Mobile Apps - A Double Edged Sword for your Brand?

September 27, 2018 / Ariana Biedebach

The use of mobile applications in this day and age is essentially ubiquitous.  In fact, 77% of Americans own a smartphone which means the majority of the US population has access to an endless stream of mobile apps.  A great app has the potential to engage you while simultaneously making your life easier, but how important are the characteristics of a company’s app in engaging their consumers?  Kim, Wang, & Malthouse (2015) conducted a study to uncover how a brand’s mobile app affected consumer purchasing behavior. Specifically, they wanted to see if a consumer’s spending levels changed after they used the app. The researcher found that continued use of a brand’s app did in fact increase future purchasing behavior. Additionally, they discovered that discontinued app interaction was linked to a drop in spending levels.

What this means for managers:

Apps are a persuasive marketing tool because they are easily accessible, convenient to use and allow for habitual interaction. While this may be true, the application must be highly engaging to elicit continual use.  Launching a mobile app should be a priority for any brand looking to increase customer communication. But a mobile app strategy and proper mobile app analytics are imperative for understanding whether your platform is doing what is intended.  If your app is poorly designed, users will drop off after only a few uses, which could mean poor customer experiences and losses in revenue.

Thanks for reading,

Ariana, Operations


Kim, S. J., Wang, R. J., & Malthouse, E. C. (2015). The effects of adopting and using a brand's mobile application on customers' subsequent purchase behavior. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 31, 28-41.