As Apple’s viral marketing campaign from a few years ago made abundantly clear, there’s an app for anything and everything. We can say that with almost no hint of exaggeration. Mobile app technology has insinuated into every aspect of our lives today, especially here in the United States.
Nowhere do we understand that better than at SDI – where we make the technology. We’ve been a tech company for decades now, with a staff drawn from notable tech giants like Cisco, Apple, and Webex. We were an early adopter of app development and the app business has only gone up since then.
As an experienced company, we have had the opportunity to garner some key insights into the world of app development. Which brings us to this post today; we would like to share those insights with you, our readers.
To limit the scope of this post, we will only be discussing two major app fields:
Consumer apps vs enterprise apps. We’re focusing on these areas for two important reasons:
1. Most apps in the world can be generally lumped into one of those two broad fields; and
2. We’re a business solution company. We focus on how to develop apps for iOS and Android that generate a profit for our clients. It is important for the aspiring appreneur to know the differences between both types and into which field their idea falls.
We’ll start by covering the differences between the two types of apps and move into the various applications of each.
Consumer Vs Enterprise
There’s only one real difference between these two fields: one targets consumers and one targets businesses. The gap between the two is very similar to a topic we’ve covered before: Business to Business eCommerce sales (B2B) vs Business to Consumer (B2C) eCommerce (touch up on your eCommerce knowledge here).
1. An app is a solution to a market problem:
2. How do I better monitor my health?
3. How do I maximize employee efficiency?
4. What’s the best route from A to B?
How can my company better monitor inventory and sales?
And so on. The question any entrepreneur needs to ask is what type of problem are you trying to solve? Is it similar to 1 or 2? Both are consumer-based options; they answer individual consumer problems. This is opposed to 2 and 4, which are enterprise-based solutions. They attempt to maximize a business’ productivity and profit in one way or another.
Enterprise App Trends and Tidbits
Other differences exist between the two (all relating back to the problems each field addresses) and they are important to know when you go to develop your idea into an app. Mainly, Enterprise apps don’t need to be as pretty as Consumer apps.
The answer for this is pretty self-evident: consumers don’t need to use your app. Enterprise app users are mandated to use the company’s app, so emphasis on development isn’t as heavy. For Enterprise apps, the emphasis is on features and functionality. An Enterprise app generally has a lot more to do than consumer apps and the development needs to represent this emphasis.
That being said, Enterprise apps could benefit with a better design and consumer apps could do a lot more. Design does more than just make an app look pretty; good design directs a user’s eye, creates a logical flow, keeps the user engaged and can even prevent brain and eye fatigue (why app design matters).
Keep in mind the enterprise app market is growing at an exponential rate. In fact, the numbers are pretty stark: Gartner has stated that the demand for enterprise app development and support will grow at a rate outstrips the available supply. By nearly 5 times. Within 2 years. Yea, pretty ridiculous right? This is good for appreneurs out there though, because we all know that when the demand of a product or services outpaces a the supply an opportunity is created.
Now let’s talk about the important stuff: money Enterprise application development can cost more than Consumer, but it’s also easier to generate a revenue. Everyone knows how difficult it can be to monetize an app; what everyone tends not to know is that Enterprise apps are a bit of an exception to this. Because you’re offering a high-end service, you can not only charge business to download the app, but it’s expected that there will also be a subscription fee.
Of course, that isn’t to say you can’t make money with a Consumer app; Consumer apps have one thing Enterprise Apps don’t: users that number in the hundreds of millions.
Consumer App Trends and Tidbits
Consumer apps need to be excellently designed. Unlike Enterprise apps, no one is requiring people to use a consumer app. So they need to be designed perfectly and uniquely; they need something to make them stand out from the rest.
Other differences include the features that are offered. Obviously the type of features will depend on the specific solution the app is attempting to rectify, but overall the biggest difference in features between Enterprise and Consumer is engagement and loyalty. The app has to offer all users something worthwhile. Enterprise apps only have to make the CEO happy. And we all know that satisfying one person is typically easier than satisfying millions.
Of course, satisfying those millions is what makes a Consumer app so profitable. While it’s harder to actually monetize a Consumer app vs an Enterprise app, the potential revenue is vast. More than that, the avenues towards a profit are more varied. With Enterprise apps, you are limited in the ways money can be raised: A subscription/download fee and a fee for addons.
With Consumer apps, you can have ads, you can sell analytic data (in a multitude of different ways), you can leverage gamification tactics to push in-game purchases. You can even charge a subscription or download fee (especially for advanced features). Plus, Consumer app development prices are lower; as they are generally less complex than Enterprise apps, they take less time to make.
SDI is a technology solutions business that covers everything from development to monetization to marketing. We build specialize in building apps for the entrepreneur and SMBs, but we’ve worked on projects of all sizes (including PepsiCo, Stanford, & Louis Vuitton).
Whatever your project is, we can help make it a success. All you have to do is call us at 408.802.2885. Get the first 4 screens of your app designed for free. Contact us today, we look forward to working with you!