This guest post was written by Michael Kelley, from Fueled, whose team’s diverse skillset enables startups and big brands, thanks to tailored services across strategy, design and development for mobile and web projects.
In a little less than a decade, mobile app development has reached a tipping point and surpassed web application usage. Customers use mobile apps to chat with friends, browse the web, shop in online retail stores and do their online banking, spending on average three hours a day on their mobile phones. For companies, mobile apps are a perfect way to capture the interest of their customers, and keep them engaged with their products. Mobile app developers are in high demand, and companies around the world are eager to launch their first app. As a result, enterprise app development is seeing unprecedented growth, and it’s high time for business executives to realize that a mobile app is not a luxury, but a necessity.
You may have the impression that enterprise app development is a long and expensive process that won’t pay off in the near term. Why should you invest in a product that most customers expect to get for free? To a skeptic, nothing is as reassuring as some cold, hard numbers. If you are thinking about whether you should get your own business app, perhaps these numbers will change your mind.
Growing Number of Free Applications
The total number of app downloads in 2017 was 175 billion. Compared to 2015, this is an increase of 60 percent and the numbers are still growing. The main reason for this is that companies are building more free applications while making money from in-app purchases and other monetization models that kick in after the download. Freemium app models, in-app purchases and mobile ads are the primary revenue generators for enterprises. If your competitor provides a free application with extra perks, it’s more likely that some of your customers will give it a whirl out of curiosity. Enterprise app development, as counterintuitive as it may seem, tends to be most successful by offering the app for free, and using other exceptionally well-developed monetization methods for making profits.
Increased Mobile Performance
A few years back, it took ages for mobile websites to load. Since then, mobile devices have been improved and websites load faster, but they’re still slower than mobile apps. It takes an average of 19 seconds for a mobile website to load, and that’s way too long for today’s customer’s short attention span.
If we compare enterprise apps to mobile-ready websites, it’s clear that you’ll have a much better chance of keeping your customers interested with a mobile app. However, a well-designed mobile site can help with engagement. Sites that load in 5 seconds vs. 19 seconds get 25 percent more ad views, 70 percent longer average sessions and 35 percent lower bounce rates.
Each Customer Has 40 Mobile Apps on Average
An average user has installed more than 40 mobile apps, but doesn’t engage with all of them. Forty active apps is not a small number, and though you may think that users spend most of their time on the bigger apps, this is not always true. Customers are constantly looking for ways to make their lives better, and if an enterprise finds a way to solve their problem, they will stay logged in and your app won’t end up in the trash bin. Consequently, an important step toward successful enterprise app development is to get users not only to download, but also engage with your app. Technologies like push notifications, as well as the latest AR and VR features, can help you keep your customers active.
Social media, communication, gaming and retail are the four most popular areas for enterprise app development. Sales apps also top the interest lists of enterprise executives since they drive vital enterprise engines, such as generating revenue from close contact with clients. Though it’s true that many of the popular apps belong to the big names, there is room for newcomers to shake up the status quo by grabbing a piece of the specialized markets.
You don’t need to replace Facebook, but you can capitalize on its model by focusing on the consumer’s needs. From the success of social media apps, we can conclude that users like to connect, share and communicate. Gaming apps help users have fun, and that’s an easy way to keep them glued to the screen. Successful retail apps must provide fast and personalized service in order to be valued by your customers.
Every company needs to keep its sales rep team rolling. Sales teams have always been a crucial factor in business growth, but nowadays, sales reps need to stay even more connected with clients and be able to do a great job anywhere. With so much pressure on time and focus during a sales meeting, it’s good to have a tool of support that gives sales tips and tricks from a touchscreen. A sales app with an interactive video presentation can convince a client much faster than a long, boring intro. When all enterprise documents and contacts are in a mobile app database, sales reps will be more confident in having the right information at the right time. Therefore, sales is a hot topic for enterprise app development and one worth investing more in.
For Millennials, Apps Dominate over Mobile Websites
Ninety percent of mobile usage time is spent on mobile apps. Moreover, mobile apps’ usage grows 6 percent each year. While you may want to start with a mobile website, your mobile strategy should clearly be focused on building a great app. With the millennial audience in mind, the success of your app can depend on something as simple as the icon design – 21 percent of them have deleted an app only because it didn’t look nice on their home screen. On the positive side, millennials comprise the largest customer base, are a highly engaged audience and are more likely to pay for an app. For enterprise app development, this means connecting the dots by meeting the needs of the generation with the highest interest in apps and offering them beautiful, impeccably designed apps with elements of fun and social connection.
Build your own mobile app today!
Check out our blog on building business apps if you’re ready to start providing your users with premium experiences! Need a more detailed step-by-step guide, download our free whitepaper to plan, build and succeed with apps.