It started innocently enough. The first one was free. So you tried it. And you liked it. And you wanted more. So you went back, this time handing over R29,99. It was good, but it could have been better, so you tried one for R249,99.
Before you knew it, your smartphone began to resemble a sort of third-rate mall, a hodge-podge of how to speak French, how to win at poker and several social media apps. Your reliance on applications didn’t pass unnoticed, but you began making excuses, saying you were just downloading them for a friend.
Big brands are investing millions in South Africa, delivering apps that may all be destined for the bin. The average smartphone has 41 apps, with most consumers only using around ten of them regularly.
That means that the majority of the apps installed on the phone are for occasional use. The games you play while killing time, the tip calculator or bill splitter you only pull out when dining with friends, the calorie counter for that diet you began in January (and again in June), the garage sale finder, the photo uploader, and that game that your kid totally loves – you know, the one with the bunnies? What was that called again?
Out of the hundreds of apps we download and delete, the only ones that survive the culling process are generally in a few categories: photos and videos; writing and communication; social networking; reading; music; travel; banking and commerce and service.
That Bubblebreaker app certainly provided you with hours of mindless fun, but that was three years ago. It’s time to let go of the past and move on. Delete it. It’s simply doing you no good on page 8 of your apps screen.
Call it tough love, but it’s a good idea to habitually go through your apps and get rid of ones that no longer provide any meaningful function. If you haven’t used an app in six months, cut it loose. If you find you need it again, you can always reinstall it on your phone without having to pay for it again.
So the problem that brands face is increasing competition for “real estate” on the consumer’s smartphone, and then once they secure a space in an already cluttered app catalogue, they face being ignored, or even worse – deleted.
The mobile industry is dynamic and exciting, especially with new apps and services emerging in areas such as mobile payment and social commerce. Vendors are facing new challenges as consumers demand more advanced mobile apps and web sites, and trends such as “bring your own device”.
Mobile devices have drastically shifted the online landscape to the point that the majority of all internet access is being done via handhelds and other mobile devices, more and more mobile owners are using their devices to download social networking apps.
On average, South African users already have the ability to download one or two banking apps, a medical aid app, an insurance app, their mobile phone provider app, maybe a satellite TV app, ticketing and loyalty apps.
Being a leader in today’s marketplace takes more than just adapting to change. It involves creating change – foreseeing the future needs of diverse markets and generating innovative products and services that add greater value to both consumers and businesses.
Brands are going to find it increasingly more difficult to remain relevant and need to think twice before investing in a channel that requires continuous engagement and stickiness to avoid the bin!