Technology Report: Mobile app updates are taking longer than marketers...

Report: Mobile app updates are taking longer than marketers expect


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More than 90% of developers and marketers say waiting to get app improvements to market significantly impacts their business, and 96% of marketers rely on developer resources and app updates to improve user experience.

a new Airship Research found that many companies still struggle to optimize mobile app experiences, failing to achieve the exponential value regularly reported in industry research* and quarterly earnings reports.

*eMarketer found that app users generate 3.5x more revenue and are 3x more likely to make repeat purchases (“Frictionless Commerce,” May 21, 2020)

Mobile app development slower than expected

A survey of technical (developers) and non-technical (marketing/product owners) teams identified gaps in seven key operational areas spanning the entire mobile app experience (MAX) lifecycle. Large enterprises, in particular, seem to have a time-to-value disadvantage as they slow down due to complexity, organizational layers, and longer approval cycles.

Time is of the essence when it comes to improving app user experiences. More than 90% of developers and marketers agree that waiting for app improvements in the market has a significant impact on their business. Virtually all marketers – 96% overall, 98% at enterprise – depend on developers to make app improvements.

App improvements happen quarterly or less often

Nearly three-quarters of marketers and mobile product owners think about app improvements at least weekly, and all (97%) agree that experiences such as feature walkthroughs and soft consent prompts have a significant impact on user behavior . Despite this, more than a third of companies (and nearly half of enterprises) improve these critical onboarding experiences only quarterly or less often.

Surprisingly, marketers believe that their requests to improve app onboarding, feature adoption, opt-in, and data collection happen faster than developers. Nearly twice as many enterprise marketers as developers say these requests are executed immediately, while developers are more than twice as likely to say it takes a month or several months.

Despite the fact that virtually all marketers and mobile product owners rely on developers to improve app user experiences, they see their app improvement requests happening faster than those implementing them. Image source: Airship.

Why the connection? Developers of all sizes of companies say that “key new features” are the main driver for their app release cadence – market differentiation is task 1. “Marketing or product team requests” come third after “bug fixes”. Additionally, developers say “QA testing” and “internal approvals” affect the predictability and speed of app releases the most.

Developers and Marketers — A ‘Controversial’ Relationship

A decade of apps, and their growing importance, have improved relationships between diverse teams. No respondent described the relationships between technical and non-technical teams as “difficult” or “non-cooperative”, but “controversial discussions” were more common among SMEs and enterprises.

Looking ahead, companies will choose to use no-code platforms to create and optimize native app experiences much faster and more effectively.

The survey was conducted among 100 app developers and 102 app marketers and product owners with active involvement or responsibility for customer-facing mobile apps from companies with a minimum of $2 million in annual revenue.

Read the full report of Airship.

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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