Businesses which thrive are business which makes decisions uniquely tailored to their offering, their place in the market and their audience. Businesses that chase trends, try to do everything or fail to focus usually prove less successful.
This means that however modish mobile apps might be, any responsible business decision-maker should be considering whether developing one is truly worth the investment. This blog post is intended to help.
We’re digital evangelists at Apps+. We think apps are great, and we think they can help an extremely wide variety of businesses. At root, an app is a simple piece of technology that can solve a common problem – or perform an everyday task – easily and quickly. On the face of it, few businesses can’t benefit from this.
But different businesses – and different sectors – will utilise apps in different ways. Some apps are customer-facing, others are intended for internal use. And there may well be some business for which the level of investment doesn’t quite justify the benefit (though entry costs for apps are now extremely low).
To understand this diversity a little better, we might review some of the sectors that can most benefit from implementing app technology.
Millions of us have downloaded the NHS’s COVID-19 app; millions more routinely monitor their steps, heart rate or sleep patterns with others. Health apps have proven themselves twice over: users appreciate them, and they have direct and important benefits on people’s health. Offering access to information but also real-time data feedback via wearable technologies, apps have proven invaluable to all actors within the healthcare sector.
That two-way communication that has powered the importance of healthcare apps also makes education a prime beneficiary of mobile tech. From ease of access to information and course materials to direct submission of assessments or questions, mobile apps offer instant access for both teacher and learner alike. From online learning to hobby apps such as Duolingo, education can now happen constantly, on the go – and all through life.
This one is perhaps obvious to all: few of us will not have purchased online via a website, but more and more of us are also buying via apps. This means Amazon and other similar stores, of course; but it also means smaller “in-app purchases” – in games, for example – which have powered the profitability of apps in recent years. If you’re a business that’s selling something, apps put you in your customer’s pocket alongside their wallet – and they are increasingly happy to reach for both at the same time.
Business in this sector sell things, of course – so eCommerce for them is obvious. But they also provide reassurance and comfort, helping travellers understand and orient themselves in new-to-them places. These sorts of services rely on trust and relationships; apps, more intimate than websites for all sorts of reasons, offer a key means for travel companies to become an integrated part of how their customers plan their travel.
The truth is that these sectors are a mere selection of the full range of businesses that can benefit from apps: from finance to IT, telecommunications to hospitality, apps can help a very wide range of businesses.
This is because their benefits are transferable: the integration with a client’s everyday life that is of such benefit to traveling companies, for example, is equally – if differently – as powerful for businesses operating in quite separate sectors. Two-way data exchange is invaluable across a wide range of applications; so are the prospects of instant sales.
In other words, businesses need to consider what they are seeking to achieve in their sector – what challenges they face or enhancements they need – and then understand how, and whether, apps can help. Our view? In most cases, and in various ways, they probably can. But businesses need to make that decision for themselves – and each decision will be different, just as the best apps are often the most unique.