Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Mobile App Users: The Next Generation

What does the morning of a typical mobile user look like? It's probably something like this:

  • 6:00 a.m. - Your alarm wakes you up and automatically starts increasing the brightness to your bedroom lamps. The snooze button is not an option today!
  • 7:00 a.m. - On your morning run, you track your total mileage and pace, and then share your workout details and scoreboard on Facebook.
  • 8:00 a.m. - You check your phone to make sure your train is on time, you can't be late to work!
  • 8:15 a.m. - You catch your train and check Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and your standard news apps to get up to speed.
  • 8:30 a.m. - As you get off your stop, you choose your coffee order and pay for it, so it's ready and waiting for you - no more waiting in line at Starbucks!
  • 8:45 a.m. - With coffee in hand, you walk to the office and check your office slack, Skype, and Whatsapp groups to prepare for the day ahead.
  • 9:00 a.m. You enter the office and get your day started.

So...what do all of the activities above have in common? Mobile apps. And in the first three hours of a day, it's totally normal to have interacted with 10+ apps to accomplish a variety of tasks. This is the reality of today's mobile user.

What is a Successful App?

We see the benefits of having a successful app to users in our example above - unparalleled convenience and ease of use. But what are the business benefits that warrant this high investment? For app owners, there are always sets of business goals they want to achieve each year. We have found that the three most common goals are:

Mobile App Users The Next Generation Fig 1.png

To determine if these goals are being met, there are several key metrics that app owners must identify and track to evaluate their success. For example, for an e-commerce app, these are the metrics:

A) Daily Active users

B) Retention Rates

C) Conversion Rates

D) App Abandonment Rates

E) Customer Loyalty Index

F) Customer Acquisition Cost

Understanding Today's Top App Challenges

Today's users expect faster performance than ever. And for apps, the stakes are even higher. Fair or not, users intuitively expect faster experiences on mobile apps than they do on mobile websites. Consider mobile app performance data from Dimensional Research that shows:

  • 41% of users expect apps to respond in less than two seconds

  • 53% of users blame an app for performance issues irrespective of the network and device conditions (HP Dimensional Research[1]).

But it's not just speed. Consistency of experience is critical as well. The combination of user situations in today's market are infinite, and with mobile users check their phones on an average of 221 times per day, growing your mobile app business requires consistency across device, network, or browser. Additionally, the availability and reliability of an app's API services compound a growing list of problems that a mobile app needs to be resilient from.

Some of the challenges that a mobile app business face to deliver fast, consistent and reliable experiences include:

  1. Mobile backend infrastructure is not built for being reliable while maintaining performance

    • Referencing the latest AWS outage that happened on Feb 28th 2017, this outage has halted apps and websites alike. Cloud based services like AWS are used commonly today to provide backend services for mobile apps.

  2. Cellular networks are not designed for performance

    • According latest Ericsson annual report it was observed that higher the number of users connected to a cell tower the longer users have to wait to send and receive data. This is a common problems in metropolitan areas where you have more users per sq area.

How can Akamai Help to Ensure Your Mobile App's Success?

As an app owner, you need a trusted partner on your app journey to help you make the most of your app experience. That's where Akamai can help. Akamai's globally distributed platform is designed to deliver a fast, reliable, and secure mobile app experience to your users, on any device or location. Additionally, Akamai's new Mobile App Performance Software Development Kit (SDK) can help businesses adapt to the infinite combination of user situations to provide a consistent user experience even when the device is offline.

Let's dig a level deeper. Akamai can help your key app initiatives by:

  1. Accelerating API requests over the Internet to improve dynamic transaction speeds like checkouts and ticket purchases

  2. Caching APIs at the edge to improve overall app response times for product APIs, deal API etc.

  3. Instantly loading images based on client side network quality and resizing them based on the user's device to improve user experience

  4. Augmenting the app based on client side network quality improve product or flight search response times

  5. Preloading content within the app to provide an instant load experience and improve new user satisfaction

  6. Akamai's "self-healing-network" brings the reliability and availability that is needed for a quality uptime service. Ensuring API endpoints are reliable and smooth fallback capabilities in case of flash crowds, increasing reliability and reduce crash rate for an app.

  7. Understanding transaction speed and measuring app performance using a simple to use SDK

Is Your App Ready to Maximize Engagement?

So, how do you know if your app is positioned for success? Our experts can help! Click the link below and submit your app store link, and our performance engineers will evaluate your app under different network conditions from different locations. Next, you'll receive the results of your custom report in one week.

Mobile App Users The Next Generation Fig 2.png