As we had the honour to be invited to speak at the 6th edition of the AppDays conference in Paris, it was a good opportunity for Priori to get a better sense of what’s going on in the vibrant French mobile scene.
Obviously, the Cocorico corner of Priori has thus been mandated to fly from Berlin and spread their “Frenglish” all over the Dock of Paris - Fun fact: this very same venue where Travis Kalanick und Garrett Camp came up with the idea of Uber.
Croissants, Yoga and Transhumanism among other things were on the menu.
Last trends in the French Mobile App Market
Using our data, Peggy Salz recently wrote in Forbes that in Europe, “France follows a distant second [after Germany], accounting for 18% of app revenues, and all other countries in continental Europe (including Italy, Spain and The Netherlands) report single-digit shares of the app revenue pie.”
France definitely has his superstars in the Mobile App Industry: BlaBlaCar generates around ~1m downloads a month globally, Deezer is beating Spotify in generating higher in-store revenue in its home market, Drivy has started its conquest of the world and Molotov TV is changing the way French people watch TV. And, of course, the gaming giant: Ketchapp.
AppDays - around 2 000 people over 2 days - had its own lot of stars too. Vente Privée, VeryChic, BazarChic, Chauffeurs Privé, Bankin' and SeLoger among others. I even saw fans requesting a selfie to Julien-Henri Maurice (CMO at BazarChic) before his speech!
UX Design as the answer to increasing retention and in-app monetisation
Wall of fame aside, most of the people we spoke to had a solid understanding of the ins and outs of both technical and business related matters concerning apps. Of course, user acquisition, app analytics and AR/VR were on everyone’s lips, but one topic was more prominent than all others:
“UX: When payment funnel becomes invisible” by Stripe
“Conversion rate optimisation through UX” by VeryChic
“How to have a user-centric mobile strategy: focus on redesigning the app” by La Redoute
“How and why chatbots will disrupt UX design in mobile apps?” by Lunabee Studio
“The end of mobile apps? The evolution of UX design”
And many more talks and workshops around the different aspects of UX design, its potential to increase conversion rates and its future took place during those two days.
From my perspective, the main learning I had from those was that app publishers should consider User Experience in a broader perspective than just in-app. Users will start judging your brand from the very first touch point, whether they saw an ad on social media, watched a video in the app stores or was referenced by a friend. Therefore, the whole experience must be consistent both outside and inside the app. It also requires every step to be constantly optimised through A/B tests and thus a flexible infrastructure that allows fast deployments.
The (eternal) mobile transition of historical French corporations - and the infrastructural challenges involved
As the conference unfolded, I had the impression that the French mobile industry could be divided into 2 segments that operate at very different speeds:
- Younger (and thus smaller) tech entities who tend to present more flexible and faster processes, focusing on fast decisions based on A/B tests and very customised UX
- Older historical corporate companies facing much bigger challenges into restructuring their infrastructure in order to get to the same level of flexibility and speed at a much bigger scale
PagesJaunes - which is essentially the ancestor of Google before the Internet was even invented - were presenting their whole restructuring and automation of their processes in order to test and deploy their apps faster and with greater efficiency. A crucial piece for them to stay up to speed in a constantly changing industry.
The App Development company, Amiltone, was even talking about the “Industrialisation of the mobile transition”. They emphasised the crucial aspects of automating most of the development process including code reviews, tests and deployments.
In order to overcome such technical challenges, these companies seemed to have demonstrated creativity in innovating their ageing technologies and processes. What was a liability for them has become a strong asset and a competitive advantage with a much bigger scale.
We knew by the numbers France was one of the top market in Europe, and definitely one of the most dynamic ones (+12% in revenue in-store Y-o-Y). Talking and listening to main actors in the industry has given us a much better sense of what’s making the needle move.
There is definitely a lot of creativity and perspective, like Gotta Joga who got the audience involved in a gigantic Yoga session at the end of the day, or Capgemini who predicted the 4th Mobile Revolution from mobile first to mobile only and even beyond with mobile as part of the human body(!).
Last but not least, one might think Paris is the only hub for the mobile app market. Although it is certainly the most active city in France - and not only in this industry - it was refreshing to see many other cities such as Lyon, Bordeaux or Marseille being very active in the field.
In any case, France, you’ll definitely hear more from Priori. So see you around and Allez les Bleus!