More than half of all adults in America own a smartphone these days, and more than one-third of them own a tablet. With these numbers in mind, it makes sense that the mobile app market is exploding. Depending on who you ask, experts predict that when all is said and done, there will be 56 to 82 billion downloads of apps in 2013. And that number could swell past 300 billion by 2016.
But how does a company go about turning their apps into profit-generating endeavors? According to Gartner, 90 percent of the apps downloaded in 2013 will be free. By 2016, as many as 93 percent of all those apps downloaded will be free. With this in mind, in order to make money off them, businesses need to focus on creating strong, innovative and entertaining apps that fulfill a specific need. Such apps will generate customer loyalty and interest, which in turn will increase their popularity as they’re evangelized via word of mouth.
Once this occurs, businesses can hope to make money on in-app purchases. In March 2013, Distimo reported that a staggering 76 percent of revenue generated in Apple’s App Store came from in-app purchases. So the trick is to let potential customers dip their toes into the proverbial waters so they can get a feel for them. Hopefully they’ll become a huge fan of the apps and then decide to open their wallets and purchase add-ons, virtual wares or other items in the process.
With research predicting there might be as many as 4.4 billion mobile app users by the end of 2017, it goes without saying that the market is lucrative and appears likely to continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. Because of the impressive growth the sector is supposed to realize in the coming years, it’s important that business owners don’t scrap their app programs if they don’t see profits immediately. Instead, capture the attention of your customers and hope that after awhile they decide to make in-app purchases.