Sometimes it is easy to forget just how much technology has changed our lives. Think about how many apps you use every day. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go back to your slumber, you are exposed to multiple apps.
Wish to check up with your friends? WhatsApp it is. Want to hail a ride? Uber might be an option you consider. Want to tell people what you are doing? Snapchat becomes you solace. Even when we buy cars today, we rely on apps to find the best deal. Similarly, when we are selling off cars, options like WeBuyCarsToday deliver a convenient way to get it all done.
A look into the statistics
Let’s view some numbers to better understand the impact apps have on us.
- As per Statista, in 2017 alone, 178.1 billion mobile applications were downloaded all over the word
- Let’s limit the discussion to iOS apps. According to App Annie, there were more than 25 billion downloads back in 2016
- In 2015, over 50 billion Android apps were downloaded
- While the app accessed most by Millennials in 2015 was Facebook, in 2017, this had changed to Amazon
- In the US alone, in 2017, the average time a person spends on apps via a mobile phone was 2.3 hours.
What do the numbers tell us?
One thing is for certain, these numbers tell us that digital media and applications have become the heart and soul of this generation. With every passing year, we are becoming more and more dependent on it. The fact that the number of app downloads is on the rise showcases the growth potential, the app industry as a whole has.
However, apart from this, the numbers also include a very big insight. The kind of apps demanded by the millennials is changing slowly. While previously the app usage was limited to games and social media, now Amazon is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
One way to see this trend is that people now are more comfortable with online shopping. Consumers are migrating to digital platforms for every facet of their life. Another way to see this is the potential apps have for businesses. As millennials are converting into mobile shoppers, it is important for your business to have an app.
Apps and Automobile industry
One of the industries that are being impacted by this gradual dependence of consumers on apps is the automobile industry. That’s right. While you would think that only retail businesses can benefit from applications, the truth is that the automobile industry is also being revolutionized by apps.
Well, as customers move to digital media, their method of purchasing and selling vehicles is changing. A survey was conducted to gauge this change. Out of the 1500 customers questioned, 72% reiterated that they use their phones during different stages of the buying process. This can include the actual transaction or perusing reviews.
This trend should be of immense importance to businesses that operate within the automotive industry. This is because it showcases the increasing power customers are now having on the industry.
Think about it.
Before the evolution of apps and digital media, getting the best deal or comparing prices was very difficult. However, this is not the case anymore. You have different platforms and applications to help customers out. Hence, customers are making informed decisions.
Anyone who wishes to buy a car can now easily find an app that allows them to compare models and prices across different retailers. Does this mean that businesses operating in the automotive industry are at a disadvantage? It all depends on how you look at it.
If you solely operate your business via a brick and mortar shop, you might be. After all, the development of apps means that customers will only come to you when you deliver the best deal. And this may not always be aligned with the profit maximization goal of your company.
Not on board with the idea? Well, you don’t necessarily have to go all the way. Even if you have a brick and mortar shop, you can still pair it up with an app. Just like retail giants are now delivering both online stores and physical shops, you can too venture into both.
If you think there isn’t enough profit in going digital, think again. In 2016, a study conducted by xAd showed that more than half of the consumers that use digital media and apps during the purchasing process, end up buying a car.
That is a decent sales turnover. If an app you deliver can increase the likelihood that a purchase would occur, automatically, the platform is a success.
Rather than looking at the growth of apps in the automotive industry as a bad thing, you can embrace it in ways it benefits both you and your customers.
Creating a car app
Are you sold on the idea of creating a car app? Well, we would advise you to think outside the box. Ideas like apps for price comparison and reviews are now done and dusted.
Remember, there is a niche in every industry. Within the car app industry, the review and price comparison niche is saturated. So, you might not be able to witness growth in this segment.
A better approach would be to enter a blue ocean. Be the first mover at something. Think of a car app that customers would love. Think of something that has not yet been delivered. This will allow you to cash in on the first-mover advantage.
You don’t necessarily have to limit yourself the pre or purchase process. Think about the post-purchase experience as well. What can you do to deliver convenience to customers? And how can you make a business model out of it?
The chances are the more creative and ludicrous your idea is, the better off you would be in achieving recognition and adoption.
Reasons to hire an expert
We have established quite a few major points up till now. Let’s have a quick recap.
- Apps and digital media usage increasing with each passing day.
- Apps have also revolutionized the automotive industry.
- As a business looking into entering the automotive industry, creating a useful app is a great service to deliver to customers.
Now that we have established that apps are the present and the future, the question is how you should go about creating an app. Yes, it is an excellent way to access consumers and make their life easier. No, sadly it is not as easy to create.
Even if you think you can do it on your own, the chances are you probably can’t do as good a job as an expert. This is why if you plan on creating an app, whether to compliment your actual service or serve as the actual product, hire an expert to do so.
How would get expert help? Simple. You need to contact app development agencies. Here are a few reasons why you should hire an expert to develop your car app.
Even if you think you can do it all, Economics might have taught you that it is much better to specialize instead. Specializing and focusing on your core competencies allow your company to be efficient. An expert found in an app development agency has the expertise and knowledge required to build an app.
We understand that you might think that the in-house tech employees of yours can do it all. Sadly, they too have limitations. While they can manage the wireless network connection or help when your hard drive crashes, app development is not their expertise.
There is a reason why app developers work in app development agencies. The environment allows them to thrive and produce the best work. So, rather than trying to do it in-house, it is much better to get outside help.
2) Dedication of resources
Every functional department in a business is dedicated to its goal. For instance, your in-house IT department probably already has a lot to do. They have their own set of deadlines, tasks, and goals. If you were to ask them to make an app, this would lead to them moving away from their core work.
In a way, a business, unless it is an app development agency, is not made to do this job. The resources of your business will be allocated as per your business goals. So, even if you do decide to build an app in-house, you might not be able to dedicate the required resources to it.
On the other hand, experts and agencies perform the sole job of creating apps. This is their organizational goal and service. Hence, they dedicate all of their time and resources into the act. This leads to better quality output, which is what you should strive for.
3) You get an expert and a project manager
If you are a startup wishing to develop your car app, this is the reason that might be the most important to you. When you are starting out, it is easy to get the jitters when working on a crucial project. Regardless of whether the car app is your sole service or an extension of your product, the app development itself is a very big project.
To make sure you don’t lose track of progress and deadlines, most agencies also provide you with a project manager for the job. So, not only do you get an expert for app development, but you also get a committed manager who has done this before.
An experienced project manager can make all the difference. They are able to be the liaison between your company and the agency. By bridging the gap between the two, a project manager is able to resolve a lot of conflicts and hence relieve stress.
4) Experts, backed by agencies, demand fixed prices
When you start working with an expert who is backed by an agency, you don’t need to worry about paying them per hour. Nor does their rate change as the workload increases. Instead, at the start of it all, the agency and your company will enter into a contract. This contract will include a fixed price to be charged by the expert.
Such contracts are very beneficial for startups. It makes sure that you are well aware of your costs before you enter into the contract. Moreover, since it is a fixed price, it also minimizes the cost for the business.
5) The quality of the app is ensured
There is a lot that goes into making an app. Let’s put it this way. Convenience to customers comes at the cost of a lot of effort by the team of app developers. When you hire an expert to do the job, you are able to make sure that what becomes available to your customer is a quality product.
One of the statistics discussed at the start of this article showcased the increasing inclination of customers to go digital. What does that mean to businesses that deliver apps? It means that customers are now experienced “shoppers” of apps.
People don’t just want an app that is functional these days. Instead, they look for factors like user-friendliness, aesthetics, professionality and value-added features. In short, they want an app that ticks all the right boxes, and not some. An expert is in a much better position to create such an app.
6) They have access to recent technology
It is hard to keep up with technology. After all, it is progressing in all directions. It is divided into different facets. Every other day, it improves as well. Having access to the latest and most advanced technology of all kinds is not easy.
For a business that already has a lot to worry about, this can be even harder. However, an expert and an app development agency have access to the required technology. This makes sure that the app developed is supported by the latest platforms.
What to do next
Let’s say you have taken help from the best expert out there. Your car app is ready to be used. Do you think it is ready to be launched officially? It is not.
Hiring an expert and developing the car app is just the beginning. Here are three things that you should follow the app development with.
1) Pair it up with analytics
Big data is causing quite a lot of disruption these days. Now, you can use data extracted from your customers to predict optimal strategies. From the get-go, you must think about the future. You can never know for sure how customers will react to the product. You must also strive for constant improvement.
Setting up analytic tools on the app helps with both. It allows you to assess app usage and user behavior. The insights you can get based on real data cannot be replicated by market studies and focus groups.
There are a lot of different metrics tracked by analytics. Whether it be tracking the installation process or how often the app is used, you can get data about it all. Therefore, once you have invested in an app developer, you must also consider getting an analytics expert on board.
There are various data engineers out there. As the role of Big Data is increasing, more and more people are moving into this field. By getting their input, you can transform the acquired data into meaningful insights. You can then alter your app accordingly.
Every product gets tested before it is released for mass consumption. Think about it. Would you ever sit on a dangerous ride, unless it has been tested to be safe? Similarly, will you consider getting a car which was not road-tested? The chances are you won’t.
However, there are a lot of apps that are launched without testing it on real users first. This is a bad idea. Not only does it give your company a bad brand image but it can also lead to you losing customers from the beginning. Remember, it is hard to redeem yourself once you start on the wrong footing.
To get it right the first time, you must test your app on real customers before releasing it for all. This makes sure that you are able to detect avoidable flaws early on. It is much easier to fix such flaws when they are found during the testing period. Not to mention that your product won’t suffer from having bugs since it is in the testing phase.
Here, you will need an expert too. User-testing isn’t as easy as sending out the app to a few customers. There are various different types of user tests, and you must know which is best for you. For this, you will need a user-testing expert.
Testing your product and getting an expert on board is not just a thing you do when launching an app. Instead, such an expert is needed for long term. This makes sure that each improved version of your app is tested before it reaches the masses. Never underestimate the importance of product testing.
3) Think about scalability
As mentioned before, thinking about the future from the beginning is a must. Scalability of your business should always be on your mind. When it comes to apps, scalability includes focuses on multiple platforms.
This will allow you to access big and diverse markets. Think about it. Different users use varying platforms. So, if you offer support across multiple platforms, you will be able to access them all. This process can get very tricky.
Because each platform is different, their functionality and performance may differ. Just because your app is optimized for one platform, doesn’t mean it will do well in other options as well. Also, there is a cost associated with this scalability.
For this, you might want to look into cross-platform structures when expanding your app. However, you must build it first one a native platform to establish your app. At the same time, know when to expand.
The Future of Apps in the Automotive Industry
If you think that apps have taken over the world now, know that the future is even brighter for the app industry. This is because technology has the potential to keep on progressing. This is bound to be followed by the growth of digital media in the automotive industry as well.
If you haven’t yet delved into apps, it is time to do so. Even though many facets of the automotive industry are incorporating apps, there is a still a lot of niches left unexplored. This is the market you must tap with a potential car app.
Anyone who is thinking to develop an app, hiring an expert is crucial. As you might have observed from our discussion, experts are not just needed to develop the app but also to sustain it in the long run.
To fully utilize the future benefits technology may offer, you must start today. Start thinking of a creative idea for an app. Plan and develop your app well. Hire experts to help you along the way. Don’t try to do it all by yourself.
Once you are able to delegate tasks to experts as per the need of the product, you will excel. Focus on creating a customer-centric approach. Think about their convenience and the perfect car app idea will follow suit.
Enter the ever-growing automotive industry. It is full of opportunities. Be the one to realize this.
Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524