Over the course of the last few years mobile phone apps have not only become globally known, but they have become a way of life for people. With an app for virtually anything and the power and portability of devices like smartphones a person can check the weather, their GPS location, order shoes, play a game, and even connect through live video with friends and loved ones. And for businesses looking to make themselves known and accessible to their clients and customers, apps are absolutely invaluable.
In 2012 alone 45 billion apps were downloaded, and that is nearly double the amount of downloads as 2011. Apps have become a mainstream means of communication and connection for society. Entertainment and information, business, personal and relational apps have changed how people interact and do business. If a company wants to keep up and grow they will have to recognize the demand culture has for on the go, constant, instant access to products, people, and information. It isn’t just about gimmicks and advertising; it is about lifeblood and survival.
One important aspect for a company to be aware of with creating an app for itself is that it will be one of the main ways individuals will want to gain access to products and information. With smartphones in almost everyone’s hands this is how people order items, look up information, or make contact with a person or company. Generations are becoming increasingly technologically savvy, and hard wired for instant access through this technology. If as a company you still expect individuals to always have to go to a website, or make a phone call, or send an e-mail to connect with you than you will lose business for sure and gain a reputation for being outdated and difficult to interact with.
Another great reason for businesses to get on board with apps is how it can help save money. First off apps are digital and easy to update information on as opposed to old printed brochures and literature. In addition, having an app will magnify your brand it makes it easier for new clients and customers to get to know who you are. It can also be fairly cost affect as apps do not need to be elaborate or expensive to create, and even though many are free or only a couple of dollars for people to purchases the ROI on apps have reported to be fairly good. On average a company will touch around 600 people per dollar spent on their app which is a huge reach for businesses.
There are some really great examples of enterprise mobile applications that are practical yet have seriously enhanced people’s lives with their uses and information. EBay mobile has been one of the most popular apps for people who want to find products and may need to have quick access to their auctions to keep up on the purchase. Amazon was also very smart in realizing not everyone was going to buy an e-reader, so they created a Kindle app for the iPhone so people could still purchase their products. And Nike was clever with Nike Club Training which offers people 114 workouts designed by top celebrity and athlete trainers.
Ultimately companies who want to not only stay in the game, but thrive will realize the need to create an app for their business. With a projected 300 billion app downloads a year by 2016, and company who wants to stick around needs to make sure they are part of the incoming wave.