The ongoing pandemic has changed all facets of the world. Whether it be the economy of different countries, the social structure of the citizens, everything is undergoing a significant shift.
According to Business Insider, more than one-third of the world continues to be under some form of lockdown. As numbers of people infected with COVID-19 continue to rise, it is safe to assume that we have a long way to go before the world can go back to being how it used to be.
But the question arises; can businesses stay afloat till then? Should they be changing their mode of operations to adapt to the new normal?
As the brick and mortar stores of non-essential items continue to be fluttered shut, restaurants ban dine-in, and limited people are allowed to enter grocery stores, it is imperative for businesses to alter their operations.
Why Investing in Mobile App During Pandemic?
One way to do so is by investing in mobile apps during the pandemic. This can either be an extension of your current offering or diversification of your current portfolio. Here is why this step can help.
Apps are the current saviors of consumers
It is quite hard to manage your life when you are restricted within your house. At such times, apps have proved to be the ideal solution for the masses.
According to data collected by App Annie, people now have spent 20 percent more time on apps in the mere first quarter of 2020 when compared to 2019! In fact, app stores have experienced a cumulative revenue generation of 23 billion USD – a record-breaking spend by app users.
By offering an app that helps in making their lives easier, you have a better chance of surviving in the modern landscape.
So, what apps are people using?
As remote working becomes the new norm, there has been a significant surge in demand for video chat apps. In North America alone, such apps have experienced a staggering 627 percent rise in downloads!
While many might not have heard of Zoom prior to the pandemic, it has become a staple for many companies and individuals. In fact, the platform’s user base rose by 300 percent in a month.
Apart from video conferencing app, social media platforms, fitness apps, online shopping, and media and entertainment apps have also been in-demand. Each of these solutions helps make the socially distant life easier and hence are sought after.
If you invest in an app that makes the lives of your consumer easy, you are bound to retain your clientele as well as ensure the safety of your employees and customers.
The big guys are doing it
Various companies are already investing in apps, if they haven’t already, or shifting their focus on digital platforms.
For instance, Nike is now focusing on its digital initiatives. Whether it be offering its Training Club service for free or offering “heat-heat” shoe releases solely on its app, the company is trying to shift its model.
Apple and Google are taking it further up a notch by creating apps that can directly contribute towards the wellness of people during the COVID-19 era. Both companies have collaborated to deliver a contact tracing app that notifies users if they have come in contact with COVID-19 positive patients.
How does the app work? Through Bluetooth wireless technology. The app detects the proximity of its users. So, if one of its users who have tested positive for the ailment comes into contact with a user who hasn’t, the latter will be notified.
While it is too soon to tell if the app will be a success, it surely is a solution that can help healthcare workers, government, and the population in general.
The app industry continues to be stable
There are many sectors that have been negatively impacted due to COVID-19.
One of the hardest-hit industry is travel and hospitality. While the sector had previously witnessed staggering global revenue generation, year after year, with the recent closing of international borders, the sector has now witnessed record-breaking losses.
Similarly, sectors like non-essential retail, ranging from malls to stores, have also witnessed a decrease in their sales.
While airline sectors cannot be revived by apps, non-essential and food industry surely can. As more and more people begin to rely on apps to satisfy their cravings, a shift to an online store can help boost revenues for certain sectors.
It is true that, just like other sectors, the app industry has been negatively affected by COVID-19. The projected worldwide consumer spending for 2024 has been revised to a figure which is 3 billion USD less than the initial forecast.
However, still, the sector is predicted to grow by 80 percent compared to 2019. And in a world where the growth of industries is reaching negative values, a 2 percent decrease in future growth might not be something to fret over.
Hence, investing in a mobile app will allow you to be part of a stable sector, in a world where contraction in demand is prevalent across most sectors.
- It helps operations
Contrary to popular beliefs, investing in apps doesn’t just mean creating an app for consumers. Instead, you can also streamline your operations by leveraging technology.
For instance, real-time inventory can effectively be managed if you create an app for the purpose. This will help you in working with your business partners without having to physically hold meetings.
Coca-Cola is one company that is planning to do so. Recently, it announced that its branding efforts will now be halted, and the money will instead be redirected to stock management to ensure that the right products are in stock.
An app that can help your employees check the inventory, automate orders for high-demand products and manage pricing can help boost workflow.
Similarly, COVID-19 has illustrated the importance of the supply chain. You must be able to accurately deliver and fulfil order requirements. Here to apps can be used to automate the process so that supply chain efforts can be streamlined remotely.
It is hard to predict what the post-COVID-19 future will look like. It is hard to ascertain that the world will ever go back to how it was before.
But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your business is doomed. If you take the right steps today to adapt to the current environment, you will be able to fight this battle.
Change your model according to the problems that come your way. If the landscape requires you to shift to digital solutions and create a mobile app, don’t be reluctant to do so.
Timely action today can help you in staying relevant to your target audience.
Decide how you wish to leverage the technology to boost your revenue stream and audience engagement. Create an app that is truly demanded and watch as your business reaps the benefits of your right decision.