illigo : Singapore Mobile App and Web Development Company - Items filtered by date: November 2015

Time was when a mobile strategy meant creating a buzz around an app and getting millions of people to download it. Circa 2015 the thinking has moved way beyond installs into every stage of a user’s engagement with an app – from discovery and download through uninstalls, retargeting, reinstalls, purchases, and hopefully retention.

Here’s a telltale stat from digital marketing firm TargetingMantra – three-quarters of shoppers who install an ecommerce app will proceed to registration. But a mere 2 percent will go on to make their first purchase through the app. And there’s a twist in the tail even when users do make a purchase – nearly 40 percent of them will uninstall the app immediately afterwards.

According to Flurry Analytics, three-quarters of users drop out of an app within three months of installing it, and only 4 percent remain after a year.

Conversion is the name of the game

Understanding a mobile user’s behavior and trying to influence it has therefore become vital. This is even more so in a mobile first market like India, where three-quarters of the 402 million internet users get online only through mobile devices.

And the action is mostly in apps. Big data firm Vizury says nearly 80 percent of mobile shoppers in India this year are buying things with apps rather than through mobile websites. Conversion and retention of app users has thus become the central theme of mobile strategy for Indian startups big and small.

Even at the very first stage of discovering and downloading an app, there are new insights gleaned from user data analytics. TargetingMantra points out, for instance, that more than half the time, consumers learn about apps from friends, family, or colleagues. Hence the thrust on referral campaigns by the likes of Uber.

The following infographic from TargetingMantra traces the app user’s journey right from discovery to purchase, with insights and tips for engagement and conversion of the user at every stage of that journey.

What’s a hit messaging app to do when it can’t seem to grow outside of its core markets? For Line, the answer appears to be strengthening its hold where it’s already immensely popular. Line announced yesterday that it has established a research and development unit in Thailand – its apparent number two market by user base.

Line opened an office in Bangkok back in March 2014, but the new R&D team will be the first outside of Japan, where the company is based. It’s currently recruiting engineers to develop products and services localized for Line’s users in Thailand. According to Bangkok Post, Line plans to roll out a “new mobile app service” for the Thai market early next year.

It’s unclear exactly how many of Line’s 212 million monthly active users (MAUs) hail from Thailand, as the company hasn’t broken down that figure by country since October 2014. At that time, Thailand was Line’s second-strongest market, with 33 million MAUs from a total of 170 million. Thailand as a whole has 40 million mobile internet users, meaning that more than 82 percent are Line users – based on MAU figures that are over a year old.

Don’t leave me

Without breaking the figure down, Line stated last month that 65 percent of its MAUs hail from its four core areas – Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

The social media and messaging app markets are already saturated, so Line’s additional push is probably meant to retain users against encroaching rivals WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Line was crowned the victor over WhatsApp last year in Thailand, but Facebook has the deep pockets necessary to go into marketing mode if it so chooses. Line’s smart marketing tactics, like TV commercials featuring Thai celebrities and localized sticker sets, helped solidify it as the market leader.

Case in point: A year ago, Line listed Spain as its number four market, with 18 million MAUs. But Spain suddenly dropped out of Line’s top four, according to the company’s data for the third quarter of 2015.

App Annie’s current iOS and Android rankings for Spain don’t even list Line in the country’s top 100 free apps. For both platforms, WhatsApp is sitting pretty at the top, with Messenger number two for iOS and number four for Android.

Globally, Line’s growth has stalled. Between June and September of this year, it added only one million MAUs – whereas WhatsApp added 100 million MAUs in the five months from April to September. WhatsApp now has over 900 million MAUs.

Line offers a host of services outside of its core messenger in Thailand, from music and video streaming to grocery delivery. It also unveiled Line Giftshop there yesterday, which allows users to send presents to their friends and make the payment using Line Pay.

It’s incredibly frustrating when you arrive at your bus or train station just to find out the service is unavailable for the day. The next best option is to trek to the nearest available stop, or to hail an expensive taxi. And the problem is exacerbated when you realize hundreds of other commuters will try the same tactic, resulting in scarce taxis or unruly, crowded public transport.

Of course, in some cities there are localized services that provide information on train and bus schedules, but they’re not always updated in real time around the clock. In such cases, crowdsourced information can be a powerful tool to instantly relay information – commuters who notice delays or closures can transmit data, potentially preventing frustration for thousands.

And that’s what Moovit is trying to achieve. The Israeli startup uses a combination of official data – readily available in cities such as London, New York, and San Francisco, as well as feedback from users to give real-time updates on all transportation services. These include buses, trains, and subway networks. It has 28 million users spread across 700 cities and 58 countries.

Better than Google Maps

Moovit’s user experience is far more engaging and friendly than Google Maps. After launching the app, all you have to do is input your destination.The app will track your current location and suggest a number of available public transport options.

After choosing the one you prefer, Moovit will outline step-by-step directions to get to your required destination. If the journey necessitates a change of bus or train, then there’s also real-time information on estimated wait times. While you travel, Moovit will keep you updated on nearby attractions and notify you when you’re close to the destination.

“One of our key differentiators is how we deal with data,” says Alex Torres, vice president of marketing at Moovit. “Transportation is unreliable and there’s no way to predict whether a bus or train is delayed. We’re gathering feedback, data, and reports coming from our users with the official data we have.”

Alex points to the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) – a way for public transit agencies to publish their data and allow developers to code applications utilizing the data – as the major problem.

Almost all transportation companies use this format but it’s not updated very frequently. Even Google Maps is dependent on GTFS files. As a result, most map services can’t be relied upon for accurate transportation schedules.

Crowdsourcing is key

But while the startup does factor in official information, Alex makes it clear that it’s not dependent on this source. Moovit has been able to launch in cities such as Buenos Aires, which lack credible data, as it utilizes “internal tools” and “different layers of data.” It has a core community of approximately 20,000 users, who help launch the app in different cities.

He explains: “Let’s say you’re a Moovit user and you go to Delhi or Tokyo. When you open the app, you get a notification saying the service is not supported, would you like to help us launch in this city? That’s the first point of contact. Those who are interested get in touch with us, we give them training with our mechanisms and tools and that’s how we engage users.”

The app can also use GPS information to transmit data anonymously, helping crowdsource information faster.

As for monetization, Alex says they’re testing several models right now. One is taxi integration, which has gone live in Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. There’s also a plan to introduce mobile ticketing. So far, Moovit has raised combined funding of US$81.5 million spread across three rounds. BMW, Nokia, and Sequioa Capital are the main investors.

Moovit is gearing up to expand into other cities and help solve transportation issues. India is an important market the startup wants to cover – it’s already present in Bangalore but there are plans to go to Delhi and Mumbai.

Indonesia and Singapore are also part of Moovit’s existing network. “We’re heavily invested in Asia in terms of time and resources,” says Alex.