Today at the Mobile Marketing Association's NYC Forum, the CMO of The Home Depot, Trish Mueller, gave a gangbusters presentation on the impact mobile has had to her company.
As she was showing off what The Home Depot's mobile app can do, she mentioned that users of the app can literally place a physical bolt onto the screen of an app to correctly size the bolt, making it easier to find the bolt in the store:
You can find more fascinating stats from Trish's presentation below, but to zoom out and be more macro for a bit: The app's bolt functionality is an awesome example of something that my co-founder Isaac and I have been discussing a lot recently:
There are two types of engagement in a mobile app. Inherent Engagement, and Enhancement Engagement.
Engagement is a huge problem in mobile. Think about it -- how many apps do you have on your phone that you never open?
And the problem is only going to get worse. That's why I say that there's a mobile engagement crush coming and that a number of Fortune 1000 CEOs will be fired for missing it.
So let's talk about inherent vs. enhancement engagement:
The core function of an app has to provide some value on its own. Trish's Home Depot app bolt sizing mechanism is an example of this. It's a core function of the app. There are other things the app does that are also inherently engaging, such as being able to use augmented reality to see how an item in the store would look in your living room before you buy it.
Another example of inherent engagement is a banking app that lets you deposit your check just by taking a picture of it.
Or the Contour HD Camera app, which lets me start recording video on the camera just by tapping a 'record' button on the app.
Or the startup Automatic, which is liberating data from the car dashboard with its app in ways that humans really care about.
Inherent engagement is a very business-specific thing. A business has to really think about how it can add value to its customer base. And if you don't think your business is mobile, you're wrong. Every business is mobile, because every user will want to interact with you through a mobile device. If you can't think of ways to inherently engage your customer base, then you just haven't thought about it enough.
Enhancement engagement, on the other hand, is very different. It's like an overlay that is not business-specific. Examples of enhancement engagement include:
There's a ton of opportunity for platforms in the 'enhancement engagement' space, because it isn't app-specific, but rather it's human-specific. I.e., we're all social creatures.
Isaac gave a great presentation on inherent vs. enhancement engagement at a recent conference for CMOs. Here's a video of his talk. You can find his full slides here.
More from Trish, the CMO of The Home Depot:
Back to Trish's presentation today: Hopefully I'll be able to post here full slide deck here, but below are some highlights she provided about how The Home Depot (THD) is approaching mobile:
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Great post Daniel! I had no idea that they even had an app. One of the reasons I avoid going to Home Depot is the same reason I avoid places like Costco....the store is too big and the thought of going in to find something like a water filter or bolt is daunting. I just downloaded the app, searched for a product and it not only tells me what aisle it's in at me local store, it also shows me a map with the aisle highlighted. They just took care of my biggest complaint about shopping there.
Henry Blodget of BusinessInsider gave an excellent presentation titled The Future of Digital at a recent Ignition conference.
As you can see from the trendlines in the graphs below, the promise of smartphones is rapidly coming to fruition, with over 50% penetration in the US, and an especially-significant stat that by 2015 the number of broadband connections coming from mobile devices will be over 300% the number coming from fixed (i.e., desktop computer) devices. Translated, that means the promise of blazing-fast broadband on your phone is already here with 4G LTE on many new smartphones, and it's about to become ubiquitious. And that means that people will just reach for their phone instead of walking over to a desktop computer whenever they want to do anything online. I wrote about this phenomenon in a post about how the iPhone 5's connectivity has been growing exponentially since its introduction.
Another significant stat shown below is that the time smartphone users spend in apps is 600% greater than mobile web. As TechCrunch reported last October, mobile app downloads are skyrocketing from 2 billion in 2010 to 98 billion in 2015 -- an increase of almost 50x. And as Localytics reports, 26% of users only open an app once after downloading. Already, engagement is a problem in mobile, and as the number of downloads skyrockets fifty fold, the problem is going to get much worse. Just think about your own phone: How many apps are on it that you downloaded, but never use.
Fred Wilson coined the term "30/10/10" to refer to 30% of the download base being MAUs (Monthly Active Users) and 10% of the download base being daily actives. I believe the engagement stats for many apps are often even worse than that. Oftentimes, as the Localytics data illustrates, 25% to 50% of users don't even open the app once after downloading it. In a presentation from PinchMedia (now several years old), the active user rate 90 days after install was well under 5% of the download base.
NEW: Video link added to the bottom 12/14
NEW: Second video link added to the bottom 12/15
Haha... two secret posts in a row. I have a mental list of stories I want to write here, and somehow this one had slipped off of it. Luckily, a UT Grad who goes by "The Reel Deal" posted a comment reminding me about the story. So here it goes, with a little history first.
I never thought I'd go to UT (The University of Texas, not Tennessee). Ever since I was in middle school, I always knew that I'd go to MIT - it was where the smart geeky people went, and I was one of them. When it came time to do applications for schools, I mailed two of them. One for MIT and one for WPI, a lesser known technical school in Massachusetts. I had abysmal grades, due in a large part to my refusal to do most homework and having never actually studied for a test. I always thought it was interesting to see how much of the material I'd naturally retained. Let's just say it usually wasn't over 80%.