Understanding Mobile Apps usage in Malaysia and APAC

(marketingmagazine.com.my) – Asia is one of the world’s leading regions for mobile apps be it for search, instant messaging, social networks or gaming.

Google recently worked with TNS on a follow-up to last year’s popular app study and surveyed over 10,000 people across ten Asian countries to find out what’s driving consumers to install and engage with mobile apps.

Apps are the driving force of the mobile phone experience in Asia, with the average smartphone owner using at least six apps daily.

It is discovered that users in emerging countries have a lower number of total apps on their phones, partly due to the prevalence of affordable, lower capacity phones.

However, these countries have a higher proportion of apps that are installed by users themselves rather than those that are pre-installed.

App usage is so prevalent in Asia that, in most countries, people turn to apps as often as the mobile web. However, in Malaysia, people prefer to turn to the mobile web over apps due to relatively good cellular data connectivity.

App store searches and personal recommendations are top sources for new app discovery across Asia. Indeed, in Malaysia app store search ranks higher than even recommendations from family and friends.

Search on a web browser is another major source of app discovery, with at least 20% of app users in all Asian countries discovering apps this way. In some countries, this number is much higher: 45% of users in Vietnam discover apps through search, 38% in India, and 31% in Korea.

Acquiring new users is important for brands, but finding the most valuable ones is just as vital. People who make in-app purchases are often the highest value users, with 58% of app users having made an in-app payment via the app store.

Having an app installed on a user’s phone doesn’t mean they’re actively using it. If an app is seldom used, it’s more likely to be uninstalled to free up storage space.

Fortunately for marketers, the vast majority of app users across Asia say they would likely use apps again if given a reason to do so.

For marketers looking for high engagement, reaching users at the right time is key.

Marketers commonly use push notifications to stay fresh in users’ minds, but over time these notifications may prove to be ineffective.

This is especially true in countries like Singapore, Japan, and Korea, where users have turned off notifications for nearly half their apps.

There are many reasons why users uninstall apps, but users in Asia commonly delete apps that are no longer relevant.

In a market where users’ phones have limited storage but are bursting with apps, it is a challenge to continue engaging users and avoid being uninstalled.

Instead of using push notifications, the study has seen brands increase engagement using targeted ads that reach users at relevant times and help retain them over the long run.

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