Did You Really Need an App for That?

Did You Really Need an App for That?

Welcome to the App cemetery, where applications go to die. This may sound pretty dramatic, but we all have a couple of apps on our phone that, let’s face it, are just tombstones. There was a time where we found them useful or entertaining, until they weren’t.

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How can you avoid this as a business?

You don’t want to be that toy a kid is obsessed with for all but 5 minutes, and then is thrown in the pile with the others. You want your app to have a purpose—to fulfill some kind of need. There’s a difference between an app that is used for a short time vs. a long time.

Here are four reasons apps survive:

1. They provide easy access- People use apps like Facebook, Instagram, etc. because they provide easy access to their social networks. If you have a service that an app would add this value to, then you should create one.

2. They add value to your customer’s experience- Businesses such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, etc. add value to their customer’s experience through their apps. We’ve all had one of those days when we were in a rush grabbing coffee in the morning.

With the Starbucks app, you can pay from your phone, saving you the time it takes to pull out your card or exact change. Starbucks even lets you place to-go orders on their app. According to Buildfire.com, Mobile payments account for 30% transactions made at Starbucks!

3. They offer a helpful tool/service- Companies such as Uber, Lyft, etc. require an app in order for their customers to use their services. This isn’t limited to just personal use. Some businesses use apps such as Slack, Zoom, or Trello to help their employees stay connected and stay on task.

4. They have a subscription-based product- Spotify offers their customers music streaming services in return for a monthly subscription fee. Having an app for this service makes it easier for their customers to access it through their mobile phones. Users sign up for a free trial, and then have the option of subscribing. In the first quarter of 2019, Spotify reported having 217 million monthly active users—of which 100 million were Spotify Premium subscribers.

Having an app for your business only works if you offer some kind of value to your customers that they will continue to use. Apps that don’t have a long shelf-life often get deleted or become forgotten tombstones. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that an app is right for your business before spending money on developing one.

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