Commercial companies that STILL don’t have apps

Mobile is king! It seems. Increasingly, people prefer their mobile phones to any other device for browsing the internet, watching content and general usage. Mobile processors, ram and screen displays are developing at such a rate that they are dominating our leisure lives. In most of Europe, 4g has become fast enough to use as a wifi hotspot for gaming on their consoles with low latency and download speeds of up to 50mb/s; 5g will only surpass this soon, too. According to Wolfgang’s Digital report, in 2019 over half of traffic comes from mobiles, which rises to 63% when you include tablets.

traffic and revenue by devices

Companies are of course aware of this, which is why app development has become such a lucrative industry over the past decade. Apps are a great way to bring users to your services because of how accessible it is to download and use. Once downloaded, they lay there on the home screen of the phone as a constant reminder of the company, and with many pushing regular notifications through to the mobile user.

In fact, there are companies out there that operate their services through an app alone. WeChat, China’s most used app, is valued at $500bn which is similar to that of Facebook’s market capitalization. Through using mobile-alone, this was an astonishing feat. Many other mobile-only companies have had huge success, such as Shazam, WhatsApp and eBuddy.

This isn’t hard to believe, though, as there is less use for messaging and music-identifying features on other devices like a desktop. However, there has been a more recent development in more traditional industries developing app-only services.

One industry that has particularly taken to mobile users is banking. Monese, Monzo and Starling bank are all regulated, official banks that have decided that having a physical branch is a waste of money. Even having their service on a website accessible by a desktop is overkill. Their apps are praised for their clean, swift designs and easy to use services. Their focus on using apps has made starting up a bank extremely fast and easy, too.

The cost of an IOS app is slightly more expensive than an Android app, averaging around $28k in development costs, while most in-house app developers being compensated around $100k per year in salary. Despite some apps costing into the hundreds of thousands, small businesses are prepared to spend more money because they fear being left behind by their competitors.

Some industries though have neglected mobile users entirely. Supermarkets are one example, who have routinely failed to provide their services through apps. Large UK retailers such a Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks and Spencers for example do not have an app to view their services or products on. This is strange because there are even free mobile app development services like appsgeyer, who provide templates to build a simple app extremely quickly.

Traditional banks such as Co-operative Bank have also fallen behind their fintech counterparts with almost unusable apps with dire designs. Perhaps the industry most at fault here is home warranty providers. There are many very wealthy companies in this industry that do not have any mobile service. In fact, none of the 32 providers offers a functional app. A simple app could be the difference in converting sales as it would be the easiest way clients could submit their claims.

As we can see from the graphic at the top, while 53% of internet traffic is from mobile, revenue from this platform is disproportionately low at 32%. Not only is this disappointingly low, but mobile offers some more lucrative revenue opportunities that are inherent in the platform. Adblock is a chrome extension that most are using on their desktop (if you exclude the mobile traffic data from global usage). Blocking ads on mobile however is not really a thing and it certainly isn’t for ads that are internal in apps. 98% of Facebook’s revenue is from ads, so it is certainly a reliable source of revenue.

It is time that some of the big hitters in industries such as banking, supermarkets and home warranty to step up and match the quality of mobile service that young fintech startups are providing, before they get left behind. After all, exploiting the mobile market reaps many other benefits too. Online reviews are a massive source of sales for fintech companies, and rightly so. A place to unbiasedly weigh up the pros and cons of services is invaluable to potential new customers, and it gives a chance for companies to compete based purely on meritocracy and not advertising budgets. If a major company decides to release a glossy, useful app it may even land them a place on the top trending apps as well as in a place to capture the younger audience.