A while ago I was in London again for a few days, to see a test of the ongoing Rugby World Cup. While I was there I was obviously went to a few coffee places, restaurants and bars. One thing I noticed there, almost every business wanted me to download its app and – more often than not – also pay with it.
Copycat instead of new Ideas
One could definitely view this as a rather positive sign: The restaurants and shops are finally catching up with the digital age and introducing new things, new ways. Well, I would disagree. It’s just copying ‘brick and mortar’ and putting it into an app. Great, now I can view the menu in an app. And I can pay via the app. If there would be a single cool, innovative (buzzword, ftw) feature that would make it worthwhile to have that app, I might acutally download and use it. But today’s phones (still) don’t have unlimited storage to hold that many – useless – apps.
In essence: There’s an App for Everything. And that is the Problem.
A thousand Credit Cards in your Pocket
As we simply do not have a terabyte storage on our devices, why would anyone want an app from every business on their phone or tablet? So you get the precious customer reward stuff and pay conviently. Conviently, you say? Unfortunately, for many people, I would argue, it does not make sense to just open a new app, possibly fill out some information and do something in it, for every meal or payment. This is like having a thousand credit cards, customer loyalty cards, coupons, and what have you in your wallet. Sorry, purse, or suitcase. You can’t fit all that in a wallet. Maybe some people like that, put I am certainly not a fan. That is not convenience for me.
The thing with data and business
Well, I surely get the point why – from a business perspective – it is a splendid idea to have an app: To get the customers’ data. I work within digital analytics, I should know. But it certainly is not a good, convenient experience for the customer, respectively user. It’s time to rethink that strategy.
I am not saying apps are dead, rather that some certainly lack added value. As the saying goes: quality over quantity.