Getting that initial customer download from the Apple App Store reached an all-time high in December.
App developers are constantly striving for affordable new customer acquisition, but as more apps flood the market and companies scrambled to get out advertising for the holiday season, the price of adding a new user jumped up to $1.81 per user (from $1.43 in November), according to the index updated by mobile ad firm Fiksu on Tuesday. That more than 25% jump is a significant change, especially in a single month. The previous spike in customer acquistion pricing was in September when it was $1.64 per person.
The Boston-based Fiksu measured the cost of attaining a loyal user, or one who opens an app at least three times. Fiksu gains its analysis by looking at mobile traffic, app store behaviors of 11 billion mobile app launches, registrations and in-app purchases.
Customer Acquisition price:
Fiksu's App Store Competitive Index (that looks at average daily download volume from the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps) hit a peak of 6.04 million daily downloads in December. Those results are up 7% from November’s 5.65 million, the previous all-time high.
Number of apps downloaded:
“What we witnessed during the month was a ‘land rush’ in which advertisers earnestly spent marketing dollars in order to achieve ranking before the traditional App Store freeze which then would generate substantial organic downloads through increased visibility,” Micah Adler, chief executive of Fiksu, said in a statement.
Fiksu also pointed out, in the report, that companies vying for the attention of downloaders need to understand just how big their market is and how much others are spending on customer acquisition. By seeing what the average customer acquisition price is, this should be a fair indicator of how effecting their marketing has been thus far.
Advertisers spent heavily to drive up their app rankings before a Dec. 25 to 28 lock-down (where they freeze the number recorded for downloads so that Christmas downloads aren't factored in as heavily.)
The report showed that traffic and dollars spent in the final week of December doubled over the prior weeks.
Apple announced in early December its users had downloaded over 100 million personal computing apps from the Mac App Store, since the store's January 2011 opening.
But while desktop computing apps are clearly surging in popularity, they still don't hold a candle to mobile apps. Also released Monday was a statistic touting over 500, 000 mobile applications available in the mobile-centric App Store.
Fiksu pointed at the record download action catalyst as the reaction to a record 37 million iPhone sold during the fourth quarter, in addition to exceptional Android phone sales. On Christmas day, more than 6.8 million new iOS and Android devices were activated. Merry Christmas phone industry.