Do you need to launch a mobile app?

Mobile app

Saying that mobile is more and more used won’t change your life.

But did you know that 66% of the global population (source : wearesocial 2017) has its own mobile phone nowadays? A trend that won’t cool down, especially with the iGeneration

Regarding these worldwide habits and trends, lots of companies have seen an opportunity to sell more or even target new clients. In 2016, for example, mobile apps had a $61 billion turnover.

But while 2018 is only starting, is it still interesting to launch a mobile app?

2 spontaneous questions are rising here:

  1. Why would I create a mobile app?
  2. And how to make people downloading it?

App = security?

Of course, the answer is not so linear. A mobile app may be interesting or not depending on your activity. For instance, games represented 39% of all app downloads in 2016, but accounted for 81% of revenue.

In people’s mind, some industries need to be secured.

And for them, the use of a mobile app is safer than surfing on Internet. Banks belong to that category. 

In any case your app will have to give to the user a unique experience and services that he won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Differentiation

In a market where competition is intense, you have to be different or at least to bring something either fun or essential. Make user’s life easier.

For example, a loyalty app which will allow client to have:

  • his digital loyalty card, in one click,
  • his personalised coupons,
  • latest products which match his tastes and latest purchases…

In other words, an app has to offer a unique experience that can’t be easily reproduced on a traditional mobile site. Users’ needs will legitimate to download and keep a mobile app.

High Investment Cost

An app development is very demanding in terms of resouces.
Basically, it’s not very common to have the skills to create your own app. Most of the time you will hire a specialised agency.

Even if you saved money thanks to internal resources, don’t forget that a mobile app is very constraining. It requires new releases very often in order to keep up with mobile vendors update. In addition, your app availability may be delayed because of the validation of the major platforms, Apple Store or Play store:

  • it takes over 1 week if you are lucky,
  • or 2 weeks in the worst case.

In addition to this basic spending, the app has to be available on Google Play Store and/or Apple Store. If you want to monetize your app, be sure that Google and Apple will take advantage of this! 30% (15% after the first year) of your revenue will go directly to them.

Play Apple Store

Mature Market

Developing a mobile app may be attractive for lots of reasons:

  • create a unique and homogeneous brand identity,
  • create a buzz,
  • offer additional services to loyal or curious users,
  • sell more products / services…

However, the app market is becoming mature. People are shifting their mobile habits and focus on what they consider more useful or important.

That’s why, today, we observe that more than 50% of users don’t download new apps.

Mobile apps

All around the world, about 9 apps are used per day by mobile users. Among these 9 apps, most of them deal with :

  • games,
  • instant messaging
  • and dating.

Of course, in a user point of view, downloading a new app will depend on its utility, frequency of use and memory space on his mobile. A free app may encourage the downloading as well.

Let’s say that creating an app is not the main goal of a digital strategy anymore.

New Alternative

Since 2016, we acknowledged the emergence of a new kind of responsive mobile site: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Quickly followed by the birth of the PWA (Progressive Web App). This technological improvement may be able to replace apps or at least to offer an alternative to users and companies.

But first, a brief summary explanations regarding these 2 concepts:

  • AMP has been developed by Google and offers a very light version of mobile pages. Its main characteristic is to be able to load pages in 1 second or less. However, it only concerns content pages. Newspapers are the ideal example for this. At this stage, apps have nothing to worry about.
  • That wasn’t counting on the PWA. It allows to overcome the main constraints of the AMP. Enjoying the speed of AMP and combining mobile app features. It’s possible to have your icon, push notifications, use the camera… All mobile features can be used. It’s also possible to use it offline. It’s a huge benefit for companies like airline companies, who need to notify travellers to register.

This new option is here to offer all the advantages of a mobile app while using a browser. Moreover, it’s lighter than an app.
No Dilemma for the user.
You can improve it gradually as you can fixe bugs or update it at any time. And it’s cheaper and quicker than an app! Are you in?

Mélissa