Mobile phones have definitely revolutionized the tech industry in the 21st century, and with phones comes mobile apps have definitely been crucial in the business field within the last decade. Businesses have shifted from relying on Brick and Mortar systems to websites and now mobile applications. But first let’s take a walk down memory lane. Where did the mobile app story start? And how did it reach here?
Background on Mobile Apps
A mobile app is a software application programmed and dedicated to run on a mobile device. People generally associate mobile apps with current day smartphones, however apps have a long and rich history. In fact apps were not first associated with early day mobile phones but rather with PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). As the rise of mobile phones began to take place, apps became an added advantage for mobile phone companies. The introduction of smartphones, which was basically a portable scaled down computer, came along with the app store that made apps readily available to download for users.
Ever since mobile app downloads have been in billions. According to codefuel.com, in 2020 there were 142.9 billion app downloads with 56.1 being games. The two biggest mobile app stores are Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
The most downloaded mobile apps globally in 2021 are;
Categories of Mobile Apps
After having some understanding on the historical journey of apps. Let’s get into the technical jargon a little bit. But we will start easily with the categories of mobile apps.
The popular app categories are:
This however is not limited to these options. Mobile apps are highly customizable to meet business need.
Types of Mobile Apps
Diving deeper, there are three types of mobile apps. Namely; Native Mobile apps, Hybrid Mobile apps, Web-based Mobile apps
Native Mobile Apps – Are platform specific ie IOS or Android Apps
Hybrid Mobile Apps – These are cross-platform apps ie built once run across multiple platform IOS, Android
Web-based Mobile Apps – Run on a browser rather than on native hardware.
Impact of Mobile Apps
As the usage of mobile phones continues to increase globally. Companies are putting an effort to create immersive and great mobile app experiences for their potential and current customers. With the occurrence of Covid-19, people had to turn to mobile apps, the dependence on mobile applications increased exponentially from shopping to socializing due to the travel restrictions.
Despite the covid-19 effect on technology growth there have been several industries that have been completely transformed by the introduction of mobile apps, such as;
- Taxi industry – This is certainly one of the most disrupted businesses in the 21st century. Ever since the launch of the ride hailing app, Uber in 2009, traditional taxis have been pushed to the extent of either being out of business or joining the ride hailing companies such as uber. This certainly shows the extent of mobile technology.
- Social media – Most social media platform that existed pre-iphone launch, were mostly desktop first. However, since the launch of iphone and android, social media companies have made huge consideration for mobile app version of their apps. TikTok, is one of the most recent platforms and the application was built mobile first appealing to the huge mobile phone market.
Other industries include; e-commerce, health, food etc.
Why is it important to know this? This is to show the critical importance of building mobile applications to serve the huge mobile market.
As of 2018, 92% of facebook ad revenue was generated from mobile advertisements and this figures have been growing since then. This has definitely been a huge increase in mobile ad revenue as compared to 6 years earlier 2012, where mobile ad revenue contributed 11% of the total ad revenue. This implies that there is a need to have a focus on creating great, interactive mobile apps that engage the mobile phone audience.
Does your business really need a mobile app
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With the info we have now, I believe you now have an idea of how impactful mobile apps are to your business. However, in addition to that, any business needs to ask this crucial question. Does my business really need a mobile app? Is a mobile app the only technology solution that I can apply for my business? Well the TechFyBiz team saw that and curated some tips for you.
Identifying the need
- Consider your customers
A question for this is, are my customers mobile oriented. You have to learn whether the target or current market are using and comfortable using mobile apps. This is important, since it may be inconvenient to shift an unwilling audience to mobile apps.
- Does the current solution work for my business
A follow up will be, how is the current solution, either in the market or for the organization, working for my customers and employees. If the solution is working easily, effectively and convenient for the stakeholders, there is no huge importance to introduce a mobile application.
- Will the business need be met by an app.
It is important to intensively research whether introducing a mobile app will effectively solve the business need.
- Does the business have an online presence.
Another important thing to consider is whether you already have a digital presence. Why? Most mobile apps are to help personalize or ease customer experiences that already exist. For example, facebook already had a working web application, however to meet the rise in mobile phone users they had to redesign the existing web version for the new market.
For details on whether you need a mobile application. Check out this link
Alternatives to Mobile Apps
Depending on the business need, market and technology being used these are just a tip of the iceberg of alternatives available today;
- USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data)
- Virtual assistants
Benefits of Mobile Apps
So what makes mobile apps a great tool for your business;
- Personalized experience – Your customers benefits from a personalized experience on the mobile application being shown goods, services or advertisements tailored to their interests.
- Push notifications – push notifications are messages sent to a user’s device, irregardless of whether the app is open or not. They are a great marketing tool and help convert users to customers.
- Offline capabilities – The ability of some if not all functions of a mobile app being available offline makes it the best tool to increase customer engagement since its reliable whether online or offline.
- Customer engagement – With the growth of mobile phone usage. Mobile apps become the most convenient tool to engage customers and increase brand loyalty.
These benefits are just a shadow of the power that is held by mobile apps. Leverage on mobile apps to take your business to the next level. Here at TechFyBiz our priority is not just to develop mobile applications rather walking the journey with you our clients to create the right solution for your business.
Feel free to contact us.