How are Millennials Shaping the Mobile App Landscape of the Future?

Oracle has revealed that almost 55% of millennials say a poor mobile app experience would make them less likely to use a company's products or services.

According to recent research by Oracle, 39% of millennials would also be less likely to recommend a company's products or services to others following a poor app experience, and 27% admit it would cause a negative view of that organisation's products or services altogether.

These findings illustrate that if companies cannot provide current and prospective customers with engaging mobile app experiences which positively reflect the values of their brand, they risk alienating the millennial generation and allowing their competition to pull ahead with a more appealing mobile offering.

"An engaging and personalised user experience has become the new weapon in the battle to attract and retain millennial customers. Businesses that cannot add value for customers with a more convenient, functional, and relevant mobile experience have little chance of coming out on top," said Suhas Uliyar, VP Mobile Strategy and Product Management at Oracle,

The research also demonstrates that millennials are discouraged by unsolicited communications in the form of push-notifications that aren't relevant to their individual needs, but are happy to receive support in the form of value-added communications from businesses.

The ability to purchase a company's product or service using a mobile app is reportedly appreciated by 73% of respondents to the research. Likewise, 71% like the ability to manage billing for services, and 65% like being able to flag issues or complaints to a business via a mobile app.

However, more than half (56%) would prefer not to receive push-notifications. The same percentage rarely acts on the push-notifications they do receive, despite nearly 50% admitting these are personalised to them.

"The ability to manage bills or flag service issues to a company via a mobile app implies an agreed-upon relationship between a customer and brand or service provider. The story is completely different in the case of push-notifications. Organisations will need to provide app-based services that deftly tread the line between helpfulness and overbearingness, if they want to tap into young peoples' affinity for using mobile and tablet apps without alienating them," added Ulivar.

A geographical breakdown of the survey reveals that young people in the APAC region are significantly ahead in their app use across the board, most notably so when it comes to apps for work and more "serious" functions.

Nearly three times as many millennials in APAC than in EMEA consider their work apps to be absolute must-haves, with a similar ratio holding true for security apps. Additionally, while millennials around the world have each downloaded between 20 - 25 mobile apps on average, 40% of those in APAC have paid for as many as five of those, compared with roughly 25% in EMEA and North America.

This suggests that for millennials in APAC over anywhere else in the world, mobile apps are not just "nice-to-haves", they are necessary resources in their daily lives. Young people in this region are constantly on the lookout for new innovative apps and, encouragingly for businesses, are willing to pay for applications that deliver a valuable experience.

On a global scale, the research points to a telling difference between smartphone and tablet app use among millennials. While young people use tablets on a considerable scale, smartphones remain the device of choice for accessing mobile apps. For example, 61% of millennials have uploaded media content using a smartphone app, nearly twice as many as have done so with a tablet (35%).

"There clearly remains much room for innovation when it comes to tablet apps, as well as apps for larger form phablets, and companies that answer the call will be well-placed to capitalise on a still maturing market. However, apps for smartphones and tablets should not be developed independently from each other. Many millennials own multiple connected devices, and businesses will need to deliver a consistent, quality app experience across all of these if they want to add value for their customers", explained Uliyar.