The Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Trends Behind a Multi-App Strategy

Google_AppsHaving a mobile app is now table stakes for enterprises to meet the needs of their customers and employees. To meet the expectations of mobile Millennials, enterprises must shift their app strategy from having one feature-packed mega-app to delivering many task-specific micro-apps.  

Smaller, focused apps benefit both the users and the companies that develop them. The experience for users is much better because the app is 100% focused on helping them accomplish a specific mission, enabling users to get what they need done faster. A multi-app strategy benefits businesses by providing them multiple ways to reach their audience and even create new revenue streams.    

We’ve identified these top five trends for businesses to decouple their apps:

  1. Optimize The User Experience With Task Specific Tools

Targeted, task specific utility apps make it easier for users to engage with a business's services. LinkedIn and Facebook, two companies whose business rely on engaging users in generating and consuming content, recognize the importance of using task specific apps to enable super pleasing user experiences. LinkedIn’s Pulse and and Facebook’s Paper are perfect for the passive consumption of articles. For active app engagement, Facebook has Messenger and LinkedIn’s has Job Search.

  1. Add Ecosystem Entry Points

A multiple app strategy allows brands to pull users into the ecosystem through a variety of entry points. Google is a great example of this. Whether your goal is to relax with some funny videos or edit an important document on the go, one of Google’s 35+ apps in the Apple AppStore will be able to help you out. Once you create a login for Google’s apps, you’re a part of the whole ecosystem. Each app keeps you in their ecosystem and deepens your connection to, and dependence on, Google.  

  1. Create Beyond-the-Basics Experiences to Build Connections with Unique Consumers

Amex is using a multi-app strategy to becomes a lifestyle partner for their customers, not just a credit card provider. By creating specific apps for restaurant recommendations, travel tracking, receipt capture, small business management, and many more, Amex creates opportunities to interact with clients that go far beyond the standard, boring, and sometimes negative interaction of bill payment and balance checking.  This allows Amex to differentiate themselves from other credit card providers and gives consumers a reason to remain a loyal Amex cardholder.

  1. Reach New Consumers

The typical Target’s shopper is characterized as a more upscale and lifestyle focused consumer than the cost conscious shoppers of other big-box retailers. Target is using a multi-app strategy to capture some of the budget focused market share with Cartwheel. This deal focused app does one thing -- saves consumers money, and it does this thing very well. According to ThoughsofaMarketer, Cartwheel has saved users over two million dollars and has a 50% redemption rate for its coupons.  

  1. Connect the Physical & Digital

Evernote takes decoupling even further than a multi-app strategy by extending their digital presence into the physical world. Evernote recognizes that every moment may not be able to be initially captured electronically, but people still want to digitize everything. Through strategic partnerships and new products, Evernote expanded their digital-only business into the physical world with Evernote branded notebooks, scanners, and more. This extension expands the ecosystem and makes the solution sticky to users.

The businesses who have begun to decouple their have seen big benefits, ranging from improved user experiences to creating new business models. As mobile technology continues to evolve and becomes an even more important link between businesses and consumers, we will see more examples of enterprises successfully uncoupling their apps.