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Apps, marketing, Photography

Mobile App Development Trends in 2019

When the first smartphone was launched for the general public in 1994, nobody could have predicted how integral a part of our life it will become. Currently we have 2.1 billion mobile users and in 2019, the number is expected to cross the 5 billion mark according to a report by Statista.

Smartphones combined with fast Internet access means that people are spending more time online as compared to say 5 to 10 years ago. Many studies have been undertaken to understand the way people use the smartphone and how much. Studies have revealed that an average Briton checks his/her mobile phone every 12 minutes and an average American adult spends almost 2.5 hours a day on smartphones.

Another statistic to be noted before moving ahead is that according to comScore Future Digital Report 2018, 80-90% of mobile time is spent on mobile apps rather than websites. This leads us to believe that mobiles, or rather smartphones have an ecosystem of their own, separate from computers and laptops. So, mobile app development has become an effective way of reaching uses/ target audience.

With the year coming to an end, mobile app developers are racking their brains to identify the trends in mobile app development that they must stay abreast of to maximize their output in the next year. Here we will look at some mobile app development trends 2019 that we can expect to dominate:

1) Customized mobile apps

Even though websites are designed to be responsive and mobile friendly, apps provide a more intuitive way of browsing. This means that not just the services companies but those involved in sharing of information are also developing, or getting developed, mobile apps to provide a better user experience. Customized mobile apps have been gaining traction in the past few years. In 2019 the trend is going to be stronger.

It is not just the biggies like Amazon, Alibaba and Flipkart who want to increase user experience and hence sales through their own mobile applications. Now even the smaller players including the local businesses want to have their own apps created according to their requirement. So, besides the traditional industries like healthcare, insurance, fitness,e-commerce and fintech, businesses as varied as food delivery, organic products, laundry services, plumbing, bespoke tailoring, handbags and accessories designing, etc. will want their own mobile apps suited specially to their niche customers.

As someone interested in developing mobile apps, you must be prepared to come up with customised on-demand mobile applications. In fact, this could be an easy way to generate revenue as you tap newer markets.

2) M-commerce

It is said that money makes the world go around.  If you are a mobile app developer, you must take this saying to your heart and focus on apps around m-commerce. According to 451 research, the number of m-commerce transactions will surpass the number of E-Commerce transactions in 2019. Also, online payments through mobile contactless methods is increasing at a CAGR of 30%, where the leading players are Google pay and Apple pay apps.

These facts and figures show that m-commerce is going to be a guiding force in both Android app development and Apple app development environments.

3) Mobile payment methods

Mobile Payment Methods

When you talk about M commerce, in a payment cannot be far behind. as people get more comfortable and confident in making online payment, mobile application must integrate multiple payment gateways. Any successful mobile app must have at least three or four methods of making payment like credit or debit cards, mobile wallets, gift cards, etc. with many European countries set to regulate cryptocurrencies by 2020, you could even look at including cryptocurrency payments methods as well. After all, with so many players in the mobile industry, this could make you stand out easily.

4) Wearable Apps

Wearable Mobile Apps

According to CCS Insights latest forecast, the number of wearable devices is set to triple from from 84 million units in 2015 to 245 million units in 2019. In monetary terms, the wearable industry will be worth USD33 billion by the end of 2019. With so much demand of wearable gadgets, be it smart watches, fitness trackers or wearable headsets, the wearable apps industry is set to boom as well.

Currently, all wearable gadgets are synchronized to the smartphones. So, the two must have apps that are paired with each other. With the number of players in mobile development industry growing by the minute, wearable apps provide a new market. Although currently smartwatches and fitness gadgets are the most popular ones in wearables, other devices are predicted to catch up soon.

5) AR and VR

Over the past few years Augmented reality has revolutionized app development in entertainment and gaming industry. In 2019 AR is expected to transform app development trends in various fields like health, engineering, real estate, retail, etc.   For example, an Interior Designer can launch her own mobile application that asks the potential customer only to upload images or videos of property they want to upgrade. Using augmented reality, the app can then give the customer a preview of the property based on their specifications. This is win situation for both the designer and customer. the designer is saved the headache of convincing the customer about the appropriateness of their selection.  At the same time the customer can see whether their choices actually translate into what they had Wanted to start with.

Like AR, virtual reality is another mobile application trend that will be hot in 2019. Traditionally, virtual reality has been used for simulation of scenarios that are difficult as well as expensive to create. for example, human body simulation for medical students, space simulation for astronauts, etc.  however, VR has caught the fancy of businesses, as it can help them to recreate how a certain product would look on their customers. So, you have applications that can show how a dress or jewelleries or spectacles would look on you before you actually purchase them. Of course, as people prefer being online through their mobiles, businesses need to have their own mobile applications to provide this experience to their customers.

6) Artificial Intelligence

According to Gartner, artificial intelligence will not attract more investment as compared to 2018 but its usage across platforms will increase drastically. What is common between Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google assistant? They are applications that make our life much easier by taking over everyday tasks like reading, writing and sending messages, switching camera and microphone on and off, searching internet for information, setting reminders, etc. through their artificial intelligence capabilities.

As businesses see the popularity of these virtual assistants, they want similar mobile applications in the form of chatbots and personal assistant. As a developer you cannot ignore this latest app trend and hence you must gear up to develop such applications in the coming year.

7) Cloud integration

Every professional is using or has used Dropbox, Evernote, Google notes at some point of time. These applications hosted on cloud enable them to access their personal as well as professional data anytime from anywhere. When these apps were launched there were many issues around their security and privacy. One cannot claim that these issues has been resolved completely but they are much more in control. So, their use has increased manifold. These changes have had an impact on mobile industry as well.

One of the hottest trends in mobile application development in 2019 is going to be cloud integration for mobile applications. This will ensure a seamless experience for the users. It makes even more sense for organisations involved in training people as the trainees can access material from anywhere in their own time. With more and more businesses struggling to engage people, cloud integration of mobile applications will take a jump in 2019.

8) App security

Some thoughts that cross the users’ mind while installing Apps on their smartphones include:

  • Does the app Keep my private data secure?
  • Is it possible that someone can hack into my data stored in the app?
  • How much data does the app need?
  • Is the app a resource hog, which will slow down my phone?
  • Can my data be misused?

Mobile app development companies need to address these concerns if they wish to succeed.  As the Gartner report points, the discussion on security has moved from being compliant to doing the right thing in 2019. mobile apps that convince the users that you have taken care of their security can only succeed.

9) Internet of Things

Internet of Things App Trends

As you probably know, a network of interconnected smart devices is known as Internet of Things (IoT). We have just now discussed how smartphones need to be connected to wearable devices. However, IoT involves lots of other smart devices that have special circuits, sensors and software built into them. These software are nothing but apps that can be developed by any mobile app developer.

Global IoT market has been growing at a CAGR of 28.5% since 2016 and will reach USD457 billion by 2020, as per GrowthEnabler IoT report. Real time supply chain, smart homes and smart healthcare are no more stuff of science fiction but reality. With increase in IoT devices and networks, the demand for feature rich apps is also bound to increase.

Conclusion

As we get ready to welcome the new year, mobile application development industry can look forward to really exciting times, as evident from the trends list that we have discussed just now. Whether you are a single person or an organization developing mobile applications, you need to be ready to embrace these trends wholeheartedly if you have already not started on that path. Mobile applications that imbibe one or more of these trends will taste success. Get in contact with us today to turn your ideas into 

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Apps, video

Retail is a multi-trillion-dollar industry that can bring businesses huge profits. The competition, however, is fierce, so retailers all over the world are straining every nerve to attract buyers and increase sales.

To stay afloat and grow, modern retail businesses launch stellar marketing campaigns, use deep data analysis to better reach out to audiences, and provide helpful customer support. All of these methods are crucial, but there’s one more thing retailers need to succeed − technological innovations.

In this article, we draw your attention to augmented reality (AR) − an innovative technology that’s taken the world by storm in the past few years. Let’s find out how AR can help your retail business and why using AR gives you a competitive advantage you shouldn’t miss out on.

How augmented reality can drive your retail business

What’s the biggest challenge for both traditional and online retailers? Making sure customers are happy.

This seemingly simple recipe for success is hard to cook, though. You need to not only excite your customers but also provide a pleasant customer experience in every interaction. It can be hard to do this without using modern technologies such as augmented reality.

With all the buzz around augmented reality, you’re probably familiar with it. If you aren’t, though, let’s define what it is: AR is a reality technology that overlays virtual objects on a user’s view of the real world. Users can experience AR with their smartphones or tablets, so this technology is easily accessible to hundreds of millions of potential customers worldwide.

Infographic AR in Retail

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a conventional or online retailer – there are plenty of ways augmented reality can help you enhance the customer experience to boost sales and increase profits. We’ve made a list of the most promising real-life applications of augmented reality in retail:

#1 Provide try-and-buy experiences

The core of AR technology is merging virtual objects with the real world, which means you can provide try-and-buy experiences for your shoppers. Customers can virtually try on clothing and footwear, preview products they want to buy (such as furniture and electronics), and so forth.

Moreover, AR allows your customers not only to try on products but to personalize them as well − they can configure items to match their preferences and make better purchasing decisions. This not only enhances the shopping experience but also minimizes the risk of returns (which are unpleasant for any retailer). This is particularly valuable for ecommerce, as online shoppers can’t try products but can only check out images and videos.

You can use advanced analytical tools to monitor your customers’ preferences and provide personalized product offers, thus increasing the probability of purchases. According to recent research by computer vision and machine learning company DigitalBridge, for 64% of consumers an ideal shopping assistant should combine augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has implemented an AR View feature in its mobile application. AR View allows customers to check whether products fit in their homes with the help of augmented reality. Users simply select a product and it’s overlaid on the camera view.

Thanks to this feature, online shoppers can better understand what a product looks like and decide whether to buy it.

Amazon’s official video introducing AR View (Source: YouTube)

L’Oréal, a renowned manufacturer of personal care products, has launched Makeup Genius, a makeup simulator based on augmented reality. Makeup Genius allows customers to select makeup products and create (and save) personalized ready-to-wear looks.

Makeup Genius turns a smartphone into a magic mirror that helps customers try on different looks without leaving home or going to a makeup artist. All they need to do is look in the front-facing smartphone camera; the app automatically scans faces and applies makeup effects with AR.

L’Oréal’s official video introducing Makeup Genius AR app (Source: YouTube)

#2 Deliver product information instantly

A modern consumer is a digital consumer: according to 2017 researchby Salsify, 77% of shoppers are using mobile devices even when shopping in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Buyers not only chat with their friends on social networks but also use their smartphones to find product information, compare prices, and read product reviews.

Augmented reality allows you to enhance your buyers’ journey by providing instant product information. Customers can use their smartphones to scan products on shelves and receive valuable information about them instantly.

IBM, a prominent technology company with solid experience in image recognition and object detection, has developed a mobile AR application that scans shelves and delivers instant information about products. The app can filter products by ingredients, price, and so forth.

Video of IBM’s mobile AR app for delivering product information (Source: YouTube)

#3 Provide interactive entertainment

Entertainment is one of the best ways for retailers to engage with potential customers, particularly with young people. Augmented reality technology opens up incredible opportunities for retailers to increase sales through interactive experiences.

Thanks to AR, selling commonplace products becomes much easier as people get entertaining experiences along with their purchases. For example, augmented reality can turn conventional paper books into immersive and interactive AR books that are interesting to read and interact with. Augmented reality can help instill a love of reading in children and therefore enhance their academic performance.

Live Animations, an IT company that develops AR products for children, created Wonderland − an augmented reality mobile application (for both iOS and Android) for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the famous book by Lewis Carroll. After downloading and installing the AR mobile app, readers simply direct their smartphone cameras to special icons in the book and their favorite characters come to life.

Official video of the Wonderland AR application (Source: YouTube)

#4 Enhance in-store product positioning

Traditional retailers know how important product placement is. Placing the right products on the right shelves can increase purchases. Retail businesses take product placement seriously and create detailed planograms to plan in-store space. However, products are often misplaced (particularly in large department stores), resulting in financial losses for retailers.

Augmented reality provides an easy way to ensure that products are positioned on shelves in accordance with planograms. Employees can use portable devices to scan shelves and instantly check for misplaced products. Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, teamed up with IBM to develop an augmented reality mobile application for in-store product placement.

IBM & Tesco testing an AR mobile app (Source: YouTube)

#5 Ensure stress-free try-on experiences

Shopping for clothes can be really exhausting, as customers visit multiple stores and try on lots of items. Also, some shoppers might have privacy concerns, making trying on clothes really stressful.

As a retailer, you can benefit from augmented reality to solve these problems and provide a positive customer experience to all audiences. AR enables virtual try-ons, while modern advancements in artificial intelligence ensure that virtual clothes perfectly fit your customer’s body. Shoppers can simply select clothes they want and look at a large screen (that serves as a mirror) to see themselves wearing them. This way, augmented reality helps you provide an engaging and pleasant in-store customer experience to encourage purchases.

Cisco developed a technology that brings AR-enabled stress-free try-ons to conventional brick-and-mortar outlets. Customers can virtually try on whatever clothes they want and even customize them, selecting colors and accessories. Probably most people will still go to a changing room, but this way they can narrow down their selection first.

AR-enabled in-store try-ons by Cisco (Source: YouTube)

#6 Stimulate purchases

Being immersive and interactive, augmented reality technology helps customers create emotional connections with products. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of emotions − according to research by consultancy Capgemini, emotionally engaged consumers are likely to spend twice as much on purchases. Augmented reality helps retailers stimulate purchase decisions and drive sales.

LEGO, a popular toy manufacturer, also uses augmented reality technology to build emotional connections with their audiences and market toys as efficiently as possible. The company created a LEGO® 3D Catalogue mobile AR application to be used in combination with the company’s paper catalog: kids can scan pages of the catalog that have a special mark to bring augmented reality experiences to life. The app allows children and parents to preview LEGO toys in 3D and decide what to buy.

Video showing how the LEGO® 3D Catalogue mobile AR app works (Source: YouTube)

#7 Facilitate in-store navigation

If you frequently shop at large department stores, you know that finding the product you want can be difficult amid dozens of similar aisles and shelves. Needless to say, brick-and-mortar retailers should make it easy for customers to find products they need so that they don’t waste time wandering around the whole store.

Augmented reality is an innovative way to provide simple and accurate in-store navigation and guide your customers. It works like this: a customer launches a mobile AR app on their smartphone or tablet, select the products they want, and the app directs them by showing digital directions on the screen. AR helps your customers save time and have a better shopping experience.

Lowe’s, a large retailer that operates lots of home improvement and appliance stores, decided to improve the shopping experience by developing a mobile AR application for in-store navigation. The app uses computer vision to detect a consumer’s position in real time and provide the shortest path to the items they’re looking for.

In-store navigation AR app developed by Lowe’s (Source: YouTube)

#8 Increase brand awareness

Brand awareness is essential for businesses: a customer’s journey down the conversion funnel starts with awareness, when they find out about your company. If potential customers can’t recognize your brand, they’ll never become loyal buyers. Businesses use a lot of different techniques to increase brand awareness, from TV commercials to podcasts to online marketing campaigns.

In the digital age, however, AR is another effective tool for enhancing brand recognition. Augmented reality helps retailers increase brand awareness and attract more potential customers. Interacting with immersive AR applications, your audiences become emotionally connected to your brand and more likely to make purchases.

LEGO uses augmented reality as an innovative and immersive way to market toys as well as a great solution to increase brand awareness. The company developed the LEGO® In-Store Action photo application to attract buyers to physical stores and promote the brand. Unlike LEGO’s AR app for the catalog, In-Store Action allows shoppers to take pictures with virtual LEGO heroes.

AR for In-Store Entertainment
LEGO® In-Store Action photo app in action (Source: Google Play)

Key benefits of augmented reality for retailers

Now that you know how augmented reality can help your retail business, be it ecommerce or traditional retail, let’s highlight the biggest benefits this technology brings.

Spanning the imagination gap

Despite the continuing rise of the global ecommerce market, online retailers face a so-called imagination gap, meaning a situation when many potential buyers don’t make purchases because they can’t visualize products. Images and videos aren’t enough; consumers want to fully understand what they’re paying for.

Augmented reality is a technological innovation that solves this problem and helps online retailers span the imagination gap. Thanks to AR, customers can have a look at products and try them on without actually seeing them. Customers are more likely to buy goods online when they know that they’re getting.

Increasing sales

To grow and gain ground, retailers need to increase sales. To meet this challenge, they use a variety of techniques such as launching marketing campaigns and offering the most competitive prices. Augmented reality is a secret weapon that can help retailers drive sales and outperform competitors. Research by DigitalBridge reveals that one in three consumers would make a purchase after previewing a product in augmented reality.

Therefore, AR technology isn’t just a hyped buzzword but an essential tool for online retailers and their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Building a loyal customer base

What is the success of a retail business based on? A loyal customer base. And building this customer base is one of the most challenging tasks for any business.

Augmented reality enhances the customer experience and also helps retailers increase the number of loyal customers. A whopping 69% of customers aged 18 to 24 claim they would be loyal to a brand that provides augmented reality experiences, and 59% millennials expressed the same opinion (as per DigitalBridge).

Ready to revolutionize your retail business with augmented reality?

Augmented reality has huge potential in the retail industry, and if you’ve read this far, you probably have an idea for a top-notch AR app for your own business. It’s time to implement AR. The examples above show that some of the world’s largest online and offline retailers have already jumped on the AR bandwagon, and more companies are likely to follow.

Developing a helpful and engaging AR application, however, is a challenge, particularly if you have no experience in mobile and web development. If you need assistance with your mobile AR app for retail, share your idea with our team and we’ll help you get your project off the ground.

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