Want to Develop an App for your Business? Here’s Why you Shouldn’t.

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So you think you should just develop an app and that will solve all of your problems?

But do you know that:

  • App Store grows by over 1,5k apps per day?
  • That most apps actually do get lost in the whirlpool of App stores and Google Play.
  • And generally, the discovery happens in the top 25 charts. And not surprisingly, most developers thrive to impinge on top 25.

According to Statista, 2,800,000 is the number of apps in Google Play, and 2,200,000 in the Apple App Store (March 2017).

Also, 77% of users never use an app again 72 hours after installing. That’s why, by 2018 Gartner says that less than 0,01 percent of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers.

If you are an independent app developer or publisher, you have probably known this for a while, because you have found it very difficult to get people to download your app. But now even the very biggest app publishers are seeing their growth slow down. Even for the top 15 apps:

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You’ll note that the big exceptions here are Snapchat and Uber, which continue to grow. You can also notice that all these 15 most dowloaded apps are designed to the consumer (BtoC) and it is mostly concerning social media.

The mobile app boom kicked off in July 2008, when Apple introduced the App Store. Now it is over, because most people have all the apps they want and/or need. They’re not looking for new ones.

Mobile Wallets:

But let’s not be pessimistic. In the other hand, there is Mobile Wallets. The hurdle of investment is considerably decreased for businesses acting as a lightweight app and delivering quickly time to market.  A business can just create a targeted and highly effective program and/or campaign that solves a core customer need. Businesses can interact with customers by using their favorite smartphones all without needing an app. And when paired with an app, they can create a superior mobile engagement experience, providing additional convenience and flexibility. Additionally, they can be used as a channel to acquire new app users. With the ability to take customers from the pass directly to an app download store, businesses and brands can look toward mobile wallets as a mechanism to nurture future loyalists, culminating with a branded app download.

Principal reasons why leveraging an existing Mobile Wallet could be more interesting before developping a new app:

  • US$270,000 is the average cost to develop an app and US$2,5M to develop and maintain it with basic functionalities over the course of 3 years. While leveraging a Mobile Wallet is LESS expensive.
  • The average time to develop an app and launch in the app stores is 7-12 months. While it is instantaneous for Mobile Wallets.

The most common use cases of a Mobile Wallet:

  • Mobile Loyalty Program
  • Gift cards
  • Coupons

Check out Loopy Loyalty for more info.

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Here all you can do with a Mobile Wallet:

  • Loyalty cards
  • Loyalty rewards offer
  • Loyalty cards with cross promotions
  • Point cards
  • Sales/promo/coupon offers
  • Coupon redemption
  • Giftcards
  • Geofence welcome messages
  • Geofence promotion/offer
  • Alerts, updates & reminders
  • App acquisition
  • Announcements & notifications
  • Sweepstakes & notifications
  • Exclusive offers, promotions, content
  • Exclusives by distribution channel(s)
  • Membership cards/”club” discounts

mobile_wallet

Now you know…while apps can be highly effective particularly with your highest value customers, they can also be costly to get started and maintain, and you have to be very very good and lucky to break through the close circle of the best apps. It is recommended to start with mobile wallet to test and see whether customers are willing to download mobile content. Then go for mobile website, or at least an app if you are sure it is worth it.

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