Background and Challenges

Google search is more personalized than ever, especially through the Search App, which uses contextual signals like time and location to surface pertinent information without users even asking for it.

Taking the leap

However, most people still use Google primarily the old fashioned way - through web browsers - which in this day and age is an inferior experience to the App itself.  Additionally, as Google’s future is in mobile, the company needs to transition the majority of “traditional” Google users to the App. Not easy, when most people don’t know it exists.

How to avoid the fatigue

For those people that do know of the Google App’s existence, but say to you ‘I have too many apps on my device.’, makes it even a tougher sell to convince them of its unprecedented benefits.

Apps have been the new software gold rush. Over the last seven years we’ve seen the markets saturated with all manner of games, commerce, social media and literally everything in between. There is truly an app for everything and everyone. (TechCrunch, 2016)

Like all gold rushes, they must come to an end. It is clear that everyone close to technology is suffering from what the market is calling “app fatigue.” If it wasn’t already hard enough to differentiate your app from the millions of others in the app store, it’s now becoming even harder. Does anyone want to use my app? Maybe, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. (TechCrunch, 2016)

(source: data-charts.com, 2015)  

(source: data-charts.com, 2015)

 

The doubters

From a consumer perspective, there are just too many apps. New apps, by in large, are not providing nearly enough value for consumers to come back, and most simply replicate existing experiences with a story of a better design. Apps are not an order of magnitude better than their predecessor; thus, adoption drops off as quickly as it started.(TechCrunch, 2016)

And what about those people who prefer to access information on a website instead of an app? Two out of three customers prefer accessing a mobile website than a mobile application. (source: Kissmetrics.com, 2014)

Most users want a mobile experience without the barrier of a mobile app. When a user has to download an app in order to browse or complete a transaction, this is considered an unnecessary barrier.

 

 

 

 

 

So in a world where most US smartphone owners download zero apps in a typical month (comScore, 2015), when people would rather access a website than leap over an additional barrier to add a new app to their smartphone, and where there is clearly a projected steep decline in app adoption,  how will Google convince the masses that their app is worth the download?