An App-Titude For Business
Apps as we know them have been around for a decade and a half; Apple's first iPhone used a new visual interface of icons arranged on the screen, each representing an application (which is where we get the word “app” from).The calendar, calculator and even contacts book were all technically apps, while users could download a variety of other functional apps. Granted, apps like the virtual lighter and the “drinkable” pint were gimmicks but there were useful, productivity driven apps on the market too.
Fast forward 15 years and every smartphone uses apps, in both the visual layout style of the first iOS and in terms of downloadable apps for gaming, work, entertainment, shopping and virtually everything else. In 2020 the average smartphone user had 40 apps installed, spending the bulk of their app time on just 18 of them (a mix of gaming, social, shopping and entertainment apps).There are apps for every industry, some of which are designed to connect with consumers and end users, and some which are for behind-the-scenes use, such as supply chain management, logistics and the remote operation of machinery.
One major aspect of apps that people often overlook is the chance to advertise on them. Many popular apps are available for free download with adverts served each time they are used, or a paid-for version which does not serve ads. Given that almost every industry has a slew of relevant end-user apps it is worth considering advertising within apps if there's no scope for making a customer-facing app of your own. The revenue from apps (in-app purchases and advertising) is predicted to be $935 billion next year, so it is a large pie to carve a slice from.
There is scope for many businesses to create their own apps. If your product or service is something that can be interacted with from anywhere (such as an online store, or a smart-home product) the chances are people will expect you to have an app. There are several industries where app usage is growing fast, including healthcare, property (management and purchase), tourism, fashion and e-commerce, hospitality and manufacturing.
If you sell a lot online, and have repeat business then an app may become the consumers' preferred way to shop. This is especially true if there is a loyal community growing around your product or service, as apps can also connect end users to share tips, success stories and advice. If you do a lot of customer care and support an app is also a great way of streamlining this activity, keeping customer service activity off social media where it can bring bad publicity.
Businesses should not overlook being listed or connected with apps which act as a directory for end users. Apps for travel, leisure and hospitality are incredibly popular with holidaymakers and locals alike when searching for a hotel, pub or café. It's important for small businesses to link in with these types of apps to get a customer boost with no tech investment.
Your app doesn't have to be a consumer facing one – it is possible to make money from paid downloads of your app. In some cases an app isn't a money-making strategy at all, but a time-saving device that is worth the initial investment that helps with ordering, logistics and other aspects of supply chain management that involve stakeholders outside your company network.
At Parua we can advise on the best direction to take for your app aspirations and build it for you, whether it's for customers, staff or even a combination, such as an interface for customer support. Get in contact today as you'll be in the app stores before you know it.
Tel: 01242 697 692