If you haven’t heard of cross platform Apps until now and don’t see a connection with your market, it doesn’t mean something isn’t happening. It just means you haven’t seen it yet. We can change that and put you in a competitively stronger position. It starts with a call or an e-mail to us. Click here and most of the work is done for you.
What haven’t you seen yet?
When the iPhone launched, a decade ago, we all swooned over the colour-coded SMS trail. How much more creative could we expect a single brand to get? Surely Apple had reached its pinnacle.
Then Apple launched the App Store. Three short years later, iPhones made sense and the cost of buying software fell through the floor. Great news for us, even if it was a bit hard to comprehend at the time.
Since then, we’ve become conditioned to being diverted to App stores. Every one we download comes from a central iOS or Android store, and we navigate the journey like pros. But things are changing, and the redirection soon won’t be necessary.
The App Store is not an ’appy place
Cross platform Apps are already out there and growing in popularity. Across Android and Apple stores, you can choose from over four million (4,000,000) Apps today. Lots of them are duplications across platforms, but the next big shift in App usage is for them to be developed as a single product to run across platforms. It makes sense. Brands are already pushing them out to users without us needing to go to an App store.
As users, we may not see a huge difference. One less click in the UX maybe. But to the brand – no need to distribute through another channel, personal data collected directly, always on.
Cross platform Apps have access to all the bits of your operating system they need, like its camera and address book. Importantly, these apps can be used offline. For brands, this is great news. The way these Apps are built allows them to see your activity in a way that doesn’t intrude into your daily user behaviour. To the App Stores, it’s a problem: lost traffic, lost revenue, lost data – now we’re getting to the nub of the issue.
Off on a tangent (stay with me):
In other blogs, I’ve written about the serious impact electric vehicles will have on the sales of products that consumers (you) regularly buy from petrol stations – which seems obvious when you think about it. Now we see brands developing the opportunity to suck up your digital dust. These are connected concepts.
There are also efforts being made by larger brand owners (Unilever, Mars…) to deal directly with consumers and cut out the retail step in the consumer journey.
These are all signals of a trend that recognises the importance of knowing who your consumers are, how they behave, being able to anticipate when things need to be replenished, and knowing the most efficient way to get your product into their shopping baskets. From a consumer perspective, until the backlash happens and some of us decide we don’t want to give up our data quite so easily, this trend is developing in the background.
Apps for digital natives
When your kids get to market, because they are digitally native and, more importantly, have zero experience of analogue habits, these trends are showing us how they will shop.
Following this line of thinking, we can see how distribution channels may be reorganised. Whether bricks and mortar outlets will feature as much in our shopping habits as they do today is questionable. Whether wholesale and cash & carry outlets can maintain their foothold in this newly organised market is doubtful. Do they have time to do something to underpin their business in the face of trends that are gradually pushing them into obscurity? Of course they do. Will they? Are they? Not obviously, and not fast enough.
The signs are that…
Not enough of the people involved in traditional distribution are looking to their futures. As a result, unforeseen things will happen to them. But ‘unforeseen’ only because they aren’t looking, or choose not to believe what they see, or just can’t figure out what to do about the threat.
It’s fair enough to go along to an industry’s annual ball and pick up an award based on what you did in 2018. The trouble is, this isn’t where the battle is being fought.
Food distribution, technology, clothing, leisure, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, cars/mobility, retail… even culture and now Apps themselves are product and experience areas that are being differently managed as digital innovation. This not only presents new ideas, but changes whole industry sectors.
Our answer? Well, you can wait for the future to happen to you, or you can copy Jack Reacher: “hope for the best, plan for the worst.”
Randomly connected observations present opportunity
If seemingly unconnected signals like this are new to you, if you don’t see the connection between apparently random events and your market, or if you want to find an opportunity in this (and they are certainly there), get in touch.
Change of this kind is both a threat and an opportunity, depending on what you do next.
- Knowing where to look for the signals is a skill.
- Being able to believe the data is a skill.
- Being able to see useable connections is a skill.
Doing any of these things will be the difference in your surviving industry change, or not; in waiting to lose orders to insurgent competition, or creating an opportunity for yourself; in being resurgent, pushing back and making the best of the tools you have at your disposal.
If you haven’t heard of cross platform Apps until now, if you don’t see a connection between your market and what is happening around you, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It just means you haven’t seen it yet. We can change that and put you in a competitively stronger position.
It starts with a call or an e-mail to us, but you have to do that for yourself.
Click here and most of the work is done for you. Or call me. I look forward to talking. +44 (0) 208 144 9800
Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.