It seems like everyone wants to have a mobile application. But, does every business really need an app? Will you get the value for your money from a mobile app?
The mobile apps market has been an unfolding business over the past decade. Statistics have been proving this to us.
According to Statista, there were nearly 10 million mobile apps in all major apps stores combined in the Q1 2018, where Google Play Store led the pack with 3.8 million apps. The stores are expanding their app base but does that mean that all businesses can have mobile apps?
In 2016, android users made approximately 95 billion app downloads, 65 billion more than the app downloads made on iOS.
This indicates the magnitude of the app economy, which makes it lucrative to most people. Mobile apps have been essential to business, and these numbers show the lucrativeness of the segment.
Why your business may need a mobile application
- Visibility to your customers.
Mobile apps can be interesting ways of getting your customers glued to your products or services, especially in a time when people are using their mobile phones the more.
An average person spends 2 and a half hours on his/her mobile device per day and 73 hours in a month. A significant part of this time is on your app.
- Direct marketing.
Apps are not like the ads you put on social media or any other channel. They are not limited to the amount of content you as a marketing piece, say in an advert.
On a single app, you can inform your audience about your products’ general information, their prices, allow them to create user accounts among others. A mobile app is an absolute direct marketing channel.
- Recognition and branding.
Every ambitious business has to invest in branding, and a mobile application can be handy for brand awareness.
The core advantage of branding is the fact that a mobile app provides a business with the ability to style and design an app in line the branding goals of a company.
Moreover, as your customers or audience get involved with the app, they become more inclined to purchase your products and services. The best case is why your business become their go-to choice when they need the products that you offer.
- More customer engagement
A mobile application provides your customers with a more accessible channel to communicate with your business.
You get to learn more about the problems they are facing with your services and products. You are already aware of the role and benefits of customer engagement in today’s business world.
A mobile application is one of those tools that help in improving customer engagement.
- Growing customer loyalty
Mobile applications can also be handy for growing customer loyalty. In some way, the customer loyalty that comes from mobile applications is subject to the customer engagement that comes from giving your users and customers an app to interact with.
The statistics on mobile app usage and the benefits they provide businesses can be tempting. It can lead you to think of developing your mobile application.
But some businesses are better suited for mobile apps than others.
Businesses that need mobile apps
Any business can have an app to promote its services. But, are all businesses suited to have mobile applications? Are there businesses that can do exceptionally well with a mobile app than others.
All app stores group their apps into a number of categories. Google Play store, for instance, has over 30 app categories including music, art & design, travel, education, books, productivity, lifestyle, among others.
Looking at those categories, you may think that all businesses need a mobile app. This is not to say that apps are segmented for some businesses. From our own experience, we believe that the following sectors can do better with a mobile app, especially if all the considerations are put in place.
E-commerce and retail
This is the most obvious sector that does so well using a mobile application. Sales through mobile apps are expected to reach $206.36 billion by the close of 2018.
The suitability of mobile apps for e-commerce emanates from the fact that they increase the probability of users purchasing your products.
The best thing about e-commerce is that it can be within any domain. You can decide to sell electronics, fashion, pet products, pharmaceuticals or books.
The hospitality sector is a booming sector with more than $500 billion in value. As a service sector, its competition demands improved customer experiences.
This sector is therefore ideally suited for a mobile application for enhancing the customer experience.
The hospitality sector is also more inclined to offer discounts and loyalty programs, which are well complemented by mobile applications. Through an app, the sector can be able to gather customer reviews from their users for developing more confidence among users.
Media and entertainment
I can bet you know the role that entertainment and media play in our lives. Personally, I listen to music for the best part of my leisure time, and sometimes when I am writing an article like this.
Statistics tell us that on average, smartphone users dedicate 15% of their time on entertainment and media apps, most of which are content driven.
By content driven, I mean, these apps rely on content that is added on a regular basis. This could be movies, TV shows, music, sports, news, and more.
Healthcare is also a lucrative sector. People are seeking efficiency and more effectiveness in the sector than ever before. There is a rising demand for not only affordable but also accessible healthcare.
A healthcare-oriented mobile application can easily achieve these demands through automation of services such as basic diagnosis.
Well-designed mobile apps can be integrated with artificial intelligence to help users conduct self-diagnosis and receive medical recommendations.
Through a mobile app, users can be able to interact with doctors through videos and discuss their pressing health issues with a live person.
Businesses in the health sector can benefit massively from developing mobile applications.
Finance and banking
41% of smartphone usage is devoted to financial activities according to Google. This includes payment of bills, paying fines, money transfers, taking out loans, ae-commerce payments among others.
Finance apps can also be developed to cater for daily financial decisions such as checking expenditures, savings, budgeting, as well as account tracking.
There is no doubt that finance business can be well fitted for mobile applications.
Travel and luxury
This behaves more like the hospitality industry. There is an increase in consumer pressure and market competition for the travel sector to provide improved customer experience through optimized technology.
Mobile applications in this sector are designed to perform tasks such as hotel book, flight ticketing, travel arrangements, as well as travel-related news.
Mobile apps for the travel and luxury industry make it easy for the involved businesses to attract more customers. They do that through the provision of videos and pictures of different travel destinations that can lure users to travel more.
Education is a basic human need. It is no wonder Google Play store had more than 80,000 education-oriented applications by 2015. Perhaps there are more today.
Like health, people are increasingly demanding more accessible and affordable education. Conventional education outlets tend to provide outdated skills.
Providing short and relevant skills is mainly possible through mobile apps.
It is easier to provide online courses and other short skills through a mobile application than it is through even a website.
If you operate within the above industries, you perhaps need an app. But, developing an app for your business is subject to some other considerations. At the same time, simply because your industry is not mentioned does not mean that you an app cannot serve your needs.
In this article, we looked at the industries that are popular in the mobile apps space.
You may want to make the consideration especially if your competitors already have applications that are generating more value for them.
Your choice to get a mobile application depends on your users and your business goals. More people demand to access what they need in a click of a button, which is not easy with a website.
Moreover, with a mobile application, your business may be able to break a new ground and grow faster than your competitors.