Mobile Apps Mobile Web

How Much Time Spent on Mobile Devices is Spent in Apps?

In the early days of developing mobile apps, we were frequently asked if we thought it was going to become a big space, or if it was just a fad.  Even then, we were bullish on the space, and our response was simple:  “1% of companies and organizations currently have an app, and 99% are going to eventually have one.”

Our calculus was simple – smartphones were hot, and apps were an outstanding way of obtaining space on “beachfront property” – the screen of the one device people couldn’t put down.

A dozen years later, that prediction has borne itself out.  Not only do consumers use their phone for everything, but a recent study by Comscore finds that eight out of every ten digital minutes (79%) in the United States are spent on mobile devices, and among those people nearly 9 in 10 (88%) spend their time using mobile apps.

What’s surprising to us is that more companies and organizations haven’t invested in a mobile strategy that includes an app.  Sure, many use the mobile web, but when only 12% of time spent on a smartphone isn’t via an app, why would you fish in such a shallow pond?

We believe 2021 is going to be the year of mobile apps.  During the pandemic, new trends emerged (curbside, contactless), and others accelerated (working from home, online shopping) the result being that consumers have changed their personal and professional shopping, searching, and buying behaviors. We believe these habits will remain long after the vaccine takes hold and we return to what will be a very new “normal.”  Having a sound mobile strategy is no longer optional and that includes an app that is now an essential part of any businesses overall customer strategy.

It’s no longer “should we have an app,” but rather, “how soon can we get one?”


It’s Going to Be an ‘Appy Christmas for Retailers

The impact of the Coronavirus continues to resonate with the way consumers are going to interact with businesses, especially this holiday season.  By all indications, shoppers are moving rapidly toward online shopping via mobile apps and eCommerce platforms.  While this presents challenges, it also creates opportunities – those retailers that invest in online and mobile solutions will have a distinct advantage over their competition, and put themselves in position to have an “Appy” Christmas.

A recent research report released from Field Agent:  “An Omnichannel Christmas:  2020 Holiday Insights Report,” finds a rapid shift away from in-store shopping as consumers opt for the safety and convenience of shopping from home.

Plus, most experts believe this isn’t a one-year event.  It’s highly likely the pandemic – even when it abates – will permanently change shopping behaviors, so an investment in online shopping solutions is a long-term investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

Here are two facts that jump off the page from the Field Agent study:

When asked how likely they are to buy gifts online/in-app this holiday season, over eight-in-ten (82%) say they are completely or very likely to shop this way:

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There are also clear benefits for businesses to have their own branded mobile app.  We have long felt getting presence on the screen of a consumer’s most important device that never leaves their side, and this study verifies it.  When asked how likely they are to use retailer-specific mobile apps to buy gifts online/in-app on retailer-specific mobile apps this holiday season, almost two-thirds (65%) completely or very likely say they will shop in this fashion:


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The good news for local merchants is that consumers are committed to spending part of their holiday budget close to home. For this reason, merchants need to be prepared with things like appointment shopping and curb-side pick-up.

COVID-19 has changed all aspects of our lives, but it’s not a complicated process for businesses to quickly adapt.  Developing a mobile solution isn’t complex, and today, it’s as important as having a website – maybe even more.

Learn more about the 2020 holiday shopping season and how your town can leverage mobile technology by watching our Webinar Here.

Mobile Apps Uncategorized

Holiday 2020: Bringing the Stores to You

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives.  Businesses have shut down, families hunkered down, and the economy slowed down. 

Concurrently, the way we shop has also changed.  If eCommerce was a slow-moving, if inevitable, train before the pandemic, today it’s a runaway freight train.  The result has been retail bankruptcies as consumers have been reluctant to leave their homes, preferring to pick up packages from their front porch.

But now businesses are re-opening, and with the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching, consumers are tired of being at home.  But they need information about what this new shopping experience is going to be like: What stores are open?  What are the new business hours?  Is there online ordering?  Curbside pickup?  What events are happening, and what health and safety protocols are in place?  And based on the past few months, the answers to these questions and others could change several times in the next few months.

Our partner company, Jacobs Media, just completed a survey of over 27,000 listeners of 355 radio stations across the US and Canada.  “Radio’s 2020 Holiday Road Map” provides the answers to these questions, and clearly shows retail customers are placing a high priority on safety (this is especially true among women).

So how do retailers communicate this to their customers, especially when advertising and marketing budgets are pinched?

We believe in the power of aggregation – bringing all of the businesses in a downtown or shopping district together to collaborate on a mobile app that answers all of the questions posed above, and provides even more.  This is a cost-efficient solution that’s in-tune with what consumers need, and puts it conveniently on their smartphone, which has become their “go to” device for shopping information.

The Covid-19 pandemic is re-writing all of the rules, and the old ways of marketing won’t be as effective – or cost-effective – as before.  Nearly every customer a retailer are trying to attract has a smartphone, so it makes sense to provide a solution where everyone in the community benefits, and your re-opening can be successful.

For this and lots of other reasons, it makes sense for merchant associations, chambers of commerce or downtown development authorities to bring all of the local merchants together into a single, easy-to-use way to find out what’s happening in your area.

The last thing a tentative, concerned consumer wants to do is venture out without the information to make their trip safe and productive for themselves and their families. Merchants can make their life easier by putting the information for all of your local businesses into one handy mobile application that can create a real connection between merchants and consumers.  And if the situation changes, push messaging will provide a fast and effective way of communication, improving your relationship with your customers in the process.

This holiday shopping season won’t be like any other – make sure your business and shopping district’s marketing plans are in-line with the “new normal.”

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and profitable holiday season.

If you would like more information from our Covid shopping study, contact Paul Jacobs at

Mobile Apps Streaming

Streaming: The Essential Worker for Radio

When jācapps introduced its first mobile app for radio close to a dozen years ago, most people thought we were nuts.  In late 2008 apps were a novelty. The two leading apps in the iTunes App Store were the Zippo Lighter and iFart.  You can imagine the questions we got from broadcasters.

At the time that mobile technology was introduced, broadcasters were still suspicious of streaming. It was disruptive, expensive, and foreign, and since we were in the throes of the Great Recession, many were reluctant to jump into the pond.

Between then and now, it’s become pretty standard for radio stations to have a mobile app as streaming by listeners has grown steadily each year.  Broadcasters recognize the necessity of having an app, but for some, the reluctance remains.

Until now.

As more Americans are working from home, the way they consume audio content, including radio, has shifted dramatically.  They are spending significantly less time in their cars, and while working from home or schooling their children, streaming audio, especially radio, via a mobile app, website, or smart speaker has become more popular. 

According to a recent article in “Inside Radio” the percentage of AM/FM listening taking place online hit 10% in May, with Triton reporting Total Listening Hours to AM/FM streams up 16% year-over-year.  So now with Nielsen recognizing this shift and adjusting ratings to account for headphone listening, having a great mobile app is no longer a “check the box” investment, but a key aspect to the way radio connects with its audience.

Your stream is now central to the delivery of your content, and things like mobile apps and smart speaker skills are an essential way radio stations compete and grow their audience, and stations without them are at a significant disadvantage.

Mobile Apps

Covid-19 Spurs Mobile App Usage

The pandemic and resulting impact in work, home, and leisure routines has also generated a surge in mobile app usage.  A study just released from Airship finds an incredible surge across almost all app categories in the March-June period, when so many people found themselves at home.   And while they were at home, many found mobile apps as the optimal way of continuing to connect with all aspects of their lifestyle.

As we have shared in this blog since the beginning of the pandemic, consumer behavior is changing radically.  Limitation on consumers’ ability to go into stores or businesses to interact with merchants the way they used to has made investment in mobile app technology a must-have for all businesses.  Those who choose to conduct business in the same way they did before March are leaving themselves vulnerable to being left behind as this new reality emerges.

Comparing March through June activity in 2020 to 2019, the health care (+60%), media (+55%), and entertainment (+40%) categories led in app usage growth.  And compared to the February year-over-year app activity, the biggest change was with Business apps.

Three companies that have seen their business explode since the pandemic are Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon.  They were each perfectly positioned to shift their shopping experience from in-store to online with curbside pickup, and not surprisingly, each provides an excellent mobile shopping experience.

There is no reason why any business – regardless of size – shouldn’t be able to compete with these retail behemoths in the mobile space.  And ceding this turf to them will just empower consumers to shift their spending to them.

While we have no way of knowing if – or when – things will return to normal, it’s safe to assume the importance of mobile apps in all aspects of commerce will remain.  And this is especially important for any business that depends on the revenue burst from the holiday shopping season – providing a mobile app/shopping experience is going to be key to your success.

Mobile Apps

The Holiday Shopping Season Shifts Online

What if there were no holiday shopping season in 2020?

Five months ago, if we would have posed this question, you would have thought we’d lost our minds.  A holiday season devoid of crowded shopping malls, families walking down Main Street window shopping, crowds gathering for Christmas tree lightings, and customers waiting in line to get the best deals on Black Friday morning seemed unthinkable.

And then along came Covid-19.

While there will definitely still be a holiday shopping season this year (and many believe we need it more than in any other year), it is just as definitely going to be different than anything we’ve seen before.  Retail stores have capacity limitations, gathering in large crowds isn’t allowed, and other barriers to a traditional holiday season are in place.

But . . . consumers are still going to shop.  They are just going to do it differently, and the time is now for businesses to make sure they are prepared to have presence where their customers are – online, and in mobile apps.

A recent study from daVinci Payments found that seven in ten (71%) of consumers plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping online this year.  And this just isn’t among Millennials – all demographic groups will spend the majority of their shopping time online:

Online shopping is happening in two key places – on computers and laptops, and on mobile devices.  In fact, since the pandemic struck, Salesforce finds that interest in shopping online has increased by close to half (47%) of consumers on computers, and by over one-third (37%) on mobile apps.

The holiday shopping season starts in the next couple of months – retailers and businesses who haven’t yet invested in altering their business model by investing in providing digital shopping solutions to their customers are potentially missing this shift in behavior.  If you’re interested in learning more about how mobile apps and engaging consumers online and on their smartphones, give us a call.  We can get you in the best position possible to profit from these challenging times.

And let us be the first to say: happy holidays!

B2B Apps Mobile Apps

Navigating B2B Business When You Can’t Meet F2F

Without question, Covid-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives and B2B marketing is no exception. Historically, B2B relationships centered around in-person meetings and product demonstrations. But how do you sell products when you can’t sit in a conference room, present a PowerPoint, and shake hands on a deal? Today, companies are investing in technology – including mobile apps, webinars, videoconferencing, and eCommerce –  in order to maintain business flow. 

A recent article in The Drum – B2B Marketing During Covid-19: 8 Transformations to Stay Ahead,” outlines the steps B2B companies are taking in order to navigate these rapidly changing times. The article provides helpful information to all B2B marketers, but also shares a study from eMarketer, which finds that while marketing budgets are being reduced, investment in all forms of technology have risen in importance.  In other words, providing customers with the tools to continue to purchase in a way that’s congruent with today’s situation.

This includes nearly two-thirds (62%) investing in eCommerce/online sales capabilities, while a similar percentage (61%) acknowledging they are making fewer face-to-face calls with customers.  The result is more than half (54%) are investing in more in delivering “last mile” infrastructure – or as we like to think of it, “last 12 inches”, i.e. mobile applications, that connect ordering and client service systems directly to customers.

Mobile apps have the ability to do a number of things that can bring your business closer to its business customers. That includes features like:

  • Catalogs – mobile catalogs can put your most up-to-date product information right into your customers’ hands.
  • Order forms – with your clients spending less time in a traditional office, making it easy for them to order your products at the moment they need them is crucial
  • Delivery logistics – Keep your customers up-to-date on where their order is in processing. This cuts down on service calls and anxious clients.
  • Notifications – Let them know about changes to hours, product offerings, pricing specials, etc. with notifications pushed right to their mobile device
  • Tap to call directories – Cut down on customer wait times and call center workload by directing calls to the precise extension the client needs with a simple tap inside your mobile application.

Times have changed and all businesses need to quickly develop different ways of structuring their relationships with customers.  Those that make the investment will be in much better position to maintain business flow.

Call us to discuss how mobile technology can make your business more efficient and profitable.

Mobile Apps Uncategorized

Browsing In The Aisles Has Been Replaced By Browsing Mobile Apps

For retailers, Covid-19 has accelerated the changes in shopping habits they were already experiencing. The benefits of the shopping experience – browsing the aisles, checking the inventory, engaging salespeople, and in-store events – no longer apply.  The trend in the past decade or two has been toward shopping while customers are at home – or at work or waiting in line for take-out. And increasingly, this activity is happening on mobile apps.

eMarketer just released a study from App Annie that finds in June, six in ten (59%) Americans preferred to shop using their mobile phones. And as the chart below indicates, this surge is happening among most age groups, led by an astonishing nine in ten (90%) of 25-34 year-old millennials.

Since this trend began long before the pandemic, experts in retailing expect this shift in shopping behavior to be a permanent re-alignment in the way Americans are going to make purchases in the future.  Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence notes “We expect that the effects of the pandemic will accelerate long-term trends in mobile usage.” Although some gains with mcommerce and other mobile activities will not last beyond quarantines, the baselines for mobile activities will be higher than they would have been otherwise.”

The retailing world has been upended by Covid-19.  But those retailers that have a mobile strategy in place are much more likely to evolve their businesses and survive. Key to that survival are elements like:

  • An up-to-the-minute “catalog” or “showroom” of products and/or services.
  • User registration to better serve the consumer and maintain a closer relationship via email, push messages and other communication channels.
  • Easy access to customer support
  • Simple, ecommerce transactions that are secure, easy and remember things like product preferences and payment methods.
  • The ability to expand your trading area – more customers outside of your radius will have access to your “store” than ever before.

Most businesses can be improved by establishing a relationship with the consumer on the device they spend almost 4 hours a day on. Whatever you’re selling,  redefining, streamlining, and expanding the way you connect with customers is now just a tap away.

Mobile Apps Mobile Web

Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Web: No Contest

As mobile app developers, we are frequently asked by clients why they need to invest in a native mobile app since they can build a mobile web page for a much lower cost. We always respond with the same rationale: the power of having an icon on the smartphone’s screen, a device that never leaves their side, the ability to leverage the native functionality of the smartphone (location, phone, push messaging), and being confident in a user experience tailored to the device make this an easy decision.

Now, we develop mobile apps, so we realize some are suspect about our agenda when we make the case for them. So, the decisive factor comes to us from a recent study from eMarketer, who provides the ultimate reason why businesses must invest in a mobile app if they truly want to have a successful mobile strategy:

Americans spend 88% of the time on their phones with mobile apps

Not only do apps crush the mobile web with time spent, that number is actually growing. This trend has been happening for the past 5 years, and each year apps win an increasingly lopsided victory. The mobile web is still important – but primarily for what we refer to as “The Two S’s:” searching and sampling. When the user is ready to commit, to buy, to enter into that relationship, they want your app!

A mobile app ensures your best customers have instant access to your brand, your content and the easiest way possible to engage with you. It also gives you a way to have a one-to-one relationship with those users, a way to know them, and serve them as the crucial customers they are.

Consumer expectations for brand interactions have never been higher, and the native mobile app makes it easy for your company to meet (and exceed) those expectations and deliver on the promise of your product. As the most-used device in almost all of our lives, the mobile platform enables you to develop a deep and lasting relationship with your customers in a way that a simple website simply cannot. When realized in an app, your product or service becomes a “tool” just like the camera or text in the user’s device. It’s a sure way to lock yourself in (and your competitors out).

Budget considerations are important, but so is ensuring your mobile investment is effective, especially during challenging economic times, when retaining each customer is imperative, the mobile app can create that bond. Our advice: if you’re going to invest in a mobile strategy, make sure your brand is front and center and has the best possible chance of succeeding.

It’s a safe bet.

App Everywhere Awards Mobile Apps

jācapps Named a Top App Developer by Clutch

jācapps is excited to announce that we have been ranked by Clutch as one of the top app developers. We are also proud to say that we have been doing well in one of Clutch’s more competitive categories, their ranking of the best boutique app development companies.
We have over 1200 apps and 10 years in the industry, creating not just apps for mobile phones, but ones that go beyond common devices. While many developers focus on iOS and Android applications, we deliver your message through all of the most-used devices in the world. Our App Everywhere suite allows clients to utilize apps in unique ways, as mobile is put to work beyond the smartphone. In the Connected Car, Tablets, Smart Speakers, Smart TVs, Streaming Devices, Wearables, and whatever comes next. We also work to help companies use mobile outside of the consumer sphere, with business to business and internally-facing apps.
“Only the most versatile and knowledgeable developers can keep up with the abundance of new technologies created every year,” said Clutch Business Analyst Misty Lopez. “These developers stand out based on their ability to adapt to these new technologies and techniques and apply them to a variety of development projects for their clients. We are excited to feature them on our platform.”
Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews firm that ranks businesses on a number of criteria, including carefully conducted interviews with past clients. This means that our success is largely a result of the kind words of our clients, who we would like to thank for taking the time to talk to Clutch about us.
Clutch also has two sister sites, Visual Objects, which showcases agencies that do outstanding creative or design work, such as web designers or mobile app developers, and The Manifest, which lets users view quick bios of B2B companies, ranked by service focus and location. We are listed on The Manifest as one of the leading mobile app developers in Detroit.
We are honored to receive this recognition. We are devoted to our clients, and we can’t wait to continue providing our clients with the highest quality service possible.