Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Rise of the App Culture !!

The mobile app market is evolving rapidly. there were approx more than 140 billion mobile apps already downloaded. Such statistics re-instate how there is a parallel market place growing at an aggressive rate.
Smartphone owners aged 25-44 use the highest number of apps per month, while 18-24 year-old spend the most time on them. What drives the growth of this market is the convenience brought to the end user. While websites are information-oriented, apps are task oriented and the entire process is quick, easy and economical. The ability to be used anywhere, any time brings about great efficiency in the process. Thus over 85% of users prefer mobile apps.
A mobile application is a new touch-point for businesses to connect with their customers. It provides value to the existing clients, robes in new customers, and increases the business loyalty and sales. For example, Amazon is a global online shopping marketplace. Operating in more than 50 countries its service enables users to select product from local market and orders placed via its website or mobile application.
The download is free however there are in-app purchases while in there is a nominal charge to download the app. Majority of the apps available are free with downloads reaching 127 billion downloads in 2014 while there are over 11 billion paid app downloaded. The revenue from free apps is higher too. Apple claims that 71% of its revenue comes from free apps, which is predicted to surpass 14 billion US dollars in 2015. However, it must be noted that of the top 10 revenue-generating apps are from the Apple's App Store or Google Play Store in 2014, other 9 are games apps.
Mobile apps bring in immense business opportunities for organizations. It's a direct marketing channel where they're able to capture the mind share of the customer. Businesses are also able to build the brand and enhance customer engagement. Mobile apps undoubtedly increase sales. But it even keeps its users up-to-date with its products and services. Zappos' uses the push-notifications option to inform consumers of the products which are in stock. As the customer requested a product update, this second stage push to sale is seen as a service and a gentle reminder, rather than as an unwanted direct response call to action.
Moreover, there are businesses based on mobile platforms. Uber is one of the fastest growing global companies in world. It is an app-based transportation network company, operating in over 200 cities. The company uses a smartphone application to receive ride requests, and then sends these trip requests to their drivers. Customers use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle's location.

Thus the rise in the app culture should come as no surprise. Mobile apps are here, and will increasingly become a vital element in the marketing plan for businesses as customers are looking for convenience, ease and instant results while on the move. By 2017, Gartner projects that there will be 268 billion mobile app downloads annually, amounting to $77 billion in revenue. Hence apps will soon, if not already, influence our lives to a great extent. And businesses who are fore runners will surely gain a competitive advantage.


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