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App Trends 2020

A new year gives us the opportunity to look forward at what advancements are likely to dominate the world of apps in 2020. Here’s our prediction of what trends you’re going to be seeing a lot of this coming year.

We looked at these top 5 app trends for 2020:

Wallet Apps
The Progressive Web App
Beacon Technology
5G
The Super App

 

Wallet Apps

Most mobile users will be aware of the wallet by now. Three of the main phone producers Apple, Samsung and Google all incorporate the wallet as a pre-installed feature on new devices.
At the moment, it’s likely the most well-known wallet app is the Apple Wallet which allows users to store wallet passes. This means coupons, boarding passes, student ID cards, event tickets, movie tickets, public transportation tickets, store cards, and – with iOS 8.1 – credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, and loyalty cards via Apple Pay.

Wallet apps are the next gen when it comes to loyalty cards as they eliminate the need for a physical card and stop your actual wallet/purse bulging in your pocket. Mobile wallet loyalty cards enable you to reach consumers who don’t have your app downloaded. Sign up methods are usually through an ‘Add to Wallet’ button or QR code. Common methods of loyalty card customer acquisition for mobile wallet include on-website, in-shop and social media promotion. The ‘Add to wallet’ button directly opens the user’s mobile wallet, making it an easily obtainable method of customer conversion.

These wallet apps are encrypted and use tokenization for security. In some ways they’re safer than using a bank card. Your transactions are more difficult to be traced as there is no transfer of data that relates to your bank account or personal details.

In 2020 it’s likely that mobile wallets become more widely used and accepted. “The Rise of Digital and Mobile Wallets” report by Merchant Machine estimated that the value of transactions taking place on next-gen technology will rise from 6109 billion dollars in 2019 to 8961 billion in 2020, a prediction of a near 50% rise.

 

The Progressive Web App

A Progressive Web App is basically a webpage that both feels and functions like a regular native app. However, because they’re browser-based, there’s a ton of advantages that mean they’re gaining popularity at an increasingly fast pace.

Unlike mobile websites, PWAs work offline. The ability to work offline, or where there are poor connections, means they’re ‘always on’, which means you’re always connected, which means you’re always up to date. They’re responsive and they’ll work across devices, screen sizes and orientations – which in turn means a great UX.

PWAs look and feel like mobile apps. People love them due to their ease of use and functionality. As PWA is cheaper to implement and run than a mobile app, this allows you to utilise the UX benefits that a mobile app has over mobile web, in something that functions like a website.

PWAs are also compatible with web push notifications and can further engage your PWA audience in the same way that push notifications and in-app messages engage your mobile app audience. This offers a further channel to engage with users whilst eliminating the need for an app download.

 

Beacon Technology

Beacon technology first emerged onto our digital radars in 2013 when Apple unveiled its iBeacon protocol. Since then, it might be fair to say that beacon technology has been somewhat slow to bestow upon us the benefits it promised … or maybe it’s that we’ve all been a bit slow to embrace it? Either way, we’re hearing rumblings on our digital horizon – next year the number of global beacon deployments is predicted to reach 400 million – maybe, just maybe, 2020 is going to be big for the beacon …

In a nutshell, beacons use proximity marketing to identify human presence close by and deliver a personalised experience – say a special offer, or an ad – to that individual via its short-range, low-energy Bluetooth transmitters. So, imagine if you will, perusing the offerings in your go-to tech store, eyeing up the latest (insert greatest tech desire here), and being instantly served via your smartphone a 20% off deal for that very item.

Proximity marketing is something that the Kumulos team love to see in action. Initially seen as a huge boon for the retail sector, we have seen beacon technology make its way into entertainment, events, hotels and travel, and it’s unlikely to stop there. This simple ability to deliver highly relevant, highly valuable messages to a huge audience without the need for them to do anything is becoming an increasingly attractive way for companies to engage on a more personal level with their customers, creating an effortless brand experience that’s engaging, and if they get it right, enjoyable.

 

5G

Did you read our previous piece on how 5G will transform enterprise IoT? It’s exactly given that hype that we can’t ignore the undeniable arrival of 5G. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Huawei Mate X and others are standing by ready to lighten your smartphone load and get you innovation ready.

As far as Gartner’s concerned, 66% of businesses are planning to deploy 5G within the next 12 months. And telecoms giant Qualcomm told us that by 2035, 5G could be supporting around $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services across global industry, generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue by the same year, and creating up to 22 million jobs. according to a study by Gartner. Cisco estimates that by 2020, 5G will generate three times more traffic than the average 4G connection, and those connections will make up 3% of total mobile connections.

We asked Sarat Pediredla, CEO of Hedgehoglab about the potential of 5G for mobile apps.

“While mass adoption of 5G is still a couple of years away yet, 2020 will be the year that organisations start thinking seriously about the potential the technology has to transform how they operate. With unmatched transfer speeds and low latency, the opportunity for streamed 3D models for cloud AR and VR or truly personalised chatbots becomes a tantalising possibility.”

“As with most technological leaps, it’ll be within industrial and business contexts that the early promise of 5G will be realised and organisations who fail to adequately prepare will find themselves left behind.”

The bottom line? 5G is very good news for mobile apps and here’s why.
superfast uploads, downloads and connections mean we really will get what we want yesterday (almost!) – plus no more app lag (one of the key reasons’ users abandon apps that don’t measure up).

Due to lower latency, we’ll see the slow-to-catch on AR and VR-based apps take a much-needed leap in popularity as the reaction time for these apps will be vastly reduced by 5G.

Delivering a new digital experience that embodies a user’s surrounding environment and conditions coupled with the ability to detect and connect to multiple devices, ambient computing will be on every business’s radar in 12 months’ time and 5G will drive it. A discipline that allows the simultaneous use of multiple sources of data pulled from the user ‘environment’. This will improve the CX and boost competitiveness while enhancing service delivery. Ambient computing is about to land with a thud.

 

The Super-App

Brace yourself, the super-app is coming. And to be honest, we’re surprised it’s taken so long. For over a decade now, we’ve been content with the single-purpose app – doing exactly as it says on the tin, no more, no less.

Single apps keep things simple – at least that was when we had a clear definition for ‘simple’. As we cruise into 2020, simple is on everyone’s wish-list, thanks to the global swathe of digital natives redefining its meaning with increased frequency and ensuring that for today at least, simple means ‘more’.

Data from App Annie found that on average a user will spend 2h15m per day using apps, they have around 90 downloaded to their device, 30 of these are used monthly and around 9 on an average day. If the all-encompassing super-app takes over, we’ll see a dramatic decrease in these numbers as the demand for an all-in-one platform increases.

Originating from China, the super-app has grown out of consumer needs (where else) – consumers who want to be able to use everything they need to via their phone, but without hopping between apps. The most commonly cited super-apps, WeChat and Alipay in China, pull a vast range of services together via their interface, including basic banking services. A one-stop-shop for practically any service or product their users might need.

These users aren’t phased by a fussy, elaborate interface that delivers a cacophony of services via one-pane-of-glass. In fact, they’re used to such ‘shop windows’, happy to stick to those that provide the seamless, frictionless, efficient super-app experience that makes life … you guessed it, simple. Think messaging/weekly shopping/social/travel booking/food ordering/movie watching – all rolled into one. These super-apps create a highly sticky environment, one where the user simply has no need to use other apps. Why have ten apps to perform ten different activities, when one will do it all for you?

 

Whatever the trend, make 2020 the year you engage users

We’ve included these trends not only because they’re going to be hitting the mainstream this year but because these are the features that should be considered when trying to build your app in 2020. Think of these trends and how they might fit your app to get noticed this year. Building your app is just the start of your journey. Acquiring, retaining and engaging customers is how you measure success. Just like you, we always want to stay ahead of the curve, it allows us to make sure our product is the platform you need. We live and breathe it. You can contact us for a demo or free trial of Kumulos today.

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