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Consumer behaviour in Apple's App Store
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Mobile applications stores such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market revolutionized the distribution of applications for mobile devices. However, with thousands of application submissions, limited testing resources and the lack of an effective filtering mechanism, application stores suffer from information overload and a risk of releasing poor quality applications that could create confusion to consumers and may seriously affect the App store markets. Thus concern has been raised whether applications have been developed according to the need and interest of consumers. Therefore, the purpose of this study was mainly to identify and get insight into the main factors that mobile application consumer takes into consideration when purchasing mobile applications from the desktop iTunes App Store and the mobile App Store on the iOS devices: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

In this study both qualitative and quantitative case study approach was used. Accordingly twelve participants were selected from Stockholm and Uppsala area and their behaviour in the Apple’s App Store from the desktop iTunes and the mobile App Store on iOS devices was observed and recorded. Additionally questionnaires were administered to all participants in order to gather the necessary information.

Consumers on the App Store behave differently depending on the unit they are using. This is because applications on the App Store are presented differently in the desktop iTunes App Store and the mobile App Store on the iOS devices. The study shows that young consumers with lower income purchase apps more frequently than the consumers with higher income. It also shows that consumers often consider the description, the screenshots, and the ratings when they are interested in buying applications. Furthermore consumers take a look more on ratings in the list on the iPhone and iPad App Store because the ratings are not shown in the list on the iTunes App Store. Similarly consumers tend to read the customer reviews more on the iTunes and iPad App Store as the customer reviews on the iPhone App Store is displayed in another page. Consumers were found to be more attracted by visual elements that they are already familiarized with, apps with famous logos and known fonts and styles but also to coherent and descriptive app names and strong colors (i.e. red, green, yellow, black and blue, respectively). The majority of the participants found the iTunes App Store messy and cumbersome to use. They preferred using the iPad App Store because they found it to be a good mixture of both iTunes and iPhone App Store but also because it has more options to consider.

Although consumers behave differently depending on the unit they are using, the visual element of the apps, prior knowledge of consumers about the name of the apps, ratings, easy accessibility of screenshots and customer reviews of the apps were found to be the main factors to be considered by consumers when they visit app stores for purchase. Thus application developers and digital magazine publishers should consider these consumer behaviours in order to influence more downloads and successfully sell apps on the app stores. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 103 p.
Keyword [en]
Apps, Apple's App Store, Consymer behaviour, iPhone, iPad, iTunes
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-166547OAI: diva2:476799
External cooperation
Bonnier Tidskrifter AB
Educational program
Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction
2011-12-19, 13:41
Available from: 2012-01-13 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Ayalew, Romel
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