Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Iphone applications Overload

I am a fervent evangelist while speaking about smartphone usage for businesses in order to improve customer relationship management. Nevertheless, I was christmas shopping the other day, and I had a weird feeling while visiting all these stores. It seems that I was surrounded by Iphone applications.

Every btoc company now seems to own an Iphone application. This is good and bad at the same time. This is good, because the medium is great, and it helps a brand to interract with its customers as never before. But it is also bad, because a lot of those applications have little to none interest. I don't see the reason why someone would download a branded app just to find the nearest store! I'd rather go on Google.

But there is a main problem which is going to show up in my opinion: Iphone application overload. Indeed, even though you may download a large amount of Iphone application, there will be a time when one user will refuse to download one more application.

I believe there will be the same situation than with the loyalty reward programs couple of years ago, when every businesses started launching loyalty reward cards: Customers will pick some applications they will use on a regular basis, and the other one, they would not even download them nor keep them on their phones.

Hence, it will implies certain things:
  • Iphone applications will need to be better: In order to be one of the few applications, you will need to be outstanding, proposing added value to users.
  • There will be room for multibrands application. The same way there are some loyalty reward programs encompassing several companies (like Smiles in France with train company, retail and banks) you will have some applications allowing you to have information of several brands at the same time. Somehow like Cardstar is doing.
Also, I was thinking about something else, especially for luxury brands which wants to get their own applications. In customer relationship management, there is nothing better than the feeling of belonging to an exclusive club of good customers. Hence, why would you not get applications which not anyone could download, but only the few customers of a brand? Hence, if you are Louis Vuitton, when you buy a product, you may access to the application, and not "wannabes". This will probably be further discussed in another post.

What do you think about it? Have you reached the Iphone app overload?