The Data Digest: Facebook Dominates The Social Landscape

Today, the average US smartphone owner spends over 2 hours per day using apps and websites on their device — more time than they spend watching TV. Despite this, most of the time that consumers spend using these mobile devices is to communicate with others. Downloaded social networking and communication apps — messaging, email, and digital video/voice – come in a variety of forms; some facilitate intimate conversation, while others blast a network (or even the public) with a one-way status update. As a whole, these apps achieve some of the highest app reach and engagement rates for both US and UK consumers.

My recent report, The Uptake And Engagement Of Social Mobile Apps In The US And The UK, compares the reach of social mobile apps as well as the average number of days per month and sessions per day that smartphone owners (18+) use these apps. Using Forrester's Mobile Audience Data (passively tracked smartphone data), we found that:

  • Facebook is still the most popular app used by both US and UK smartphone owners today.
  • Messaging apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Kik keep users coming back frequently throughout the day.
  • Smartphone owners access email apps frequently throughout the course of a month.
  • The Instagram app reaches more users and has them coming back more frequently than the Twitter app in the US.
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Data Digest: Social Apps Buzz During Super Bowl 50 Game Day

By: Nicole Dvorak and Kristopher Arcand

On February 7, 2016 112 million viewers tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, the 3rd largest in TV history according to Nielsen data.

To help companies understands consumers’ mobile behaviors on the big day Forrester used its Technographics 360 approach, which combines multiple data sources*.

Our behavioral data indicates that people don’t drastically change their mobile behaviors for the game. However, Twitter’s app attracted a 23% larger audience than the Sunday before. But increased usage isn’t everything: Even though it’s audience size grew by just 1% from the previous weekend, Facebook’s broad reach accounted for 1 in four smartphone owners using the Facebook app during Super Bowl 50 game time hours. Instagram - also popular during Super Bowl game time despite seeing a smaller audience from the previous week - reached 5% of smartphone owners (most of whom were 18 and 24 years old).

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Data Digest: Just A Handful Of Apps Account For Nearly All App Time On Smartphones

Today, consumers spend most of their time on smartphones using apps - and just five apps account for 88% of the time they spend using downloaded apps. For the average US smartphone owner, those apps are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Gmail, and FB Messenger. And although smartphone owners use about 24 unique apps in a given month, the remaining 19 command just a small slice of users' time.

Nicole Dvorak is a data scientist serving all roles. Follow her on Twitter at @NicoleLDvorak.

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Examine Mobile Pathways To Understand The Context Of Your Customers’ Mobile Moments

An alarm sounds. My phone is telling me to get up. I move through my morning routine; I check my email app, then my weather app. Finally, I get out of bed. As I walk to work, I browse the mobile Web for nearby bakeries. I need to order some cupcakes for my friend’s birthday party . . . tonight. I get side-tracked when I find a bakery that offers maple donuts – I love maple donuts. I suddenly remember that I’m tasked with bringing breakfast for our family Thanksgiving this year. I put a reminder on my calendar app.

Each time I pick up or look at my mobile phone to find an answer to a question, I have a mobile moment. This month, the 30 different apps and 100 mobile websitesI visit will amount to hundreds of mobile moments. How do I navigate from one mobile moment to the next? How do smartphone owners transition between communicating, consuming media, shopping, paying bills, and posting memories? Charting consumers’ behaviors across mobile sites and apps is what Forrester calls mobile pathway analysis. Using our behavioral tracking data collected from consumers’ smartphones, Forrester is introducing this new analysis to help brands understand their customers’ context when navigating to and from their brand’s apps and mobile websites. Context is key, as reported by my colleague Julie Ask in her recent speech at Forrester's Digital Business Forum last week.

In this analysis, we help you answer five mobile pathway questions:

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The Data Digest: Window Shopping: Now A Popular Activity On Tablets

If you’ve noticed fewer window shoppers on the streets lately, it may be because they’re at home window shopping from their couches; that is, they’re discovering and exploring products without necessarily intending to purchase.

For our 2015 US Mobile Landscape report*, Forrester analyzed mobile audience data from our behavioral tracking panel to understand how consumers use smartphones and tablets in 2015. We found that although professionals often group both devices under the “mobile” umbrella, consumers use smartphones and tablets in very different ways. One notable difference centers on mobile commerce: While smartphone commerce is still struggling to get traction, for tablets it’s already one of the most common activities. In fact, Forrester’s US Mobile Phone And Tablet Commerce Forecast, 2015 To 2020 shows that total tablet retail purchases more than double those made on a smartphone.

Our behavioral data shows that in the first half of 2015, 68% of tablet owners visited a shopping site at least once in a given month — that’s more than the number who visited news/media, TV/video, or even social networking sites! And these tablet shoppers aren’t just visiting Amazon.com. Only about half took to Amazon —the other half visited other online shopping websites that fit their interests, brand preferences, and lifestyle.

 

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Older Consumers Embrace Technology During Their Purchase Journey, Too!

Millennials: We can’t seem to get enough information about them. Recent reports that focus exclusively on how Millennials use new technologies have misled eBusiness execs into believing that they must focus primarily on Millennial dollars.[i] But as my colleague Sucharita Mulpuru discusses in her latest report, the kids are overrated.

History has shown us that technology innovation has an impact on all generations —even if adoption rates and motivations differ by age. We even see this trend when examining the role that mobile devices play in the consumer purchase journey today. For example, although 26- to 34-year-olds lead in tablet adoption, 35- to 44-year-olds show the highest levels of tablet use during the research process —more than a quarter of US online researchers within this age group use a tablet!

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The Data Digest: Tracking Consumers’ Smartphone Activities During The 2015 Super Bowl Event

The 2015 Super Bowl had 114 million viewers – making it the most watched television event in US history according to Nielson data. Forrester used its Technographics 360 approach, which combines multiple data sources, to understand how consumers used their smartphones on the big day.

Forrester tracked the smartphone behavior of 879 US online smartphone owners (18+) during the dates surrounding the Super Bowl as well as on the day itself. To better understand these mobile behaviors and add further context, Forrester engaged a group of 157 US participants (18+) in our ConsumerVoices online community. Finally, to capture the nature of public conversation overall, we leveraged social listening to explore topics and sentiment throughout the day across US consumers’ social media posts.

We found that on the day of Super Bowl 2015, consumers used the same apps that they do on a normal day, but certain mobile sites saw large increases in traffic. In particular, sports, food/drink, reference, health/wellness, shopping, and weather websites saw more visitors – in some cases, double the usual traffic.

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The Data Digest: Navigating The Fragmented Path To Purchase

The relentless winter in Boston has finally come to an end! Encouraged by the lukewarm temperatures and sight of grass (which we haven’t seen here in months), I set my sights on a new pair of running shoes. Now, where to begin? I can get suggestions from my coworkers, peruse user reviews on my phone on the bus ride home, actually touch and feel the product in person at a sports shop nearby, watch video ads at home on my tablet . . . the list goes on.

The rise in the adoption of mobile devices has made the consumer purchase journey — which already involves multiple channels, devices, and interaction points — even more complex and fragmented. To help professionals understand how and why consumers use mobile devices along the multistep purchase path, we used Forrester’s Technographics® 360 methodology, which combines behavioral tracking data, online survey data, and market research online community responses. We found that:

  • Almost two-thirds of consumers still use traditional methods to first learn about products —offline sources commonly provide the first impression.
  • Smartphones enable customers to source pre-purchase product information right from the palm of their hand, but few actually make the purchase using a mobile device
  • Mobile devices give consumers flexibility if they choose to engage with a brand or retailer post-purchase —from email and text messages to online communities and social networks.
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High Score! Candy Crush Saga Cracks The Top 10 On Our App Engagement Index

Gaming apps entertain users for an impressive amount of time — on average users spend 1.5x longer using gaming apps than the average app. In addition to time engagement, popular gaming apps have a fiercely loyal user base. Take Candy Crush Saga, the most popular gaming app on smartphones. It attracts almost twice the share of weekly users, and they spend close to 3X longer using the app than what we’re seeing for the average app (evaluated by the App Engagement Index). That’s why it places ninth across all the apps that the App Engagement Index ranks, and earns the first spot among gaming apps evaluated during Q4 2014.

While Candy Crush Saga is the clear winner when it comes to engaging a large audience, other gaming apps earn their high scores for different reasons. Take Words With Friends for example. Although this gaming app has even more of a loyal user base than Candy Crush Saga, it attracts just 2/3rds of Candy Crush Saga’s audience size, and earns a 307 in Q4 2014.

 

 

 

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Push Notifications Change The Way Consumers Engage With Apps

Every time I download a new app to my smartphone, it bombards me with requests for personal details like my contacts, my location, my email, and my photos – followed by a request, “Name of App would like to send you push notifications.” After it’s asked for all those details, I almost always choose “Don’t Allow.”

And I’m not alone. Forrester’s Q2 2014 US 3D Panel Online Survey shows that US smartphone owners are also selective when it comes to the apps they choose to allow push notifications; about six in 10 only accept push notifications from a select number of apps, while 17% don’t accept them from any app at all. Why are consumers so discriminating? Because more often than not, people find these unsolicited app notifications are irrelevant, too frequent, and, most of all, annoying. If I were to allow push notifications from every app I use each month, there wouldn’t be a quiet hour in my day. How can companies create a better experience and use push notifications to deliver added value to their consumers?

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