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Branded mobile apps are about to get a boost from iOS 14

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Branded mobile apps are about to get a boost from iOS 14

Apple is set to release its new mobile operating system, iOS 14, tomorrow. Of all the bells and whistles being rolled out in the software update, App Clips is the new feature that brands probably need to know about most, because it has the potential to strengthen the sales impact of their mobile app.

With App Clips, brands can offer consumers a preview of their apps without requiring a full app download. It’s like a movie trailer for a brand’s customer experience (CX); it is a frictionless, non-committal glimpse of the app and can end in a sale if the offer is relevant enough — or it can end in an auto-delete after a period of inactivity. Google developed something similar in Instant Apps in 2016 that it finally launched for game developers and game players in 2018.

Apple seems to be thinking more broadly when it comes to App Clips. The feature is designed to be highly discoverable in the Apple Store and will be lightweight — so users can open Clips quickly to meet a particular need, such as ordering wine delivery or renting a scooter, without downloading the app. Or, in another likely use case, if a restaurant or retail chain offers a digital payment or loyalty program, consumers will be able to quickly transact with the business via App Clips.

Coming at the right time

Mid-pandemic, the stakes have never been higher for mobile app marketers as consumers have gotten more accustomed to placing orders on their phones. Before the crisis, my company found that the average number of app opens per user had dropped 29% to 17.6 in February compared to the same month in 2019. But then average app opens per user reversed course, trending upward in March to an average 22.6 app opens per user and a higher average direct notification open rate of 8.2%. Meanwhile, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Abercrombie & Fitch reported big surges in app downloads during the second quarter.

The branded app is back in the spotlight. App Clips can help brands build on that momentum, driving their app engagement and downloads.

A new form of alert

Technical details are important to App Clips’ potential impact. The feature comes with an ephemeral notification permission setting: When a user adds an App Clip to their device, the brand automatically obtains permission to send them transactional notifications for eight hours. After that, brands can ask users if they want to extend notification permissions for up to one week.

What an opportunity! That window of time can be used to streamline the user’s experience with messages that usher them through their immediate goals and demonstrate the value of the brand’s app, even if just for a portion of its overall functionality. And of course, marketers should focus on getting App Clips users to download the full app where a deeper customer understanding and more fine-grained user-level controls can cultivate valuable long-term relationships.

To make the most of engaging consumers with this new feature, marketers should experiment with different features, user flows, and offers through A/B and multivariate testing, which is key to significant and incremental improvements and how brands like HotelTonight increased bookings by 15%. When download-focused app marketers have a consumer’s attention, they want to make the most of it because getting a brand’s app discovered in the first place is challenging.

Why App Clips are unusually discoverable

App discovery has been a problem for almost a decade. So how do App Clips help with this? Let me explain.

There are several new mini-features that will encourage the use of App Clips. Likely by the end of this year, Apple will release App Clips Codes, which will let users quickly access an app without installing it by visiting a URL, scanning a QR code, or tapping NFC tags with their iPhone to launch an App Clip at places like store windows or retail countertops. This feature will power not only app usage but also mobile wallets and micro-payments. If you’ve scanned a QR code to pay a retailer via Venmo or see an eatery’s menu during COVID-19, this experience will be similar — except your phone will not have to be unlocked first.

App Clips also provide a viral element. Soon, iPhone users will be able to text-message links to share the feature with their friends and family, who will simply need to tap to open an App Clip. Additionally, location will power App Clips’ potential. Marketers can register App Clips to appear on a place card in Apple Maps, which users will be able to open directly.

A win for CX

Even though marketers want consumers to download their full apps, more users will likely take advantage of App Clips when they haven’t yet decided if they want to use the product or service repeatedly. It’s then a marketer’s job to make a brand’s CX strong enough to earn that commitment.

So when iOS 14 goes live, marketers should dedicate themselves to both feature and messaging experimentation that will drive their ability to capitalize on this chance to grow app engagement, downloads, and, ultimately, customer acquisition. It’s a significant opportunity to give new life to brands’ mobile app playbook while improving the customer experience.

Mike Herrick is SVP of technology at Airship.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Portland police seize shields, arrest 24 before march; one officer hospitalized

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Portland police seize shields, arrest 24 before march; one officer hospitalized

Police in Portland, Oregon, broke up a planned, unpermitted march before it began Monday and declared an unlawful assembly when protesters reorganized and marched anyway.

At least 24 people were arrested, a police officer was sent to a hospital and at least five officers were sprayed by a chemical irritant in the Kenton neighborhood, according to police. People were instructed to meet at Kenton Park at 8 p.m. for a march scheduled at 9 p.m., according to social media. Police learned of the march, and by 8:45 p.m., officers “moved into the park” to seize shields from participants.

“The posture of the gathering suggested that it would become violent, as many such gatherings have been over the past 120-plus days,” police said in a statement. “To lower the likelihood that members of the gathering would use the shields to protect those intent on committing crimes such as throwing objects at police, officers moved into the park and seized numerous shields.”

Breonna Taylor protest: Proud Boys rally draws counterprotest in Portland

A scuffle broke out when officers tried to confiscate a sign from a demonstrator, according to video from the scene.

Police told the group they could demonstrate at the park but not march in the street as the crowd headed toward the Portland Police Association, the site of many demonstrations since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May. Police told marchers the sidewalk in front of the building was closed, and officers made more arrests because people in the street were blocking traffic, according to police.

Police declared an unlawful assembly after members of the crowd threw objects at them and officers were punched and sprayed with “some kind of chemical.” Officers continued to make arrests until the crowd dissipated around 1:30 a.m.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown asked authorities to review “any alleged incidents” involving officers during the law enforcement response to a protest in Portland late Saturday into early Sunday.

The governor said in a series of tweets Sunday evening that she was committed to building trust in the community. She asked Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese and Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell to take another look at what happened during their joint operations that night.

A police officer pushes back protesters Sept. 26 in Portland, Ore. The protests, which began after the death of George Floyd, have resulted in frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

“Journalists and law enforcement officers have difficult jobs to do during these demonstrations, but I do still believe that we can protect free speech and keep the peace,” Brown tweeted.

The trio of law enforcement agencies released a joint statement Monday saying agencies were reviewing several use-of-force incidents from Saturday night’s protests to see whether “any deputies, officers or troopers may have acted outside the scope of their policy or training.” The agencies urged people to file a complaint if they felt any officer, deputy or trooper acted unjustly or used excessive force.

The unrest came hours after a right-wing rally and counterprotesters largely dispersed without serious violence Saturday afternoon.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Portland police stop protest march, arrest 24; officer hospitalized

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Rapper NBA YoungBoy arrested on drug charges

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Rapper NBA YoungBoy has been arrested in his hometown of Baton Rouge.

Chart-topping rapper NBA YoungBoy was arrested on multiple drug charges in Louisiana, Yahoo Entertainment confirms. YoungBoy, born Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, was taken in by police on Monday night in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inmate records show the 20-year-old is still in custody as of Tuesday morning. Bond has not been set.

YoungBoy was booked on three drug charges: possession of Schedule I drugs, manufacturing/distributing a schedule II drug and manufacturing/distributing Schedule IV drugs. According to local reports, a total of 16 people were arrested and face a similar variation of drug and firearm charges.

A video posted to YouTube that claims to have captured the incident alleges YoungBoy was shooting his new music video for “Choppa City,” but that has not been confirmed.

The “Kacey Talk” rapper, also known as YoungBoy Never Broke Again, just celebrated multiple career milestones. Earlier this month, he hit his third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart in less than a year with his new album Top. He also hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 Songwriters chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart becoming the top musical act in the U.S. for the first time.

This isn’t YoungBoy’s first run-in with police.

In 2019, the singer’s girlfriend was injured after he was the target of gunfire in Miami. The Baton Rouge rapper was eventually taken into custody on suspicion of violating his probation from a shooting three years prior. YoungBoy was ultimately released. His probation was terminated months later since he completed all of the court’s conditions.

A court date has not been set regarding Monday’s incident.

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2 “Strong Buy” Space Stocks That Are Ready for Takeoff

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Yahoo Finance

Space, the final frontier. Throughout history, the expanse that exists beyond Earth has captivated people all over the world, with space exploration continuing to take giant leaps forward since Apollo 11 first landed on the moon.

Now, outer space has peaked Wall Street’s interest. Given the high levels of private funding and advances in technology, the pros argue there could be major implications should space become more accessible and less expensive to reach. To this end, new markets such as satellite broadband, high-speed product delivery, reusable rockets and human space travel are emerging.

Speaking to the potential opportunity, according to a recent KPMG report, by 2030, the global space industry could reach $600 billion, with it currently worth $350 billion.  

Bearing this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to zero in on two space stocks reaching for the stars, so says the Street. Boasting the analyst community’s full support, both tickers have received a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.   

Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE)

By offering high-speed point-to-point travel, Virgin Galactic wants to commercialize space travel and revolutionize commercial flight. Given the significant backlog of demand for commercial spaceflight, several members of the Street have high hopes for this space stock.

Representing Cowen, analyst Oliver Chen sees SPCE as “uniquely positioned to benefit from the growing consumer interest toward luxury experiences, especially among high-net-worth individuals.” He added, “We believe a substantial growth opportunity lies ahead with the commercial spaceflight business, which already has ~600 reservations, and the development of high-speed point-to-point travel.”

Looking at the market opportunity, Chen estimates that this part of the business could push SPCE’s top-line to $1 billion-plus by 2030, growing at a 60%-plus CAGR (2021-2030), with an EBITDA margin of 46%. According to the analyst, there’s a total addressable market (TAM) for commercial spaceflight (suborbital) of roughly 2.4 million individuals with a net worth of $5 million-plus globally.

On top of this, SPCE could use its technology to develop additional revenue streams such as high-speed P2P commercial air travel. The development of hypersonic aircrafts would make 85% of the global network pairs accessible in a one-day trip. In addition, the analyst thinks the high-speed P2P opportunity could yield a TAM of $985 billion by 2050, and SPCE’s market share could clock in at 20%. “P2P is in very early innings but we believe the company has the resources, capital, and experience to pursue this business line,” Chen noted.

Given that the company’s leadership team brings expertise from NASA and Disney to the table, Chen argues SPCE is capable of capitalizing on the opportunity, with solid execution potentially solidifying its status as an experiential luxury brand.

The positioning of its commercial space flight offering as a luxury airline experience, which is what consumers are more used to, is likely to give SPCE the first-mover advantage over others like Blue Origin. “Given the high fixed cost of operating a space tourism operation, first-mover advantage looks critical to success; and VG appears better positioned than BO to get it,” Chen mentioned.

What else could give SPCE the first-mover advantage? Chen points to SPCE’s 10-plus years of technology developed with $1 billion of investment made to-date and the vertically integrated aerospace development capabilities. What’s more, SPCE has “created competitive moats in a high-barrier-to-entry industry and benefits from strong consumer demand, which should support a premium pricing structure.”

Based on all of the above, Chen puts an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating and $22 price target on the stock. (To watch Chen’s track record, click here)

Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 7 to be exact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: SPCE is a Strong Buy. With a $25.43 average price target, shares could rise 22% in the next year. (See Virgin Galactic stock analysis on TipRanks)

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings (AJRD)

Serving customers that include the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), NASA and other agencies and companies, Aerojet Rocketdyne develops and manufactures advanced propulsion and energetics systems. Given its recent contract awards, multiple analysts believe this company’s long-term growth prospects are strong.

5-star analyst Ken Herbert, of Canaccord Genuity, recently met with AJRD’s new CFO, coming away from the discussion with his bullish thesis very much intact. The company expects the space business, which makes up 40% of sales, to be flat to up slightly, due to the recent SLS RS-25 engine order, with the core defense business (60% of sales) set to see steady growth.

“While near-term margin upside is limited, we believe the revenue visibility, strong balance sheet and incremental opportunities in both space and defense contribute to a scarcity value for AJRD not reflected in the stock,” Herbert commented.

That said, new programs are an essential piece of the puzzle here. Earlier in September, AJRD announced that it will build two elements of the new ground based strategic deterrent (GBSD) nuclear missiles for Northrop Grumman, which received a $13.3 billion, 8.5-year EMD contract to initiate early production of the “Minuteman IV” platform. AJRD is responsible for manufacturing a large solid rocket motor for the missile’s upper stage and the post-boost propulsion system needed to guide the nuclear warheads to their targets through apogee (the highest point of their parabolic flight arc).

Weighing in on the deal, Herbert commented, “The program is expected to be substantial to both Aerojet and Northrop, with 400 active and 242 spare ICBMs expected to occupy the existing launch sites in the American West. It has been estimated that the GBSD program will be worth $63 billion during its first 20 years of life, which is likely to be extended given the longevity of the current Minuteman III deterrent.”

Adding to the good news, AJRD’s backlog has increased to a record high of $6.8 billion as of Q2 2020, a 48% gain from the prior-year quarter. According to Herbert, a key driver of this growth has been the $1.8 billion NASA contract to construct 18 new RS-25 engines to support at least five additional Artemis lunar missions beyond the three currently planned. “As such, visibility into Aerojet’s business with NASA continues to look promising through 2030. Aerojet has also continued to see backlog growth on THAAD, hypersonics, Standard Missile and GMLRS,” the analyst stated. If that wasn’t enough, Herbert believes missile defense and classified hypersonics programs are likely to see solid backlog growth in the near-term.

On top of this, in August, the U.S. Air Force awarded two contracts for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program to ULA (a Boeing and Lockheed joint venture) and SpaceX. The implication? “Aerojet Rocketdyne is seen as a winner of the contact outcome, which ensured that the company will continue to provide content on a majority of U.S. military and intelligence launches. AJRD will see its upper stage engine content double on the new ULA Vulcan rocket under this contract, which utilizes a new Centaur upper stage (the Centaur V) powered by two RL10 engines, as opposed to one RL10 on the legacy Atlas V rocket,” Herbert explained.

Everything that AJRD has going for it convinced Herbert to reiterate his Buy rating. Along with the call, he maintained a $54 price target, suggesting 34% upside potential. (To watch Herbert’s track record, click here)

All in all, other analysts are on the same page. AJRD’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells. Meanwhile, the $56 average price target brings the upside potential to 39%. (See AJRD stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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