beyond their core services: carpooling, messaging, payment, delivery, etc.
  • Health apps. The healthcare industry has the potential to attract more customers and meet their needs in a variety of ways. For example, we could see the growth of home drug delivery or online medical consultation applications.

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