If mobile app developers are looking for big profits from their products, they may be in for a rude awakening, according to D. B. Hebbard in Talking New Media.
In fact, “less than 1 percent of apps released will be a financial success for their developers, a situation that it says will only get worse in the future,” says Hebbard, citing figures from tech research company Gartner.
And while the market is certainly eager to snap up apps, developers would be wise to look at these as brand-building devices, not product lines. According to Gartner’s Ken Dulaney, the glut of new apps may be deceiving in terms of this being an income stream.
“However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun. Application designers who do not recognize this may find profits elusive,” says Gartner.
The best apps make it easier for your mobile customers to find you, use your website, do business with you or otherwise engage with you.
One of our new favorites is the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® that pulls paint colors out of any picture you snap or upload. Now you can turn your favorite scene at the beach into a color scheme for your kitchen, or match the bedroom walls with that antique quilt.
It’s a great brand builder for the paint company, and also works beautifully to turn lookers into buyers of specific products. It’s a good example of an app that builds brand awareness and engagement. Would I pay a couple bucks for it? Probably not, unless I was an interior designer or professional contractor.
The point here for most companies is to think like your customers when developing your business app, and build one to solve their challenges, not to sell. That’s the way an app can really build your business.