I was recently involved in a discussion about the growth of apps in everything we encounter. The originator’s premise was that every business should have a personal app. I cautiously disagreed. While it’s true that apps are the current marketing rage, I’m thinking the public reception will be lukewarm at best.
Do you remember when stores all started providing their loyalty cards ? It might have seemed like a great idea, but pretty soon consumers would need to have a roll along suitcase for all the cards. There would be a need for a filing system to quickly locate the card, and soon consumers would get annoyed. People who produce these loyalty systems did a great sales job, but I rarely see people actually carrying the cards anymore. Its not a protest against the system. Its just cumbersome to have all those cards.
The same holds true for apps. The real target here are smartphones. They are always with us. People love their phones, the connectivity, and the apps they use. The downside is that apps consume essential battery and memory resources. They also take up a lot of space on the desktop, and eventually become hard to find. Its like searching through the suitcase to find the one item you need. It will always be evasive.
Smartphone owners will have certain apps they love, and those will be on their device. Over time, apps that are infrequently used will be removed to retain space for pictures, music, and important apps ( like photo editing and social media ). Apps for every store that we frequent won’t be used that often and may soon be deleted.
The smart strategy will be “combined apps”. For example, I don’t want an app for each fast food place to find out where they are. I want one mapping app that shows me all of the restaurants in my vicinity. That’s a keeper. Want to track my business for loyalty? Fine. Have one app that tracks my business wherever I go, and to which the community businesses all subscribe. That’s also a keeper for me.
I agree that stores everywhere are now creating apps. Like many other “great ideas” sold on a vision, I think this one will peak and fade. In there place will be more consolidated apps ( services ), and links to mobile enabled websites which provide far more information with a much lighter drain on the device’s resources ( battery, memory, and processor ).
What do you think ? Feel free to air out your thoughts on this topic. I’d really appreciate what you would, or wouldn’t, use.