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Appy Customers: Do All Businesses Need a Mobile App?

If you picture the high street, any major public transport, or even a quaint little countryside village, there will be one thing in common with all of them: the vast majority of people will be on their mobile phones. And it’s likely that while they’re on their phones, they’re using one of the many apps that are developed across iOS and Android operating systems each day. Reportedly, 2500 mobile apps are released to the app store daily, which shows the effort and marketing initiative that goes into creating ways in which businesses and brands can connect with the 4.68 billion people using a mobile phone by 2019 – which is a market penetration of 67% of people worldwide. But are there parts of the entertainment sector that wouldn’t benefit from a mobile app?

The Mobile Revolution

When the internet found its footing, the world of business and entertainment changed beyond belief. Then, shortly afterwards, with the advent of smartphones, the revolution intensified and we could do everything – from supermarket shopping, to ordering prescriptions, to talking to someone across the world, to paying bills – from our mobile phones. Existing sectors have been completely revolutionised through the mobile phone. The way we consume our entertainment has been enhanced by the mobile way of viewing content, from Netflix and on-demand services being compatible with mobile, YouTube and even social media allow for the fast and easy dissemination of information. The gaming sector has also expanded massively through mobile. While consoles are still buoyant, mobile saw well over 250 million downloads of Pokemon Go, while games specifically for mobile continue to do well such as Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. In online gaming, as Betway shows with its mobile app, the efficiency at which players can pick up games while they wait or commute is enhanced massively through mobile, which helps inspire people to begin playing on the go. Social media has allowed, predominately through mobile, people to reach thousands of people and generate new careers and new ways of life. 2.985 billion people actively use social media through their mobile, with a 39% market penetration. These platforms and the ways we consume entertainment and connect with friends wouldn’t be the same if mobile wasn’t as successful. Sectors as far reaching as private healthcare are embarking on their mobile journey.

But Not All Businesses Benefitted from Mobile

So, why would businesses not want to be in the form of a mobile app, especially given how much success others have found on the platform. Firstly, mobile app development is incredibly expensive. To create an app with one of the world’s leading app development companies, costs start from around $25,000, ranging up to $1 million for state-of-the-art development. To spend such a sum, a high ROI needs to be guaranteed in order to recoup the effort of creating the app – and some businesses can’t guarantee this. Moreover, to host the app on one of the app stores, there are also fees and revenue shares with the hosts. In the days of intensive internet security and GDPR, apps need to ensure data is secure and the app is defended against cybercrime, which means the app needs to be robust enough in order to do this. The app will need to be thoroughly maintained and kept on brand, which might require additional personnel and further strategists, especially during the early stages of awareness. Plus, not all businesses even need an app. Some are sufficient with a mobile-optimized website. If there is no logical reason for having an app, most companies can avoid having one. The world of technology moves incredibly quickly, so launching an app could end up being overshadowed by another development in the tech industry. The commitment is a huge financial one, so would need to be thoroughly analysed.

The mobile app revolution has resulted in some extremely happy customers and some even happier businesses. But, just because success is found in one sector, it doesn’t guarantee it in others. Before embarking on an app for a business, a full audit should be undertaken to determine whether or not an app would really give the added value that a mobile website alone wouldn’t.

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