We continue the series of articles about popular types of business applications. In the first part, we discussed popular programs and services that are needed to organize and optimize internal business processes. In this article, we’ll talk about categories of applications targeted at customer communications.
One of the main motivators that encourage companies to launch mobile applications is the principle “Mobile First”. Until a few years ago, the share of mobile traffic on many popular resources exceeded 50%. Since then, companies, from the most active and ambitious to the average ones, have gradually embraced the mobile segment. The first step usually was to adapt a website for mobile devices, and initially, it might have seemed to be enough. Eventually, however, it became clear that applications were much more convenient and faster than mobile versions of websites. The trend began to develop, and step by step, leading categories, the majority of mobile apps can be divided into, were formed.
5 most popular categories of applications for sales and customer communications
Types of these mobile apps are directly related to the company’s business area. As is the case with the software for internal processes, there are many popular categories of client applications. On a final note, we will consider those categories that were not included in the TOP 5 list, but also worth a mention.
Product catalogs and E-Commerce
E-commerce is one of the most actively developing industries. Although the growth rate is gradually decreasing, the amount of money in the sphere is increasing by around $ 0.7 trillion per year. According to the forecast of eMarketer, within the 5 years from 2018 to 2023, the share of E-commerce in total world trade will increase from 12.2% to 22%.
Despite the dominance of giants like Amazon, AliBaba, and eBay, many new companies enter the market every year. These companies often work with the same AliBaba and eBay, and nonetheless, they occupy their own niche and are successful there. Realizing the growing popularity of mobile applications, E-commerce companies are actively launching their own services. Most commonly, these are various catalogs of products and goods, simple and user-friendly. Using the application, a client can choose, purchase, or order the product of interest in case it’s out of stock. The catalog applications enable a store to actively communicate with customers, receive feedback. The customer, in turn, receives convenient service and the ability to order a product anytime and anywhere.
Restaurants and food deliveries
Food delivery services have greatly simplified the lives of billions of people, eliminating the need to cook dinner on their own or go to a restaurant. Mobile applications suggest a new level of comfort – now, if you want to have your food delivered, you don’t even need to get up from the couch and sit down at a computer. Phoning the operator is not necessary too – just perform a few simple steps in the application. As a result, food is ordered in a few seconds; the same is for booking a table in a restaurant or ordering food delivery to a certain time. It is reasonable that the owners of restaurants and delivery services are actively launching such applications for their businesses.
Banks and payment services
Again, the convenience of using the service is at the forefront. A payment or money transfer can be made with a mobile phone from anywhere in the world where there is access to the Internet. No need to search for a computer, and obviously, no need to visit a branch bank. However, mobile banking has additional features and benefits. For example, using the applications of many banks and payment services, one can pay for goods in a store. Ideally, this eliminates the need to carry not only cash but even a plastic card – a phone is enough.
One of our largest projects is the work on mobile and Internet banking for Tinkoff. The Tinkoff platform includes not only mobile banking but also many additional services – for example, the ability to order a classic bank card to anywhere in the world. Smaller banks have simpler applications, but at least they have them – otherwise, the bank loses the competitive battle.
Sharing and rental
Rental and sharing services have also gained new opportunities thanks to the introduction of mobile applications. Generally speaking, mobility is very important in this area: if a client wants to rent a bike to ride in the park, walking or driving 5 km to the nearest rental point will not be fun for them. Another thing is when bikes are equally distributed throughout the park and can be rented using a QR code. It’s not surprising that after such opportunities had appeared, rental services without their own applications immediately stopped being popular. Besides, the applications greatly simplify the lives of not only users but also of the company itself: it has become easier to keep track of rental property, there is no need for collateral, and all financial transactions are electronic.
Real estate rental and sale
In the case of real estate, mobile rental services are more in demand than purchase and sale applications. People often look for a flat or room for rental literally on the go, so that they can apply for the accommodation they like faster than others. Besides, learning about new options all through the day is much more convenient. Users who check the database updates only in the evenings on their home computer miss most of the advantageous offers.
There is also another point. The apps easily can be equipped with a bot that will select offers for a certain user, inform about new options, etc. The bot can even search for offers all over the Internet if the service policy allows it.
Our experts participated in the development of both rental and property sales services in different countries. For example, we developed a multifunctional application for American Homes 4Rent, as well as helped to create various Real Estate Apps for the markets of Denmark, Thailand, Russia, and other countries.
Apart from the categories listed in the TOP 5, it also worth mentioning applications for taxi services, loyalty programs, and ticket purchases. Companies are actively launching such applications for the same reasons: the convenience for customers, marketing, and loyalty increasing.
Applications are vital if not for every business then at least for most of them. Probably, naming the categories of businesses that don’t need a mobile application would not take a lot of time. The problem is that it is necessary to find such a business first, and this is a rather difficult task because, without an application, no one knows anything about it :).