TapCommerce Insights

Thoughts from the TapCommerce team on how mobile commerce is evolving.

On September 23, TapCommerce brought the Beyond The Install Summit series across the pond to London. The event gathered together a group of over 70 mobile marketing industry leaders from top apps, mobile measurement providers, exchanges, and agencies to discuss the current state of mobile engagement.

Below is a glimpse at the topics covered during the panel sessions, along with a few photos of the event (check out the full photo gallery here). Thank you to all who joined us, especially our fantastic group of panelists from Skyscanner, Spotify, eBay, Win, TUNE, M&C Saatchi Mobile, Somo, adjust, and MoPub!

Maximizing Mobile Engagement & Lifetime Value


The first panel, moderated by Phil Gontier, App Engagement - EMEA Sales at Twitter, united a group of performance marketers from leading apps across the e-commerce, travel, lifestyle, and gaming verticals to discuss how to guide mobile users further down the funnel toward conversion. Panelists included David Llewellyn, Head of Mobile Marketing - Europe, Skyscanner; Robert Lamvik, Growth Manager, Spotify; Fabio Esposti, Innovation Manager - Europe, eBay; and Adir Ron, Head of Marketing, Win.

Although the exact approach varied by industry, all panelists agreed that end goal of mobile engagement is to strengthen retention and grow the lifetime value of each customer. Advanced segmentation (made possible by measuring in-app behavior) and retargeting allow marketers to stay connected with those who have already downloaded their app to keep users informed of new products, content, and special offers.

App Optimization: Strategies for Measurement & Monetization


The second panel, moderated by Shelley Lapcevic, Head of App Engagement - Customer Success at Twitter, gave attendees a chance to hear from mobile measurement providers and agencies on best practices for optimizing and monetizing mobile apps. Panelists included Peter Hamilton, CEO, TUNE; Stephanie Emmanouel, General Manager - Connected Customer Marketing, Somo; Christian Henschel, CEO and Co-Founder, adjust; and Shumel Lais, Account Director, M&C Saatchi Mobile.

The conversation focused on the importance of effectively using behavioral data to inform your mobile strategy. When it comes to analyzing app data, Stephanie Emmanouel of Somo expressed the need to “differentiate between the noise and the signal in order to better understand the mobile customer’s journey.” The panelists discussed how tracking more in-app events, enabling real-time data sharing, and optimizing deeplinking are all critical aspects of cultivating a successful mobile program.

Fireside Chat: The Next Phase of Programmatic


We wrapped up the day with a fireside chat between our Co-Founder, now Head of App Engagement at Twitter, Brian Long, and Co-Founder of MoPub now VP, Exchange at Twitter, Jim Payne. Brian and Jim discussed how the mobile advertising ecosystem has rapidly evolved over the past few years and what’s ahead for the future of programmatic. 

Networking Reception at the Century Club

After the panel sessions concluded, guests had the opportunity to catch up over cocktails and check out the London skyline from the rooftop terrace.

On behalf of all of us at TapCommerce, thank you to everyone who joined us. See you at the next #BeyondTheInstall!


Today, we are thrilled to announce that TapCommerce has agreed to be acquired by Twitter. Learn more on Twitter’s blog.

When Samir, Andrew, and I started TapCommerce, we had one goal in mind: advance mobile advertising forward to allow for relevant and real-time communication between brands and consumers. Our team built our app retargeting technology from the ground-up exclusively for mobile, and our demand-side platform now processes over 15 billion targeted ad impression bids each day, across 50,000 apps worldwide.

Our focus on creating engaging brand experiences for mobile consumers aligns perfectly with Twitter’s product and core values, making TapCommerce a natural fit in Twitter’s expanding mobile advertising stack.

In addition to numerous other exchanges and networks, the TapCommerce platform is already deeply integrated with MoPub, Twitter’s mobile-focused RTB ad exchange. We look forward to growing our role as an integral part of the Twitter Publisher Network.

For our existing customers, your TapCommerce experience will not change. Being a part of the Twitter team will allow us to dedicate more resources to developing our product and expanding our services, so that you can continue to deliver even more value from your campaigns.

Thank you to all of the TapCommerce team, and our investors—Bain Capital Ventures, Eniac Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, Nextview Ventures, and RRE Ventures.

We’re excited to #JoinTheFlock, and to continue to push mobile advertising forward!

Brian Long
CEO and Co-Founder, TapCommerce

On Wednesday, June 25, TapCommerce hosted the Beyond The Install Summit on the latest trends in mobile engagement at San Francisco’s new venue, The Battery. The event brought together over 100 of the brightest minds in the mobile marketing space across all industries. It was the first time the Beyond The Install series was held in San Francisco, and without a doubt, we’ll be back in 2015!

Below is a recap of the panel sessions, along with a few photos from the evening’s rooftop networking reception (view the full photo gallery here). Thank you to everyone who joined us, especially our fantastic group of speakers from Expedia, Groupon, Hotel Tonight, DeNA, Playstudios, Grow Mobile, Yahoo, Pandora, Twitter, and Fetch!

Mobile Monetization: Converting Browsers Into Buyers


The first panel session, moderated by Tim Geisenheimer, SVP of Sales at TapCommerce, brought together performance marketers from leading travel & e-commerce brands to discuss maximizing the ROI of user acquisition and strengthening retention. Panelists included Kevin Kwon, Mobile Marketing Manager at Hotel Tonight; Trang Vo, Mobile Marketing Manager at Groupon; and Tristan Krause, Senior Mobile Marketing Manager at Expedia.

The panel agreed that measuring in-app behavior is important for optimizing the mobile experience and being able to target different groups of users. Deep linking was brought up as a smart way to enhance the user experience—as Trang Vo from Groupon described, “deep linking is an app infrastructure investment, rather than solely a marketing investment.”

The main takeaway of the session? There is no one “golden ticket” in mobile marketing—you have to develop a culture of testing, define your goals, and figure out what works best for your own business.

Gaming Engagement: Maximizing the Value of Each Player


Next up, our Head of Games Customer Success, Andy Katzman, moderated a panel with a group of mobile gaming acquisition and retention specialists. Panelists included Chris Lin, Performance Marketing Manager at DeNA; A.J. Yeakel, Co-Founder and COO at Grow Mobile; and Tim McCloud, Director of User Acquisition at Playstudios.

The session explored the unique nature of the mobile games space, and panelists shared their perspectives on how to hold the invaluable attention of players and foster engagement over time to increase lifetime value. The group discussed how in-app mobile retargeting can be used to keep users informed, for example, by promoting a limited-time deal or new content releases within a game.

The Mobile Migration: Where Are We Headed Next?


Lastly, our CEO and Co-Founder, Brian Long, moderated a panel with a group of mobile industry experts. Speakers included Eran Metzer, Senior Director of Ad Platforms at Yahoo; André DeRussy, Executive Director of Performance Sales at Pandora; Kelton Lynn, Product Manager at Twitter; and Tim Villanueva, Account Director at Fetch.

The group discussed the course that the mobile advertising ecosystem has taken so far, and what challenges and opportunities marketers are likely to face in the years ahead. The panel felt that the rise of “mobile-first” consumers, along with continually evolving technology (such as programmatic buying, deep linking, native advertising, video, and dynamic creative), will continue to push mobile marketing forward.

Rooftop Networking Reception at The Battery

After the panel sessions concluded, the event moved upstairs to the rooftop for a networking reception. Guests had the opportunity to catch up with each other, enjoy incredible views of downtown San Francisco, and even a few “Tap & Tonics.” Click “play” below to see a few photos from the night.

On behalf of all of us at TapCommerce, thanks to everyone who joined us!

June is yet another busy month for the TapCommerce team! We will be attending 7 industry events across the US and Europe. Check out our lineup for June below, and reach out to us at events@tapcommerce.com if you’re planning to be at one of these upcoming events:

Mobile Marketing Retail Summit
, London, 6/5: Request a meeting

Mobile Monday Tel Aviv
, Israel, 6/9: Request a meeting

Israel Mobile Summit, Tel Aviv, 6/10: Request a meeting

IRCE: Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, Chicago, 6/10 - 6/13: Request a meeting

Social Casino Gaming Summit
, Las Vegas, 6/12 - 6/13: Request a meeting

Cannes Lions, France, 6/15 - 6/21: Request a meeting

Pocket Gamer Connects
, Helsinki, Finland, 6/16 - 6/17: Request a meeting

Enterprise AppsWorld
, London, 6/16 - 6/17: Request a meeting

Last week, Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Presentation was released. At TapCommerce, we focus exclusively on mobile app re-engagement, so naturally we paid close attention to the overarching trends shaping the mobile advertising space that were covered in the report.

The report by KPCB is fully loaded at 164 slides so below is a quick recap of our 5 favorite charts related to the state of mobile advertising:

1. Attention vs. ad dollars shows ~$30B+ opportunity for mobile


What jumps out most here is the discrepancy between mobile advertising spend and the amount of time that consumers are spending with mobile devices. In the US alone, there is a $30B+ opportunity for mobile advertising spend to grow, just to keep pace with the massive amount of time spent on mobile. Tweet this

Mobile is the only media category here where spend increased from the prior year—advertising investments in all other media either decreased or stayed about the same.

Consumers are now spending more time with mobile than with print and radio combined, and nearly as much time with mobile as they do with the web. Tweet this

This chart is even more telling when it is compared to last year’s, which is based on 2012 data:


Time spent in mobile grew from 12% of total media consumption in 2012 up to 20% in 2013. Tweet this

2. Smartphones still only account for 30% of all mobile phones


Smartphone use is the main driver of the growth we’re seeing in mobile media. Yet, only 30% of the world’s 5.2 billion mobile phone users have smartphones according to this chart, although that number is rapidly accelerating. Tweet this

Marc Andreessen is known for saying that we’re heading toward 5 billion smartphones in the next five years. Pretty soon, vendors will stop making low-end feature phones due to the shifting demand.

We’re still in early earnings here, and are truly just beginning to see the implications of everyone having a computer in their pocket at all times.

3. Mobile monetization continues to be dominated by in-app purchases


This chart shows the growth of revenue from mobile apps, which has exploded from $6B to $38B over the last three years. Tweet this

It’s clear that in-app purchases have continued to outpace advertising (with 68% share) as the primary mobile monetization method for publishers.

It should be noted that the data here is comparing mobile apps revenue (comprised of “virtual goods, in-app advertising, subscription, and download revenue”) versus mobile advertising (comprised of “browser, search, and classified advertising revenue”). It does not appear to take into account revenue from other types of in-app mobile commerce transactions (such as consumer goods sold, flights/hotels booked, etc.). If it did, we imagine the share of mobile app revenue would be much higher.

4. The amount of global Internet traffic coming from mobile devices continues to accelerate


Mobile traffic as a percentage of total Internet traffic continues to grow at a pace of over 1.5x per year. Tweet this

As of May 2014, a quarter of Internet traffic was from mobile devices. The trendline suggests that number may reach 33%, or a third of all traffic, by the end of this year. This trend is driven in large part by more support of audio and video streaming capabilities on mobile devices.

5. Mobile ad spends still have a long way to go


Last but certainly not least, here’s a great one on mobile advertising as it relates to total Internet advertising. Internet advertising grew a strong 16% year-over-year globally, according to Meeker. However, mobile advertising on its own is up a staggering 47% year-over-year. Tweet this

And yet, mobile still only accounts for just 11% of total global Internet advertising. As you can see from the first chart covered earlier in this post, advertising will continue to shift toward where consumers are spending their time… and today, that’s on mobile.


The five charts above are powerful visualizations of the potential mobile has to change the course of the advertising ecosystem. As more consumers continue to purchase smartphones and use them to access the web, download mobile apps, and make transactions on-the-go, we’re excited to play a role in the evolution of mobile advertising.

If you’re interested, here’s the full deck in all its glory: 2014 Internet Trends.

Gordon Bowman is a Director of West Coast Sales for TapCommerce based in San Francisco. You can follow him on his personal blog and on Twitter at @gordonbowman.


Last week, Facebook hosted their annual developer conference, f8. As we watched f8 unfold here at TapCommerce, we couldn’t help but notice how Facebook placed a significant focus on mobile app engagement, including the release of a mobile ad network (Facebook Audience Network) as well as new developer tools.

To that point, there was an entire breakout discussion dedicated to the topic of app engagement, “From Lapsed to Loyal: Mobile Engagement Strategies” (check out a full recording here). In this session, Robby Banks, Product Analyst at Facebook, and John Ketchpaw, Software Engineer at Facebook, revealed a ton of interesting data around mobile app engagement. Here are some highlights:

  • 86% of time spent on mobile occurs in apps
  • The average smartphone user has 41 apps on their mobile phone
  • 66% of all apps get used less than 10 times
  • 59% of those who do not enable push notifications do so out of fear of being bombarded

Although it’s clear that consumers are downloading and spending time with many apps, they are often forgetting about ones that they already have installed. They’re also increasingly turning away from tools like push notifications that marketers have historically relied on to drive re-engagement.

Another announcement Facebook shared was the launch of an open source standard around linking within apps, called App Links. The primary purpose of AppLinks is to make it easier to link apps to one another, since URLs within the mobile environment are structured much differently than on the web. For example, you might search for a movie on the Flixster app, and then be linked into movieticket.com’s app to buy tickets if you already have it installed, instead of bringing you to the mobile site. This is great from a user experience standpoint.

It should be noted that this isn’t quite the same project as what TapCommerce and other mobile marketing industry leaders started earlier this year on mobiledeeplinking.org. MobileDeepLinking.org guides mobile marketers through the steps required to create advanced deep link schemas to direct users from emails, push notifications, or other mobile ads directly into specific parts of their own apps. For example, if Groupon were to promote a spa deal in San Francisco in a mobile email, the link would open the specific page in the Groupon mobile app for that exact deal.

Ultimately, both App Links and MobileDeepLinking.org were built to help app developers create a better user experience for their users. Here at TapCommerce, we’re thrilled that the mobile industry is taking app deep linking seriously, and we were excited to see Facebook announce App Links at f8.

Our team is helping top mobile apps reach consumers who have downloaded their apps, and seamlessly bringing them back in to re-engage. Reach out to us if you’re interested in learning more!

TapCommerce is going global this month! We’re headed to 8 industry events throughout the US, Europe, and Asia this May. Check out our lineup below, and reach out to us at events@tapcommerce.com if you’re planning to be at one of these upcoming events:

decoded fashion london 2014
DECODED Fashion, London, 5/13: Request a meeting

iab uk mobile engage 2014
IAB UK Mobile Engage, London, 5/15: Request a meeting

ad engineering summit tokyo 2014
AES: Ad Engineering Summit, Tokyo, 5/15 - 5/16: Request a meeting

mobile media upfront nyc 2014
Mobile Media Upfront, New York City, 5/19: Request a meeting

M1 mobile first summit nyc 2014
Mobile First Summit, New York City, 5/20: Request a meeting

casual connect asia 2014
Casual Connect Asia, Singapore, 5/20 - 5/22: Request a meeting, or visit us at Booth #503 in the “Casuarina” exhibit room

digital media summit luma 2014
Digital Media Summit by LUMA Partners, New York City, 5/21: Request a meeting

nordic game 2014
Nordic Game Conference, Malmö, Sweden, 5/21 - 5/23: Request a meeting

February is shaping up to be a busy month here at TapCommerce! We’ll be attending a number of industry events throughout the month, we hope to see you at one of them.

Apps World in San Francisco, 2/5 and 2/6

We’ll be at booth #124 in the main exhibition hall on both days.


Kochava Summit in Sand Point, Idaho, 2/5 and 2/6

We’re hanging with our friends at Kochava in their home town. If you’ll be attending their summit, let us know and we’ll schedule time to meet up.

Casual Connect in Amsterdam, 2/11 - 2/13

We’ll be hanging with the gamers for the largest European gaming conference of 2014. Swing by our booth or email sales@tapcommerce.com for an invite to our party co-hosted with HasOffers and Betable.

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 2/24 - 2/27

We’ll be out in force at the largest mobile conference of the year. Come by our booth in App Planet to learn about the latest trends in mobile re-engagement (and to pick up some tshirts). We’re hosting a few events during the evenings as well so if you’re interested in participating, drop us a line at events@tapcommerce.

It’s been an exciting year at TapCommerce. We’ve had an opportunity to work with some amazing brands like Fab, eBay and Jackthreads to help them connect with their customers on mobile devices. We’re now working with over 50 companies, including over 30 of the top 100 grossing mobile applications. To help fuel our growth as the leader in mobile retargeting, we’re excited to announce that we’re raising a new round of funding from Bain Capital Ventures and RRE Ventures as well as our existing investors including Metamorphic Ventures, ENIAC Ventures and Nextview Ventures.

We’re doing this because mobile is becoming a huge way for consumers to do, well, pretty much everything! According to eMarketer, mobile commerce is predicted to come in at $17 billion in 2013. According to a number of studies, mobile internet usage is set to surpass desktop usage in the next few months. Time spent on mobile has already surged ahead of desktop.

Despite these trends, mobile engagement is a big problem. The typical mobile user has over 30 apps on their home screen. Only 5% of consumers are still using a mobile app they downloaded six months ago. TapCommerce is helping to solve this problem by connecting companies with their customers where they’re increasingly spending time and money: on their mobile devices.

We’re actively looking for talented individuals to help us deliver on our mission, so if you you think you might be a fit take a look at our open positions: http://tapcommerce.com/jobs.html

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your business, contact us here: http://tapcommerce.com/learn.html

Thanks to our partners and investors for their support, we’re excited to continue to lead the way in mobile re-engagement in 2014 and beyond.

On Wednesday, TapCommerce hosted an event to discuss the changing mobile advertising landscape. For the last few years, marketers have been focused on driving new installs of their apps to cash in on the massive global adoption of smartphones and tablets. Now that there are 900,000 apps in the App Store and billions of installs, marketers have begun to think about how to engage with their audience beyond the install.

To discuss this shift, there was a presentation from Mark May, lead Internet Analyst at Citibank and two panel discussions.

State of the Mobile Internet

Mark May delivered a great presentation detailing current trends in mobile with a focus on advertising. He pointed out that there’s still a huge divide between time spent on mobile devices and advertising spend allocated to mobile. Based on his experience with the boom in desktop advertising, he expected the same thing to occur on mobile. He also pointed out that many leading internet companies, like Facebook, are seeing a growth in revenue per user on mobile that puts that revenue in line with desktop. Overall, his perspective was that it’s still very early innings for mobile advertising.

Mobile Marketing, CRM and Analytics

Panel participants included Jonathan Newcomb, Director of Acquisition @ Jackthreads, Joshua Heidler, Acquisition Manager @ Zulily, Peter Hamilton, CEO @ HasOffers and Brian Suthoff, VP, BD @ Localytics. The panel was moderated by Dan Gilmartin, Director of Mobile Marketing @ PayPal.

The panel discussion focused primarily on tactics and trends that the marketers and analytics providers were seeing in the space. From the marketer perspective, it was clear that price of an install/new user was steadily increasing on iOS. Both Joshua and Jonathan agreed that driving new installs will continue to be a focus, but that they’re increasingly concerned with quality and LTV.

On the analytics side, Peter Hamilton confirmed that while ~10% of HasOffers clients tracked engagement a year ago, over 80% do now. Brian mentioned that Localytics clients are interested in deeper data and he specifically focused on the perception that iOS has a higher quality audience when compared with Android. His theory (soon to be proved out on the Localytics blog) is that higher end Android devices like the Moto X or Samsung S4 show similar results to the iPhone.

Ultimately all panelists were encouraged by recent developments in the space on the marketing and analytics side as it’s allowing companies to be smarter about how they reach consumers through mobile advertising.

Trends in the Mobile Advertising Ecosystem

Panel participants included Paul Gelb, Head of Marketplace Development @ MoPub, Jesse Gillette, Executive Director, Ad Business Development @ Pandora, Sriram Krishnan, Mobile Product @ Facebook and Marc Theermann, Head of Mobile Platform Sales @ Google. The panel was moderated by Brian Long, CEO @ TapCommerce.

The main theme here was the adoption of programmatic across mobile and the rise of native ad units, specifically on Facebook and Twitter. Sriram discussed the rapid uptake of Facebook’s mobile, native ad units to drive installs. He emphasized that Facebook recognized the importance of looking beyond the install though as evidenced by their announcement earlier this week of a new ad unit type: Mobile App Ads for Engagement.

Paul agreed that native was important and, putting on his Twitter hat, mentioned that MoPub would be helping bring Twitter’s native mobile inventory into the programmatic universe. Marc argued in favor of banner ads mentioning that they are the “standard” and therefore scalable. Jesse agreed and also mentioned that she’s interested in the rise of mobile video.

Each participant agreed that the mobile advertising landscape is a rapidly evolving space and thought that the next few years would bring a tremendous amount of innovation as well as overall growth in spend from major advertisers.

On behalf of TapCommerce, thanks to everyone who made it out and we’re looking forward to making this an annual event starting in 2014!