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Pitchup.com predicts the end of the app as we know it

Apr 23 2014 Posted by Samantha Marsh

Customers are losing their 'app-etite' for majority of apps as mobile websites become flavour of the month.

Exceptions to this are apps specialising in email, social media and gaming

Outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com is predicting that selected app sectors will thrive while others will become part of technology history

Pitchup.com founder Dan Yates has evidence that, while people download apps, they don’t actually use them.

In fact, he’s taking the bold step of saying that many apps will slowly die away in favour of mobile websites, which can be more easily found, are easy to share, and have a much broader reach.

Dan Yates says Pitchup.com’s own statistics prove the point. The company launched its own bookable app in October 2013 – becoming the first UK outdoor accommodation booking company to do so. Initially available for iPhone, an Android version was released this spring.

Total mobile bookings for Pitchup.com are up 736% year-on-year (year to 21st April, compared to same period in 2013). Rather than launching the app, users are instead using the mobile site (https://m.pitchup.com), which is proving more popular when it comes to searching and booking Pitchup.com’s comprehensive range of campsites, caravan parks and glamping accommodation.

Dan Yates said: “In the first three weeks of April, we had 13 times more activity on our mobile site than on our app. The mobile site recorded 111,695 sessions, while the app had 8,328. I believe that, while people download apps, most don’t actually use them.

“Despite the received wisdom that app usage is dominating mobile, we don’t see this as being the case.  Much of the publicity for apps focuses on downloads rather than actual use, giving a misleading impression of the popularity of apps.  In reality users seem to spend their app time on a small number of popular apps, with acres of other apps rusting away on their home screens. It’s far more convenient to fire up the browser.

“Very often mobile sites are easier to use, too, with ever growing capabilities thanks to new standards such as HTML5.”

Dan Yates knows what he’s talking about. Before setting up Pitchup.com in 2009, he pioneered state-of-the-art technology as long ago as 2006, when he launched the UK’s first mobile hotel booking sites at lastminute.com.

Pitchup.com’s findings are in line with Google research, which shows that, although the average UK smartphone user has 28.5 apps installed, only 10 have been actively used in the last 30 days. Just over one-third (38%) of respondents said they searched for travel information or holidays.*

Further research by Google** shows that in-store shoppers favour mobile sites over apps, with 65% preferring mobile sites compared to 35% preferring apps.

Dan Yates added: “There is evidence that app usage is highest for social media, email and games. So while apps won’t become extinct, I believe this is mainly what people will use them for in the future.

“That said, I don’t think the production of apps will die as fast as the use of them.  After all it’s in the interests of phone manufacturers to push companies to develop apps as they receive revenue share from downloads and, depending on how the app has been created, revenue from in-app transactions. So while users of many apps are shifting to mobile sites, production may well continue while phone manufacturers and networks seek new ways of generating income from mobile.”

* Stats from: http://think.withgoogle.com/mobileplanet/en/

** Stats from: http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/research-studies/mobile-in-store.html

For more information visit www.pitchup.com

-Ends-

Press Contact:

Samantha Marsh, Samantha.marsh@whitetigerpr.com, 07711 265 666

Notes to editors

All prices correct at writing; subject to availability.

Notes to editors

  • Pitchup.com has this month been shortlisted for the Marketing Mobile Awards in the categories of:

    • Mobile Optimised/responsive website

    • Travel/Leisure/Sports Mobile strategy campaign

Founded in 2009 by former lastminute.com man, Dan Yates, multi-award winning Pitchup.com is a free guide to all types of outdoor accommodation in the UK, Ireland and selected parts of Europe.  The site provides users with a simple platform in which they can search and book an outdoor holiday with total ease.  The customer experience from landing on the home page through to booking a holiday can be completed in as little as four pages.  The site also goes beyond traditional searches by allowing users to search for accommodation based on more than 80 criteria, such as adults only and campfires allowed, and view nearby events, Good Pub Guide pubs and VisitBritain attractions.  It’s also possible to check out bathing water quality in the surrounding area.  Users can also search on the offers page to find the best deals available.  Pitchup.com features over 5,000 UK-wide camping and caravanning sites/parks with European destinations continually being added into the equation.  It enables users to search for all types of parks and sites from the major brands right through to one-off campsites and unique outdoor accommodation options, which may not have previously had a web presence.