Some 40% of Britons say they regularly delete mobile apps and 20% frequently delete apps within the first three months of downloading them, according to new research.

A study by web hosting company and domain name registrar 34SP.com into the mobile habits of 1,000 Brits, dubbed UK Mobile Usage Study 2015, indicated that mobile apps are often the first digital real estate to be cleared when users reach their mobile storage capacity.

Daniel Foster, technical director and co-founder of 34SP.com, suggested that apps are often ditched from phones in favour of music, videos and photos.

"Increasingly businesses are investing a lot of resource into creating innovative apps for their customers, in the hope to attract them in an extremely saturated market," he said.

"So it's disappointing to find that for a lot of consumers it isn't long before they actually delete an app from their device. The latest mobile update from Google may have had an impact too, as businesses have been pushed to create mobile websites that are more mobile-friendly."

A recent comment piece written exclusively for Essential Retail by Ipsos Retail Performance's director of retail intelligence Tim Denison suggested that retailers are faced with a pressing dilemma about where to direct their mobile investment.

"With the solution being far from black and white, spending precious resources on a mobile-friendly website seems like a good option," he noted.

"It is easier, quicker and more cost effective to develop and maintain compared to mobile apps and it allows retailers to reach a wider audience, as well as forming part of a successful SEO strategy. Furthermore, it cannot be deleted and does not require a user to download it."

Highlighting the conflict retailers are facing up to, Denison also argued that mobile apps have a number of strengths that can greatly enhance the user experience.

"The graphics and functionality are immediate, engaging and can push notifications to users at specific times or locations," he said.

"Retailers can also access more user data and crucially, customers do not always need to be connected to the internet to use them."

The findings from 34SP.com support a recent Ofcom study that revealed how smartphones have overtaken laptops as the device most likely to be used to access the internet in the UK.

One-quarter of those surveyed by the web hosting company said mobile is the main device they use to read the news, whilst the same percentage said they use their mobile phone to complete a number of everyday tasks, including grocery shopping, bank transactions and booking holidays and restaurants.

Companies offering these type of services apparently have their work cut out encouraging consumers to use their apps.

34SP.com's Foster said: "Offering regular perks to those that download an app might be the only way to keep a consumer that isn't necessarily loyal to a brand engaged, to prevent them from deleting the app."

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