Understanding the Mobile Apps Landscape and Digital Opportunities

We live in the mobile age.

Over recent years, virtually every activity people once performed in-person or via computers are now being performed through mobile phones—and specifically, mobile apps. The time and money spent on custom mobile app development have increased as a result, reaching unprecedented demand and competition.

Mobile development has created both challenges and opportunities for businesses today.

The transformation to mobile apps was expected. The evolution of mobile phones and data services changed everything about the speed and convenience consumers expect, and it was natural for thought-leaders to come out with products services designed for the smartphone.

The only thing moving faster than today’s consumer expectations is the development of mobile apps.

Mobile is everywhere—and everything

We use our phones every day, often unlocking the screen and tapping an app as many as a hundred times in 24 hours. We use apps to make appointments and to catch cabs. We use apps to access our banking accounts and handle money. Months go by where consumers don’t even step physically into their banks, instead accessing funds and paying bills via their devices.

At the end of the day, a big part of your life has moved to mobile.

This radical transformation has, of course, impacted how businesses deliver products and services. Now, there are companies that operate solely via mobile apps. And from a marketing standpoint, there’s no company—big or small—that doesn’t try to attract customers via mobile.

This shift to mobile has rewired the way businesses reach customers. And businesses at the front of the pack now see mobile apps as their path forward for leveraging long-term profit and impact.

How is mobile driving digital business transformation?

Since the launch of the first smartphone 10 years ago, the number of people and the money spent in-app have been doubling, tripling, and quadrupling. And this growth is expected to pick up even more in coming years.

The move to mobile services and apps has resulted in a reshaping of the business landscape, making it harder to keep up but lucrative for those who see an opportunity and take it. Companies moving to mobile are reaching customers from every demographic, often regardless of location, and building greater brand loyalty with the same devotion consumers feel toward their smartphones.

All that said, the arrival of opportunities through mobile app development has also brought a high pressure for change. In order for businesses to be able to respond to new needs and take advantage of these opportunities, innovation and flexibility with their digital solutions has to be embedded into a business’s DNA.

Leveraging custom mobile app development and all its benefits starts with understanding where the mobile market has taken us.

The mobile app landscape, by the numbers

Based on this report by App Annie, in 2016, 3.4 billion people spent a total of 1.6 trillion hours in mobile apps. The global app economy was worth $1.3 trillion thanks to three major types of monetization:

  • Mobile app stores
  • In-app advertising
  • And mobile commerce

On average, consumers in the U.S. spent $379 annually in mobile apps. But that was just 2016—since then, these numbers have grown. In 2018, 4 billion people spent a total of 2.1 trillion hours in mobile apps, resulting in a spend of $0.80 per hour, per user.

The same report estimates that by 2021, the global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion. This number clearly states the enormous growth and possibility in the mobile app landscape, with a staggering 484% increase over five years.

Beyond per-user spends, the national app user base will almost double to 6.3 billion users by 2021, compared with 3.4 billion users in 2016.

The global annual spend on apps is also forecasted to more than triple in 2021, with a $1,008 average per user per year, compared with $379 in 2016.

These numbers clearly represent that mobile apps have come to dominate a huge chunk of the market, across industries. And they’re here to say.

Mobile banking

Using mobile banking apps instead of going to a bank makes sense for consumers today, especially while other auxiliary apps and technologies are enabling easier handling and exchange of money through digital channels. Why handle cash when you can pay all your bills and even split dinner using your smartphone?

Mobile banking apps offer a variety of ways to conveniently and securely make purchases, check account balance and transfer funds. According to a survey by the Federal Reserve, in 2015, 53% of consumers with smartphones used mobile banking.

In the same study, we see that the three most common mobile payment activities were:

  • Paying bills (65%)
  • Making purchases (42%)
  • And paying for something in a store with the use of a mobile phone (33%)

In 2018, there were 57 million mobile bank users in the United States.

Adoption of mobile banking solutions has been telling, especially considering that mobile banking has only been around for about six years. It’s essential for banks and financial institutions to go mobile because consumers have demonstrated that they feel it adds value.

Just like splitting dinner with a friend using a third-party funds transfer app, consumers demand mobile solutions for all their money management—from account maintenance to investments.

Answering the call for custom mobile apps in the financial industry will reward companies with customer loyalty. It will also open up smarter and faster product development based on greater analytics, better targeting and more frequent interactions with customers.

Mobile health care

Like any other aspect of our everyday life, smartphones and mobile apps have also revolutionized health care—and by offering a lot more than one-click access to scheduling appointments.

Health care apps empower users to find doctors, schedule and manage appointments, and even attend appointments without ever leaving their homes. Mobile healthcare apps can also streamline the management and receipt of prescriptions, and bolster patient-doctor communication.

On the back end, health care apps can improve coordination between doctors and medical staff and allow patients to make faster and easier payments—all while automating complex HIPAA requirements.

The adoption of mobile apps in health care can solve many long-standing problems in the industry by bringing greater access, automation and better communication to the table.

Recent studies echo the opportunities that the healthcare industry stands to harness by integrating mobile strategy into practice. According to this study by Research 2 Guidance, about 100,000 new mobile health apps have been published between 2015 and 2016. In 2017, this number increased to 325,000 mobile health apps.

The global mobile health app market is expected to reach a value of more than $102 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 29.30%.

We live in the mobile era. And for individual businesses and entire industries, it’s crucial to integrate mobile app strategy into plans in order to secure a place in the digital future.

Consumers are spending more time (and money) on mobile apps, and the opportunities for businesses and organizations are only limited by how big they’re willing to dream. However, these opportunities also come with high competition, requiring a customer-centric and Agile approach to create mobile app solutions that hit the mark.

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