Mobile Apps: Lessons and Predictions about the New Online Revolution
As we become increasingly dependent on mobile devices in our everyday lives, Mobile Apps will have an increasing role in determining how we use the Internet in the future.
Find out whether investing in mobile apps is worth it?
As we become increasingly dependent on mobile devices in our everyday lives, Mobile Apps will have an increasing role in determining how we use the Internet in the future. Web experts have recently determined that the average user now spends 9 per cent more time using mobile applications than the internet. It has been estimated that consumers spend an average of 81 minutes daily on mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes on the web; in addition apps, games and social networking were rated as favorite pastimes worldwide and have completely surpassed news and other types of entertainment. The future seems to be even more overwhelming after an ABI Research report estimated that 44 billion apps will be downloaded by 2016, compared to only 8 billion in 2010.
This incredible process of transformation and evolution of the Internet has brought many changes in communication and information sharing. Above all, however, the integration of Mobile Apps has opened enormous opportunities and benefits for businesses that wish to invest. In a world where no person can imagine their lives without a mobile phone, apps have allowed businesses to proceed with work without interruption, almost anywhere in the world. According to recent studies worker efficiency has increased dramatically as less time is wasted on email writing or searching for manual Internet extensions. One can easily send a report, project or query to their superior through mobile apps. Tasks of almost any kind can now be completed by phone without the use of expensive laptops or other devices. Payments and other financial transactions are now mainly done through mobile apps as well. Perhaps a rather unexpected side effect is also the fact that employees feel less stress while using them, boosting product quality for many firms – via ‘stress relieving’ games available on smart phones, many find it easier to wind down after working hours, which has increased their performance and even concentration.
In addition for companies that seek to expand their influence and capture larger market shares, Mobile apps have had an invaluable contribution. A custom app allows any business much greater advertisement and a chance to increase consumer loyalty. The reason is simple - no time is wasted in searching for said firm’s website and its logo is constantly in front of the eyes of the customer. Apart from that many retailers have been able to tap into the on-the-go portion of consumers and have seen their sales increase at exponential levels. Once an app is downloaded is has the capacity of generating repeat purchases without the need of constant and costly advertising campaigns. Consumers also have greater access to their desired products and through feedback can enhance or suggest improvements; all information that previously had to be acquired through hiring polling companies and market experts. The only side affect perhaps is that in this type of market, firms are far more vulnerable to competition and have to work hard to follow new trends in order to outwit their rivals. However in all true honesty a highly competitive market usually means a stronger industry, so profit maximizing monopolies have little to complain about.
Yet with this increased reliance on Mobile App technologies, some big issues have arisen for both investors and developers. For one there is the growing pressure between the rising number of skilled application developers in the market and the uncertainty created between vendors will dominate the market in the future. Gartner recently revealed that Android continues to own almost 50 % of market share; however the market still remains in a flux with many new arrivals quickly changing the landscape by introducing new and innovative products. This rapid expansion poses the immediate problem for companies of hiring the right developers with the appropriate skill set to support different operating systems, be it Apple iOS, Google Android or RIM BlackBerry. Having the ‘right skill set’ may even be an obsolete question as with the increased investment from multi-national giants in app technology, it becomes part of a developer’s job to anticipate specific business goals and understand their employer’s strategy. To incorporate those two ends of the spectrum can be a difficult task and with each year both firms and developers will have to learn how to find a way to communicate better. As a result apps must continue to be straightforward and easy to use, applicable across multiple platforms and different technologies. Fortunately such obstacles usually sort themselves out in the global markets and one thing is sure despite the growing need for app writers, only those with sufficient talent and drive to evolve in shifting economic condition will be left to make a profit.
Nevertheless, all of this excitement in the market should not stray off investors as there are huge return opportunities. In fact if you are considering of paying for an app, now is the perfect time for you. Prices of apps are already expensive and can range from something like $15 000 to $50 000 and those are likely to increase as the market settles into clearly defined oligopolies of app providers. When investing, however, businesses should always have in mind what their capabilities are. Large multinational companies like Mcdonalds for instance have a millions of customers to absorb the cost of the app, small businesses do not have that luxury. To make an appropriate prediction, let us assume a ghost firm that has 500 customers that use the app, with a 50% profit margin and each deal is for 25% off the regular price. With these numbers the firm would roughly make a 980% return on its investment each month. Without any doubt this is wonderful news for any small time producer, when taking into account they will be making it much easier for customer to interact with their services by booking, buying or sharing with their friends all through their smart phones.
To summarize whether you are an entrepreneur looking to optimize their business or a talented designer wishing to make a profit, the world of Mobile Apps is the place to be. There are already more people on the planet that communicate through text message than with email and more people than have credit cards according to recent statistics. The sheer size of the market combined and the high ROI potential, making or getting a mobile app makes more sense than ever. If now investing in an app is a maybe, then very soon it will become a must for those who wish to stay competitive and retain their market position.