Market consumption of mobile Apps continues to strengthen. According to recent statistics, 2.6 billion Apps were downloaded from the two major stores-Apple and Android-in October of 2011 and by December of this year, the prediction climbs to 3 billion downloads per month. The revolution continues across all major mobile milestones including the number of Apps currently available. Apples accounts for than 500,000 with Android rapidly closing the gap at 350,000.
For enterprises already engaged in the digital medium and those on the fence, this insatiable appetite brings lots of opportunities. With analysts and experts anticipating continued demand for smartphone and tablet devices, the digital medium represents a new frontier to monetize and foster customer relationships. At the same time, the hectic race to get into the mobile App market brings along challenges. While the pace of downloads raises eyebrows, the number of Apps deleted from smartphone and tablet devices is even more surprising. Yes, retention after the first month of use can be dismal for many Apps, but for those that survive, customer engagement soars.
So what’s the difference between Apps retained and discarded? Simply put, quality matters.
The first half of the quality equation is content. Digital content must be meaningful and useful to meet the high expectations of savvy App users or they’ll move on. If the App’s information is conveyed poorly or falls flat on its promise to deliver information more easily and engaging than can be found elsewhere, the App stands little chance of surviving.
The other half of the equation is the technology used to create, deploy and support mobile Application development. In this dynamic vertical, the technology must be truly proven and tested. Unlike creating websites, mobile App technology must simultaneously speak multiple wire languages and operate on four different operating platforms. Compare that to development on the worldwide Web where there’s one universal language on one platform. Another key component is that the technology must have the ability to evolve since new features and functionalities are constantly developed. Also, there’s the future proofing requirement given that a significant hardware and/or operating system change occurs in the smartphone and tablet market every 90 days. Here’s another way to look at it. The result of using the wrong technology is that despite how much quality and engaging content is included in the mobile App, if it breaks once or acts up, it will be discarded.
The mobile App vertical is still in its infancy so finding the right formula to become an important part of the end-user experience is part of the journey. Fortunately, there are some who have already mastered the formula and due to ever increasing competition, quality Apps will eventually become the norm.