I recently came across one of the funniest apps ever - it's a copy of Uber, but for priests on scooters in the city of Rome. Basically, if you have need of a priest, you open the app, a little map comes up and shows the closest one available and approximate waiting time. If that all works for you request your priest, he comes over, does what he needs to do and goes away. As he is leaving you to have to rate how many "angels wings" you give him for the service provided.
Now, if one of the oldest organizations in the world can embrace the power of an app, what excuse do any of us have for not having one? There are other apps for online confessions and all other manner of religious services.
Every month thousands of new app are published and this number is growing exponentially. By 2020 there are expected to be some 5 million apps (and probably a pile more).
One major trend that I have observed is the number of small businesses who are currently developing their own apps. Whereas the cost used to be upwards of $50,000 (at least) for an app to be developed, which is clearly cost prohibitive for most small businesses, we can now get simple apps developed for less than a $1000 and in some instances a lot less.
I can't judge just how good these cheaper ones are, and once you develop the app you need to be able to promote it and get people to either buy it or use it, but the fact that there is a lot of discussion among small business owners shows that we are about the see 30,000 apps a month being launched in the not so distant future.
These apps will become great promotional tools for businesses, they will be another way to connect and engage with customers and they will be what separates one business from its competitors.
When it comes to developing an app we really just need to think about what we could develop that would be really beneficial for our customers? What would make their lives easier? More convenient? Save them time? Or save them money?
The moral to my short article is that apps are changing the world, one smartphone at a time. Perhaps now is the time to get your business in the game and develop your own app, showcasing a unique aspect of your business. I have no doubt that in a few years time, apps will be like websites and businesses that don't have one will be at a distinct marketing disadvantage.