So, for the past week, I have been roaming in malls trying to figure out how do people actually discover new apps to download. I thought if I am able to get some insights here, I might be able to use them for marketing my own app. After talking to around 250 people (247 to be precise), I discovered something very very interesting!
I went to malls in Jaipur and stood near washrooms and roamed around looking for people with iPhone or Android devices. Mostly I would go to McDonald’s or Subway counter where people who have given their order are waiting for it. I would try to have a look at their handset and if it qualified for a smartphone, I’d start off with “Excuse me Sir/Mam, can I ask you a question?”, they’d always say yes, as they already have nothing to do but wait. Then, I say “I see that you have a smartphone, do you download apps a lot?”(One gentleman pointed out that I have exceeded my one question limit). This is where either I lose ‘em or get their full attention. I’ll get to data later but some say Yes, a lot! And other say no, we don’t have time. I leave the latter ones alone thanking them for their time but former ones are the people who got excited and looked real interested in talking. My next questions? “How do you discover new apps?” and “Do you download paid apps?” That’s it! And they would start with some stories lasting about 2-3 minutes. Some left as soon as they got their food, others tried to investigate about me, the people I met near washroom attended their nature’s call and some thought I am in cyber police and am trying to find if they download illegally!
Now, coming to data, I talked to 247 different people. People from age groups of 15-16 to 40-45. Out of 247, 92 people responded that they don’t download apps. These were the people who looked old (typically around 40) and the kind who just had too much work to deal with. But it wasn’t just the elder people, some young adults too said that they don’t download apps. Although, they were kind enough to mention that it was because their Android phones did not have enough memory!
So, effectively, I had a sample of 155 different people who said yes they do! When I asked them “How do you discover new apps?”, their answer were very similar to others. They could be put in 5 different categories:-
- Featured Apps on Google Play or App Store (62) – The apps you see when you open your App Store. People who looked like they have had their phone for a long time responded with this answer. These were also the ones who did not look geeky, people who might still use orkut or think Twitter and Facebook allow you to do same stuff.
- Referred by friends (58) - Apps referred to them by their friends gets the second spot. These were people from all different kinds of age groups having a good enough smartphone capable of running Angry Birds without a problem.
- Online Blogs (16) – Extremely tech savvy people who surf internet (and not just Facebook) for 3-4 hrs a day. They claimed to use online blogs for to discover new and useful apps. Most of them showed me their collection and they had apps which are not seen commonly in phones. Apps which are good but not rich enough to get featured.
- Mobile Ads (14) – These were the people who clicked on in-app ads and downloaded those apps. These are the people who developers love the most. Typically mid-aged guys. Around 35-40 years old or young kids who used their parent’s smartphone.
- Others (5) – This typically includes searching for applications themselves or watching them being used in youtube videos or reading walkthroughs of games and then downloading them (innovative, isn’t it?) or getting an app which recommended new apps. These were the people with artistic touch in them. Wearing capris (all of them) and having weird hairstyle were some common features. My age guess, 23-25 years!
Now, I would like to say that people did not use only one way to discover, but used a bunch of these ways to find new apps, but I have taken into account their most effective and most used method they told me and prepared the stats. I’ll leave the analysis to you guys or would do it in another post!
I also asked whether they download paid apps. 126 people out 155 said no, not in their dreams! Rest 29 said they do download, but only if they love it. And these 29 were the tech savvy people, some might have been developers themselves. Aged around 24-25 who had the top phones and quite a lot of money. These were the ones who considered buying apps (out of those 29, 20 used iPhone).
What are your thoughts and how do you discover new apps? Tell us in comments below!