The app marketplace has vaulted into the millions but in some ways nothing has changed. Consumers only use about 26 or 27 apps a month, according to a Nielsen report posted last month. The time consumers spend with those apps is increasing though– up 63% over the past two years.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, consumers spent approximately 23 hours per month engaging with their apps. That number rose to just over 30 hours in 2013 and nearly 37.5 hours in Q4, 2014. Mobile phone and app usage is constantly increasing but that is still huge, seven hours in a year is a long time – nearly an entire work week per month spent on the phone. Comparatively, the average number of installed apps per phone only increased from 26.5 to 26.7. So how does your app make that cut? With more and more apps being introduced every day, app makers are going to have to toughen their fight to be one of the apps that get regular use.
Small businesses investing in mobile need to make sure their apps make it into the magic two-dozen or so apps that customers use regularly. Otherwise, it’s a massive waste of money and time. Find features that customers will use everyday – loyalty, shopping, push notifications and food ordering. These are proven to bring customers back as well as increase revenue. Customers love convenience as well as an opportunity to save money. Just yesterday I ordered my dinner through an app on my phone and they offered me a coupon as a thanks!
Think about how often you use your phone and what apps you use. It’s easy to point them out but which ones really give you value? The best apps are able to incorporate a bit of each and would therefore become a mainstay within the top 26.
Social Media apps are only as good as the user wants them to be. They rarely provide any in-depth information, besides updates from friends. Plus spam message and videos. Smaller apps use social media logins for forums as well as in-app commenting.
Food Ordering apps are becoming more and more popular for the eater on the go. Or, like me, the master of convenience. Rarely on computers anymore, users go to their phone first and these apps provide instant access to multiple restaurants. Now, imagine that the restaurant had their own ordering system and did not have to share any information or fees with the existing services. More convenient and direct, an app with food ordering capability built-in would be a game-changer or an individual restaurant.
Informational apps are simple, direct and to the point. Think banking or transit schedules. They’re not flashy but provide exactly what you need to know. Small businesses can incorporate informational aspects but also include a stylistic flair not found in most apps that are similar.
Building a strong app for your small business that incorporates these points will transform your customer relationships and grant you staying power within the industry.