Mobile shopping apps gaining popularity among consumers in Southeast Asia — study

Mobile commerce (m-commerce) apps emerged as the most used app in a study “State of Mobile” conducted by Flurry the mobile developer analytics platform within Oath, which involved data from over 940,000 apps across 2.1 billion global devices.

The Flurry study identified that mobile shopping app usage has increased by 240 percent in the last year, followed by health and fitness (170 percent) and business and finance apps (102 percent). Photography apps also experienced an almost 50-percent decline in usage as well as news and magazine apps, which have seen a fall of 32 percent. Messaging and social media use also fell marginally by 2 percent.

Shopping applications saw over 17 billion sessions in 2016, effectively changing retail window shoppers into mobile impulse buyers.

The study also saw that global app usage continues to grow. In previous years, all app categories grow in tandem, yet the story is changing. In 2016 mobile apps started cannibalizing their audience, with session and time-spent growth in some app categories occurring at the expense of others.

“The level of competition between mobile apps has become brutal in Southeast Asia, though the decelerating rate of global growth could signal market maturity, saturation or simply the end of the app gold rush,” said Rico Chan, managing director, Hong Kong, Japan, and INSEA of Oath, in a media release. “Retailers need to consider the pace of growth in m-commerce and work with app developers to meet the needs of consumers. Users now see their phones as more than a tool for snapping photos and catching up with the news headlines.”

Verizon Media Group/Oath is a division of Verizon at the intersection of media, advertising, and technology building.

Together with shopping apps, health and fitness, and business and finance apps experienced growth in the region. Enabling mobile payments is among the reasons cited for the shopping app growth.

Among the biggest losers are photography (50 percent), news and magazines (32 percent) and games (28 percent).

The decline in the use of photography apps is attributed to the lack of the need for it because smartphone manufacturers have been incorporating built-in photo editing features in camera phones. Gaming app usage has also fallen because ironically, mobile gamers are more willing to make in-app purchases to level, thus are spending less time in-game to advance levels.

Though in fourth place, lifestyle app usage grew by 51 percent, compared to 2017. Music and entertainment apps grew by 20 percent, year on year. Books and reference apps grew 17 percent, year on year.

Though SEA has some of the world’s highest social messaging engagement, growth has fallen by 2 percent this year, compared to last year. While messaging and social apps use rose year-over-year by 44 percent, personalization apps, such as emoji keyboards, declined by 46 percent.

The average mobile consumer spends just under five hours each day on their smartphone. Social sharing of media — otherwise known as “Communitainment” — is driving mobile consumers to spend more than two hours in a day on social and messaging apps.

Utilities and productivity app usage have also fallen this year, by 28 percent.

Photo by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay

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