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Top App Trends of 2016 and What it Means for the Industry

29 December, 2016 | By Sakshi Sharma  |   (No Comments) | 15,827 Views

By this point in time, most of us should know that Smartphones and Mobile Apps aren’t going anywhere. Smartphone users now account for 88% of all mobile phone users in the US, a 2% increase from this time last year (and yes, the most surprising part of that statistic is that there are still 12% of mobile users on flip phones).


Earlier this week, Nielsen, a premiere App Market Analyst company, released its year end report. This report covers the top apps of the year, as judged by average number of Unique Users. It’s one of the most highly anticipated reports by tech companies like SDI, because it tells us the status of our industry. Plus, it provides insight into the future of the industry, providing us with better tools to help our clients grow.


The list was dominated by major tech companies, but there were some clear winners, especially Facebook, with the main app AND Messenger (which had a huge growth from last year, almost 30%) taking up the number 1 and 2 spots. Plus Instagram at the number 8 spot – with a whopping 38% growth from last year.


But the point of this post isn’t to rehash the Nielsen Top 10 list (the full report can be read here). After all, you can read that anywhere. Instead, this post will cover what the overarching App trends of 2016, and what it means for App owners and Entrepreneurs. So without further ado, let’s talk about our first big trend: The growth of mCommerce apps like Amazon.


mCommerce Apps


Amazon has made a lot of noise this year, especially with its Home AI System Alexa. In fact, so much noise was made about Echo that the Amazon App kind of fell by the wayside. But there it is, taking up the number 10 spot on the Nielsen report. While it is the last app on the list (with about 81 million fewer users than Facebook!), there are a few things that made our experts perk up.


Firstly, it had the largest year over year growth, at 43% – more than three times Facebook’s growth. And 7% higher growth than current industry darling, Instagram! Of course, mCommerce is a younger market and Facebook is an established one, so a higher growth for amazon is to be expected.


But there are some other facts that we know about the future of online retail, including that the desktop is dead. This means that all of those eCommerce websites need to be more than responsive; they need to be “Mobile First.” In other words, it’s time to turn that website into an app.


Even as it evolves into something else, eCommerce accounted for more than $3.3 billion dollars this year – a growth of almost 22% growth. But, in keeping with our mobile first trend, $1.2 billion of that came from Mobile users (a 33% growth from 2015). Hell, Adobe announced that 56% of all retail website visits on Black Friday came from a mobile device.


In other words, it’s time to go mobile. Contact SDI to get started!


Social Media and Messenger Apps


As always, Social Media was a dominating force in the Digital world, though 2016 was an especially banner year for social networking sites. They took up 30% of the top 10 list (and all three owned by Facebook). Plus, SM sites obviously weave their way in and out of pretty much every other app in the world, what with social Sharing buttons and all.


What’s more is that while the year of year growth for the SM market didn’t match Amazon’s substantial numbers, it wasn’t a small percentage either. In fact Instagram was #2 in terms of growth – and just is still considered a premiere example of an excellent digital company. So, Social Media isn’t going anywhere – but what does that mean to the average SMB or entrepreneur?


Well, a few things:


• FB Messenger has almost 130 million users. When you consider Messenger’s key retail feature, Bots, this represents a massive potential user pool that Retailers can approach. Call SDI (408.621.8481/408.805.0495) to learn more about how Bots and AI can help drive growth for your retail business.


• SM Sites represent an opportunity to create a marketable tool for all sorts of industries. If you combine all 3 of Facebook’s apps on Nielsen’s list, you get a sum total over 350 million users in the US alone. Some overlap between the three is to be expected – so let’s go ahead and call it 200 million instead. That’s almost ? of the entire population of the States. Two thirds.


That means Business owners can use Facebook to market their product or service. To 200 million people. On basically 2 platforms. Social Media sites represent an unparalleled opportunity for marketing – especially when you factor in the data they collect!


Whether you want to build your own SM site, or you want to learn how to grow your business with Social Media, SDI can help!


So those are some of the fastest growing App trends in the US. Want to start your own app empire, or just want an app to help your SMB grow? Give SDI a call at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!


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