These trends are increasingly relevant to the South African market as app adoption has soared thanks to increased smartphone penetration as devices become more affordable, and the South African population becomes more connected than ever before.
This is all at a time when consumers spent $167bn directly on premium app purchases and in-app extras across the world, while brands invested $336bn of advertising spend into the app market - which all means that the turnover of in-app commerce during 2022 exceeded a half a billion dollars.
Apps aren’t just for gaming and commerce - of the app categories highlighted in the State of Mobile 2023 report, three app categories captured 50% of all mobile time spent, and they were all in video and social. Interestingly, TikTok is now one of only two non-game apps to pass $6 billion in all-time consumer spending, with more than 3.5 billion downloads - double those of much older YouTube!
If that’s the context in which apps are being developed and marketed, what are the trends likely to be led by during the remainder of 2023?
Click into m-commerce
The mobile gaming sector is growing at an exponential rate, creating significant gaming commerce opportunities, with this industry pushing the boundaries of technology to create cutting-edge and highly immersive entertainment experiences. This gives brands significant commercial opportunities to draw on developers’ skills and creativity to find enticing ways to engage with gamers who are consumers. At the same time, it gives marketers myriad new opportunities to reach their intended audiences via in-app advertising and purchasing that is relevant to consumers in markets, regardless of their maturity level.
Keep things convenient
Improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased adoption of mobile services is benefiting consumers and brands, which means that mobile must now be at the heart of brands’ business strategies. An effective mobile strategy makes it possible to reach audiences at scale, improve customer shopping experiences, and boost online conversions. It’s also important to highlight the rise of e-payments, which has added momentum to the popularity of digital shopping.
Simultaneously, it’s estimated that mobile wallet usage will expand to 4.8 billion mobile wallets by the end of 2025, coinciding with consumers’ increased focus on security and responsiveness as they become disillusioned with traditional banks and legacy financial systems.
Be sure about security
While the regulatory environment has responded to privacy and safety concerns with POPIA in South Africa and GDPR in Europe, users remain concerned about the privacy and security of their personal data, even more so as identity theft, phishing, and other online-crimes become more common. This presents challenges to app teams as they have to increasingly protect privacy and user data via steps such as authentication and encryption, while being transparent about the data they collect, and how they protect it.
Keep things simple... seriously!
With so many apps available to complete task as diverse as gaming and finance, productivity and fitness, app users can be overwhelmed with the options at their fingertips - and in a market like South Africa, where data costs are still high, many don’t enjoy the full optimal experiences that their devices and apps could offer. A near distance file sharing platform that supports online and offline, like ShareIt, consolidates all a phone’s files under one umbrella and helps users manage them in a more convenient and seamless way. In 2022, the app took transformative steps to optimise the mobile experience and enable users to be more productive. Besides the high-speed file-sharing feature, it also has features such as Phone Cleaner, Phone Booster, Battery Saver, and File Manager which help boost mobile smartphone performance when playing games.
“ShareIt is ranked as the top leading app by downloads globally in the Utility and Productivity / File Management - Top 20 Global App Subgenres in 2022 according to State of Mobile 2023 report from Data.ai,” says Chanel Hardman, country manager for ShareIt in South Africa. This includes its prestigious ranking as No.4 media source globally in volume and power rankings in non-gaming categories, No.7 in all categories on the In-App purchases (IAP) index and No.8 on the global retention index across all categories for driving huge volumes according to AppsFlyer.
“At ShareIt, we work with more than 700 global advertisers to help them with awareness campaigns, user acquisition and seamless user monetization via extensive audience networks - all of which respond directly to the trends the market anticipates during 2023,” she adds. “This is true across all app categories in South Africa, but most particularly in shopping, food and grocery, and video streaming options.”
For more information about ShareIt, please visit: www.ushareit.com