RESEARCH

Most Trusted APIs To Build Successful On-Demand Logistics App

  • Author: Harnil
 

A comprehensive mobile application integrated with other systems enabling a company’s logistics or supply chain make it easier to manage goods, fleet, shipment details, drivers, routes, and more. This process of developing such an app is made easier by the use of a trusted application program interface or API.

What is an API? It is the development environment that provides the user with the tool needed to interact with data from many different applications. In other words, API allows access to the application or platform of another party.

A popular API often used by mobile app developers is Facebook’s API. Using the API, app developers can gain limited access to Facebook members’ profile identity which can be used for identity verification purposes.

The Facebook API is what enables users or member of Facebook to register with a third-party app using their Facebook account. Additionally, the users can post content from third-party apps to their Facebook News Feed thanks to Facebook’s API. A major reason for the increasing user base of many apps today is Facebook API.

There are some other popular APIs as well that are having the same impact. These APIs include Twitter API, LinkedIn API, YouTube API, Gmail API, Google Maps API, and AccuWeather API. While these APIs are helping many different types of apps to make a real impact, only Google Maps API is truly useful for on-demand logistics app development.

Luckily, the best APIs for on-demand logistics app development are listed and discussed in detail in this research on the most trusted APIs for on-demand logistics app. However, before we start the discussion on the APIs, it is important to look at the relationship between APIs and app development, the core features & benefits of on-demand logistics app, and the 5 most important things to know when using APIs in app development. Let’s begin the discussion.

The Relationship Between APIs and App Development

It is often said that APIs and app development mature side by side. This is because as people are exposed to advanced technology and get used to it, their expectations from mobile applications increase. They want apps with personalization features and that have a seamless user experience (UX). This is where APIs come in handy. They make it easier to develop apps with personalization features and a seamless user experience by allowing easy integration with other applications or platforms.

The complex or redundant parts of an application can be externalized with the help of an API. Additionally, developers no longer have to reinvent what’s already built. Instead, they can focus on their core intellectual property (IP) that adds value to the app development process. Therefore, using API not only allows developers to benefit from what’s already built, but it also enables them to minimize the cost of maintaining the system.

By leveraging the building blocks for key but not core features of the app, developers can free themselves to focus in the core product that they are developing. Let a hypothetical end-to-end supply chain company as an example. Say, a key feature of the company’s app is the search experience. However, it is not a core feature. Since it is not a core feature, rolling out a search solution in-house would not be a cost-effective option. The money and time spent on this can be saved with API. This time and money saved can then be used to a better core product.

The search experience is just used an example; the above reasoning applies for securing payments and authenticating users as well. By leveraging trusted APIs, these redundant and complex processes can be externalized.

By allowing developers to get close to reusable components and code, APIs helps to enhance the shelf feature capabilities and develop unique use cases or even business applications. The complexity of the app development process is minimized by the standardization of the interfaces and the interaction of developers with them.

Instead of building features from scratch, app developers can simply reuse the APIs that are designed for the same function as them. The best part is that developers do not need to learn the different programming languages that are used to develop the APIs nor is there any need to understand the API’s intricacies. The only thing the developers need to know is the function of a particular API and how they need to interact with it.

Today, it has become easier than ever to work off-the-shelf with APIs to develop mobile applications that solve a business use case, such as the need for on-demand logistics. Thanks to APIs, developers can create user-friendly and feature-full on-demand logistics apps. This is because they no longer need to spend time on app features that do not directly add value to the core product: on-demand logistics.

The Role of APIs in Mobile-Specific App Development

The mobile app development has been fundamentally changed by application program interfaces (APIs). This is because APIs make it possible for two entirely different applications to interact with each other and share resources. It can be said that “behind every successful mobile application is an API”.

So, why are APIs so useful in mobile application development? Firstly, they enable controlled and consistent sharing of code for reusability in a technical development environment.  For example, if a developer created a complex and unique and wanted it to be shared or used internally or externally, then they can do this with the help of an API.

This has eliminated the need for developers to reinvent the same code repeatedly. Another advantage of APIs in mobile app development is that they help to minimize the inconsistencies and consolidate the touchpoint in a central location. This makes it easier to maintain the app. API is also useful from a security point of view. This is because it enables developers to open an application or the various capabilities of a platform without making the company vulnerable to possible intellectual property (IP) theft.

The 5 Most Important Things to Know When Using APIs In App Development

Like apps, API aren’t all about fun and games. Instead, they are a vital component of the app development process. Therefore, serious attention needs to be paid to how you use the APIs in the development process and interact with them. Following are the 5 most important things to know when using APIs in app development.

1. Getting APIs for App Development Right Requires Close Collaboration

The most important thing needed to ensure successful app development is communication and understanding between developers, internal stakeholders, and the client/end-users right from the very beginning of the app development cycle.

For developers, it is critical to deeply study the business for which the app is being created. This requires an understanding of the business’s core product/service, its customers, the available data about the business, and the specific requirements of the business/company from the app.

Good communication and collaboration from the start and throughout the app development process is needed to deliver the product or app desired by the client/end-user. If communication and collaboration stutters during the initial stages of app development, then the end result will be an app that confuses the client and all other people that matter.

On the other hand, getting communication and collaboration right is likely to result in an app with a clear and rewarding experience. Therefore, app developers must work closely with other internal teams such as the sales and marketing departments, the IT team as well as the management to understand the requirements for the API and the app.

If developers do not make the effort to understand how the system of the client works, they will never be able to arrive at the requirements for the API. If this information is not available to developers, then they should expect an app that is confusing or does unexpected things.

If you want to use APIs that add value to the app and make it quick and responsive, then communicate and communicate with all stakeholders throughout the app development process. In fact, you should begin the relationship building before the project begins. This will make the process of choosing APIs and creating the app much easier.

2. Understand What You Want Your App to Do

You need to know what you want your app to do right from the beginning of the app development process. This means that you need to know the features and services that your app needs to have. Once you have this information, find out the APIs that can enable them.

Determining the features and services at the beginning is necessary because choosing and then using the relevant APIs halfway through the project can lead to delays that are costly. Generally, the process to determine the features and services needed by the app and the APIs that can enable them begins with a discovery phase.

In this phase, the developers brainstorm with other stakeholders to come up with ideas for what the app needs to do. This is followed by mapping of the user journey and then thinking about how the app is supposed to behave. All this allows developers to have a good idea of what the app is supposed to do.

However, until the API has been thoroughly defined, going further than this is not advised. After the specifications of the app are mapped out, it is possible to clearly understand the behaviors to expect from the app.

With this knowledge, you can the information required from the server. This is the list that kick starts the process to find the API for different app specifications. This means that there is a symbiotic relationship between the app and the API, with one informing the other. However, the choice of API must be based on the tasks that you want the app to complete.

3. APIs Are More Efficient Than Pulling an Entire Website to Your App

Website and apps interact with the server in completely different ways. For example, the only thing that app developers need access to are useful or relevant bits of the available data. On the other hand, web developers need to access the entire database.

This is one of the reasons websites are generally bulkier than apps. With this in mind, it would be unwise to pull an entire website to your app. Pulling in all the information directly from your website will slow down your app and make it less efficient.

There are two cardinal sins when it comes to app development: slowing down the app and consuming mobile phone data. Pulling an entire website to your app leads to both. When it comes to mobile app development, the greatest objective needs to be app efficiency. APIs can be the difference between an inefficient app and one that performs exceptionally well.

Today, getting relevant APIs for an app is fairly simple. However, it is important to first check with the developers working on the app to find out what APIs are needed. This may require an extra bit of effort from all the stakeholders, but it will be worth it in the end.

4. Not All APIs are Free

You may get slightly discouraged by this but don’t be. This is because free APIs won’t cost you any money, but they won’t help you too far with your app. On the other hand, the paid-for APIs allow you to accomplish all that you want your app to do.

The APIs for which you need to pay a fee generally provide specialized data and this has a few advantages such as the ability to monetize the app, and factor in the data in your app planning. Another thing is that these APIs cost a fraction of a penny per user. So, you will be charged less than fifty dollars for a million users.

5. You Can Choose from Public and Private APIs

You will find thousands of APIs that are available for public use on the web. These APIs are referred to as public APIs. These APIs range from AI APIs to language translation and image recognition APIs. These APIs allow you to equip your app with impressive functionality.

While the public APIs are free and easily accessible, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can easily and quickly incorporate them into your app. Instead, a certain level of skill and creativity is needed to incorporate the APIs into the app that makes them useful and valuable. However, these APIs are built for creative and unique use.

Private APIs are needed when a business wants to leverage volumes of data for their app. Often, these APIs need to be created from scratch and designed with a specific purpose in mind. However, private APIs are generally for highly specialized business use cases. APIs for most business use cases for which an app is developed are already available.

The Core Features and Benefits of On-Demand Logistics Apps

The logistics industry is unrecognizable from a decade and a half ago. Fifteen years back, you would have had to wait patiently in sweltering hear, with eyes stuck on your watch and in anticipation of the delivery driver’s arrival who was supposed to reach almost an hour ago.

This was a time when most all people expecting deliveries, personal or business, would be left frustrated to the core and without any possible solution to their woes in sight. Thankfully, things have progressed over the years and now we have alternatives to conventional and poor delivery or logistics services.

Advancement in the IT sector has given birth to many applications that make logistics and supply chain a transparent and seamless process. Now, people don’t need to die wondering where their package is if it does not arrive on time. Instead, they can keep tabs on their package in real time with on-demand logistics apps.

Not only do on-demand apps allow individual consumers and businesses to keep track of their package, but it also makes it easier for the transportation or logistics driver to reach the location on time. In other words, on-demand mobile apps are helping to transform the logistics industry.

On-Demand Apps are Taking the Logistics Industry into a New Era of Transparency and Innovation

According to National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS) conducted in 2017, usage of on-demand apps increased from just under 25 million people in 2016 to over 40 million only a year later. The study conducted by Rockbridge Associates made the following important discoveries that show the impact of on-demand apps on the logistics industry.

ondemand apps

(Consumer spending in the on-demand economy increased significantly from 2016 to 2017 [Image Source])

From the NTRS study, we find that consumer spending in the on-demand economy increased significantly from 2016 to 2017. The sectors where growth was seen included the online market place, transportation, housing, food delivery, and health & beauty.

While the greatest growth in the on-demand economy industry was seen in online marketplace, logistics-related sectors experienced decent growth too. Spending on on-demand platforms increased from $6.8 billion in 2016 to $14.2 billion in 2017 in the transportation industry.

On the other hand, spending in the food & delivery sector increased from $3.9 billion to $8.2 billion in 2018, a growth of $4.3 billion. Together, the transportation and food& delivery sector experienced a growth in on-demand spending of $11.7 billion in just one year. These figures are from 2017; the spending on on-demand platforms in these sectors is probably even higher now.

The point of all this is that on-demand apps are having a significant impact on the logistics industry, which includes both the transportation industry and food & delivery services.

The success of Uber has been the driving force behind this growing uberization of the logistics and transportation industry. What started as a simple idea to allow commuters to conveniently find a cab to get from point A to Point B has now spread its wings into the transportation, logistics, travel, and food & delivery sectors. The following infographic shows where the most investment in the on-demand economy is being done.

ondemand startup graphs


( 10 Startups in the on-demand economy with the greatest investment [Image Source])

From the above infographic, we find that expectedly the startup with the greatest investment in the on-demand economy is Uber. Airbnb is next followed by Lyft, OIa, Instacart, and Deliveroo. The list is completed by HelloFresh, Opendoor, BlaBlaCar, and FreshDirect.

The most interesting observation from this is that 8 of the 10 startups in the on-demand economy with the greatest investment are transportation or food & delivery services, both of which are part of the logistics industry.

According to the Transparency Market Research, the global logistics market will be worth $15.5 trillion by 2023. This means that we can expect further investments on on-demand apps and platforms in the logistics industry in the coming years.

Types of Logistics Apps

There are many different types of logistics apps. However, the four most common types of logistics apps are fleet management apps, on-demand logistics apps, warehouse apps, and tracking apps. Below is a brief introduction to each.

1. Fleet-Management Apps
As the name suggests, fleet-management apps make it easy for you to manage your entire fleet. They allow you to not only keep track of, but also record the data about your fleet or a particular vehicle in your fleet in real-time through an app.  After the app is assigned to the driver, the relevant people can manage the fleet through an end-to-end mobile solution.

2. Warehouse Management Apps
A key part of any logistics or supply chain business, the warehouse can be easily managed using a warehouse management app. Not only do these apps allow you to store large volumes of warehouse data into their database, but they make it easy to access and manage this date to ensure efficient warehouse operations.

3. Tracking Apps
With tracking apps, you can get updates about your deliveries including the exact locations at different times and the routes taken by the drivers to reach the end destination, all in real time. These apps are designed for both individual customers and businesses.

4. On-Demand Logistics Apps
We now come to the most important type of logistics app or the type of app for which this research has ben done: the on-demand logistics apps. Designed to help businesses get the most out of the growing on-demand economy, on-demand logistics apps make it incredibly easy to get products or services delivered to end-users or customers on time and in a transparent manner.

If we talk about the advantages of on-demand app development for businesses, then there are many. These include, but are not limited:
– Ease of use and customization
– User-friendly app
– A high level of security
– Easy to upgrade
– Ensuring customer satisfaction

On-Demand Apps in the Logistics Industry: Use Cases and Examples

Today, on-demand apps are dominating the logistics industry and they are found in every sector from transportation to food delivery to pickup & delivery services and more. Following are some use cases and examples of on-demand apps in the logistics industry.

1. Food
It is not a new concept to have food or groceries delivered anywhere and at any time. Some of the most popular on-demand food delivery apps include DoorDash, GrubHub, Instacart, and Uber Eats. For both businesses and consumers, these apps are incredibly useful.

For example, these apps allow owners of restaurants to increase their food orders and easily manage their deliveries. On the other hand, consumers can easily and conveniently access the menus of the restaurants in their area and then order their preferred food with a single click.

2. Transportation & Logistics
On-demand applications are helping to improve and enhance transportation and core logistics services. As such, the spending on these apps is increasing every day in the transportation and logistics industry. Some of the major reason for the increased adoption of on-demand apps are:
– Ability to track goods and people in real time
– Ability to provide on-demand transportation
– Transparent pricing
– Ability to make payments quickly
– In-app messaging that makes communication between suppliers and customer easier

This list is not exhaustive and there are many other

3. Pickup & Delivery Service
People don’t live busy lives and barely get time for any thing other than work. With this mind, pickup & delivery services offer a convenient solution for people who want to surprise someone with a gift but don’t have the time to pick up the gift and the deliver it to the intended recipient.

Examples of these services are Gifragramoffer, Gyft, and UrbanStems that provide people with an app to get gifts delivered to the doorstep of the recipient. Some of the major benefits of getting gifts delivered through these apps is that they have a wide range of products, they offer doorstep delivery, and they allow you to schedule a preferred delivery time slot. With all these benefits, it is no wonder that the use of and spending on these pickup & delivery apps is increasing each day.

The Benefits of On-Demand Logistics Apps for Businesses

We will now quickly look at some of the major benefits of on-demand logistics apps for businesses. These benefits range from improving customer service to ensuring a high level of professionalism. Let’s dive into these benefits.

1. Improved Customer Service
With on-demand logistics app, businesses can improve and enhance their customer service experience. This can be done by keeping track of all packages/goods to be delivered to the customer/end-users in real time to ensure it gets delivered on time and without any damage. Additionally, these apps allow customers to instantly contact the logistics team if they are not available at the location where the package needs to be delivered and get it delivered where they are instead.

2. Greater Visibility

On-demand delivery apps allow businesses to keep track of the items that are dispatched or are ready to be shipped. On the other hand, customers/end users can use the app to track their package in a convenient and efficient manner. Moreover, businesses can attract more customers to their business by equipping the transportation vehicles with the tracking facility which allows people to view the location of their packages in real time.

3. Product Delivery Assurance
Assurance of having the product delivered safely and on time is one of the main reasons why people use on-demand logistics apps.  Also, with these apps, it is easy for both customers and businesses to confirm whether delivery was made on time or not.

4. Ensure a High Level of Professionalism
The fourth and final main benefit of on-demand logistics apps for businesses is ensuring a high level of professionalism. With an on-demand logistics app, you can help your business to look professional to customers. This is because on-demand logistics apps make the delivery and shipment process transparent for the customers and fulfill the promise of on-time delivery.

These are some of the major benefits of on-demand logistics apps for businesses. However, this list is not exhaustive and there are many other reasons for businesses to invest in on-demand logistics apps.

Businesses also have an incentive to invest in and use the best logistics APIs for building on-demand logistics app. We will be looking next at the 6 most trusted APIs for on-demand logistics app.

The 6 Most Trusted APIs for On-Demand Logistics App

Today, a number of public and private APIs are available for building successful on-demand logistics app. This can make it difficult to choose the best APIs for your particular situation or business use case. However, you can make the process easier by considering three factors: the features of the API, its price, and ease of use.  Based on these three factors, following are the 6 most trusted APIs for on-demand logistics app.

1. 17track API

A popular API in the logistics industry, 17track API allows you to track packages with an all-in-one solution. Carriers in more than two hundred countries are supported by this API. Using the API, a tracking code can be submitted to get tracking information about a particular or specified package in real time. The API also allow you to set the carrier ID and the parameters of time zone. The tracking data retrieved by the API is returned in JSON format.

If the number of requests you make in the month using 17track API is no more than a hundred, then the API will cost you nothing. For anything over that, you will have to subscribe to paid plans that start from $10 per month and go all the way up to $300 per month. The difference in price is due to the number of requests allowed. In order to allow you to make the most of the API, response examples, SDKs, and other useful resource are provided.

2. DHLFORYOU.NL

A delivery schedule API, DHLFORYOU.NL makes it easy for you to know when your DHL shipment deliveries are scheduled. Using the API, you can get access to schedule for delivery of goods and documents in transit via road, air, rail, or sea.

In the post code area provided, DHLFORYOU.NL will show you the schedule of the expected deliveries during the next two weeks. This will be show in the form of a list that contains the schedules. One of the best things about this API is that it is available for free. Finally, you can implement the API without any programming obstacles as easy to follow documentation is provided for this purpose.

3. TrackService API

You can find the most efficient and quickest route possible by using this API to analyze the starting point and the end destination. Route optimization can be performed for hundreds of stops using the TrackService API many one or more vehicles. Additionally, you can retrieve a location’s latitude and longitude coordinates as well as the turn-by-turn direction. Moreover, you can work out the distance between point A and point B or two different locations.

In addition to the above, the API has excellent routing capabilities which include intelligent dispatching, multi-region routing, and auto address geocoding. Another benefit of the TrackService API is that it allows asset tracking in real time and offers two-way texting capabilities. This API is offered for free and its implementation is made easy by snippets of code in different popular programming languages and endpoint descriptions that are provided with it.

4. UberDelivery API

Leaving out the UberDelivery API from the list of the most trusted APIs for on-demand logistics app would be no less than a crime. Using this API, you can embed the delivery and request functionalities of Uber within your mobile application.

Some of the things that can be accomplished using this API are making a request for an Uber delivery, sourcing a list of all deliveries, cancelling an existing delivery, generating a delivery quote, and receiving real-time updates an ongoing delivery. This API is provided for free and its quick and flawless implementation is ensured by the detailed documentation that comes with it.

5. Aftership API

An excellent API for tracking shipment, Aftership API allows you track the deliveries of over four hundred couriers.  This API allows you to automatically detect the use of the courier and get updates about the statuses of orders in real time.

Using the Aftership API, you can add tracking notification, create tracking codes, retrieve a user’s details for receiving delivery, update tracking information, delete tracking data, and recover an expired tracking. The API is provided for free and it can be embedded within an app with a few lines of code and using detailed documentation.

6. EasyPostTracking API

The sixth and final API for on-demand logistics app on the list is the EasyPostTracking API. A flexible API, the EasyPostTracking API allows you to incorporate into your app tracking and shipping capabilities. You can add package tracking to your app using this API. Once added, the API can be used to track packages of UPS, DHL, USPS, FedEx, and others.

In addition to the above, then API allows you to create a new tracker in order to keep track of a package’s transit time in real-time as well as get a package tracker by its ID, and list of all the packages being tracked. The API is provided for free. However, if you need to use the API heavily, then you may have to pay a fee to use it. The implementation of the API is made quick and easy by the code snippets, endpoint descriptions, and other resources provided with it.

Conclusion

The top 6 APIs for building successful on-demand logistics apps are listed above. These APIs are recommended because they are most trusted APIs for on-demand applications. They are widely trusted because they help to eliminate the complexities involved in performing logistical activities and operations by creating great apps that meet the needs and demands of the modern-day customers.

By incorporating the above apps into their logistics app, businesses everywhere can take advantage of the growth of the logistics industry and the on-demand economy. They can derive many benefits from the use of the on-demand logistics apps including improving customer service, getting greater visibility into logistics operations, providing product delivery assurance to customers, and ensuring a high level of professionalism.

Our Review Process

Our writers spent more than 10 hours researching the relationship between API and app development, the on-demand logistics app market and the best APIs for building successful on-demand logistics app. To come up with the information and statistics presented above, they read through the research of top sites and considered 20 of the most trusted APIs for on-demand logistics app. This research process makes the information provided by us trust.

The Best Mobile App Ideas to Develop for Businesses In 2020

  • Author: Harnil Onza
mobile app ideas to develop in 2020
It is no secret that most businesses today are driven by technology. A major reason for this is that more and more consumers today prefer searching for and buying the services and products they need on their mobile phones.
 
According to OuterBox—an e-commerce agency focused on search engine optimization (SEO), online sales in the US in 2018 exceeded $500 billion. 79% of these purchases were either ordered or made using a mobile device. Following is an infographic illustrating this development:
 
ecommerce orders in 2018
 
From the above infographic, we find that 79% of all customer orders in 2018 were made via mobile. We also find that 40% of all sales on Black Friday in 2018 were made using a mobile device. Other encouraging statistics for aspiring mobile application developers is that 230 million Americans owned a smartphone in 2018, while more than 100 million owned a tablet.
 
Both of these are mobile devices on which mobile applications can be downloaded. However, some apps may only be available for download only from the Google Play store for Android phones and Apple’s App Store for iPhones and not on tablets. Nevertheless, aspiring mobile app developers in the US should be buoyed by the fact that there are hundreds of millions of mobile users in the country today.

The State of Internet and Mobile Usage in the US and Worldwide

Mobile app developers in the US are not the only ones who should look forward to a bright future for their business/career. Freelance app developers and app development companies in other parts of the world have a lot to look forward to. This is because more than 50% of the world’s population already has access to the internet, and this is only going to grow in the future. In fact, it is Asia rather than North America or Europe that has the greatest number of internet users. Following is an illustration of this:
 
internet users distribution in the world
 
From the above pie-chart, we find Asia has the greatest share of global internet users, with 50% of the world’s internet users living there. Europe is second with 16%, followed by Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The share of North America, which includes the United States, is only 7.2%. The regions with the least percentage of global internet users are the Middle East and Oceania/Australia. Oceania/Australia coming in the last place is more of a surprise than North America ranking fifth on the list.
 
In addition to the pie chart showing the distribution of the world’s internet users, Internet World Stats provides information on these users based on their sheer number. Following is a graph illustrating this:
 
unique mobile users in the world at the start of 2019
 
From the above graph, we find that, as of June 2019, there were 2,300 million internet users in Asia, 727 million users in Europe, 523 million users in Africa, 453 million in Latin America/Caribbean, 328 million in North America, 175 million in the Middle East, and only 29 million in Oceania/Australia.
 
Another statistic that should serve as an encouraging sign for aspiring mobile app developers is that there were 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world at the start of 2019, an increase of 100 million from the previous year. Following is an infographic illustrating this:
 
annual digital growth
 
 
From the above infographic, we find that the number of unique mobile users in the world increased by 100 million between January 2018 and January 2019 to reach 5.11 billion unique mobile users. For those of you who don’t know what this represents, a unique mobile user represents a mobile user who installs an app on an iOS or Android device. If you install the same application on two devices, then this counts as two unique mobile users.
 
According to Statista, global unique mobile subscribers will grow to 5.86 billion by 2025. By the end of 2020, the number will be around 5.7 billion. Following is an illustration of this:
 
global unique mobile subscribers
 
From the above graph, we find that the Asia-Pacific region is expected to have the greatest share of global unique mobile subscribers in both 2020 and 2025. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) comes in second place; Europe is third, Latin America is fourth, and the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region ranks fifth. The list is completed by North America and Sub-Saharan Africa, which come in sixth and seventh places, respectively.
 
Looking at the global unique mobile subscriber stats and the distribution of internet users in the world according to region, we find that North America, which includes the United States, lags far behind other regions, such as Asia and Africa, which comprises rival economies such as China, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

Why Businesses in the US Need a Mobile App

It is needless to say that the US needs to have a bigger share of both global unique mobile subscribers and global internet users in the future, considering the country’s stature in the world and the sheer size of its economy.
 
However, the impact of the US’s share of global unique mobile subscribers and global internet users is minimal on the mobile app development companies operating within the country. This is because 8 in 10 Americans are online shoppers, and half of them use a mobile device for shopping. EMarketer provides proof of this by revealing that almost 40% of all retail ecommerce sales in the US in 2018 were made using a mobile device. Following is an illustration of this:
 
how much are people spending on mobile in the us
 
From the above infographic, we find that mobile sales accounted for 39.6% of all retail ecommerce sales in the US in 2018. We also find that their number was $201.8 billion in 2018, and it was expected to grow to $270.4 billion by 2019.
 
Another statistic that should motivate the top app development companies in the US to create great apps for their clients is that nearly 50% of mobile users in the US use mobile banking. Most of these mobile banking activities are conducted via apps. Clearly, the use of mobile devices and applications for shopping and other reasons is on the rise in the US.
 
The use of mobile devices has been increasing globally and expected to reach great heights in 2020. This is an opportunity that both app development companies and businesses that want to create an app must capitalize on.
 
One of the best ways to do that is by creating innovative apps that immediately catches the attention of the target audience. To help you with this, we will discuss in this guide the best mobile app ideas to develop for businesses in 2020.
 
However, before we do that, you need to understand why investing in mobile app development is critical to accelerating your business growth. In the next section, we look at the ten reasons businesses should invest in mobile app development.

11 Reasons Businesses Worldwide Should Invest in Mobile App Development

The number of mobile application downloads will grow by over 280 billion by 2020. Additionally, Sensor Tower states that the number of downloads per day during the period 2019-2020 will be 250 million. With this in mind, it can only be a good thing for businesses in the US and worldwide to invest in mobile app development.
 
There are several benefits for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses that invest in mobile app development and hire a mobile app development company. Some of these benefits are listed below.

1. Ensure Increased Visibility of the Business

The number one reason for investing in mobile app development for your business is ensuring that you are always visible to your customers. For various reasons, people spend a good amount of time each day using their mobile phones. In fact, it has been found that adults in the US spend more than 3.5 hours a day on their mobile phones. The average time spent on mobile phones per day is on the rise in other parts of the world as well.
 
This provides businesses everywhere with a great opportunity to remind customers about them. When customers are reminded about your business each day, they are likely to consider you when shopping for a product or service that you offer. This increases your chances of making a sale, which ultimately benefits your bottom line.
 
A website optimized for mobile usage is not enough to remind customers about your business. Instead, you need to have a mobile application for your business that customers can easily download to their phones. Once your app is installed on the mobile phones of your customers, your job of reminding them about your business will become incredibly easy.
 
Through the app, you can share any updates about your business with customers. You can also share any product announcements, promotions, and special offers from your business. This will not only help make your business more visible to customers, but it will also help to increase customer engagement, which will ultimately benefit your bottom line.

2. Create a Direct Marketing Channel

Regardless of your industry or where your business is based, a mobile application can serve as a great marketing tool for your business. In fact, some marketing experts see it as one of the best marketing channels for businesses.
 
Mobile applications offer tons of capabilities that can help you better market and sell your offerings to customers. These capabilities include (but are limited to) reminders, booking forms, messengers, price updates, news feeds, search features, and promotions.
 
With these features, you can make the purchase process easier for your customers. In fact, your mobile app can be the perfect one-stop-shop for your customers. Additionally, you can easily connect to and interact with customers using push notifications. Moreover, you can use the app to automatically send reminders to customers about your payments, products, and services in a preferred/desired way.

3. Take Advantage of the Growth in Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce has grown exponentially in the last ten years or so, and more of the same is expected over the next decade. Some important statistics related to mobile commerce are covered above. However, the most interesting finding related to mobile commerce is that five hundred companies that adopted mobile commerce to sell their products/services experienced an 80% increase in sales after the adoption.
 
This has been possible due to the plethora of great features offered by mobile applications such as proximity marketing, in-app purchases, and digital wallets like Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. By now, it should be clear to you that you need a mobile application for your business to get the most out of the current growth in mobile commerce.

4. Fast and Secure Mobile Payments

To take advantage of the growth in mobile commerce, you must allow customers to make payments to you using their mobile devices. A mobile application with in-built payment options can help you do this. Today, mobile applications developed by the top app development companies come with many mobile payment options, including wallets, CC &DC payments, PayPal, and in-app purchases.
 
These mobile payment options are not only fast and secure, but they also keep buyers’ sensitive information secure. In short, mobile applications with in-built payment options make it easy for your customers to pay for your products/services on their mobile devices without compromising their identity or other sensitive information. This allows your business to win the confidence and trust of your customers, which leads to loyal customers that make repeat purchases from you.

5. Increase Conversions

With mobile commerce applications, businesses can increase their conversion rate by integrating social sharing and digital content. Additionally, businesses can make it easier for customers to decide between two different product offerings by providing product recommendations and testimonials through their app. While this can also be done on a business website, mobile applications are readily accessible and thus a better option.

6. Build Brand Recognition

If you want to get quicker results from your brand building activities, then you must invest in mobile app development. With a well-curated, well-designed mobile application, you can promote your brand effectively to prospects and customers without having to incur the heavy costs associated with outdoor advertising such as signages and billboards.
 
In short, a mobile application can help you to gain recognition for your brand quickly. The sooner you build brand recognition, the sooner you will be able to sell your products and services.

7. Increase Customer Engagement

To increase the sales of your products or services, you need to increase your customer engagement first. To do this, you need to make sure that you have a direct communication channel with customers and that customers can easily reach out to you with their inquiries, demos, or queries. One way to make this happen is by developing a mobile app with features such as geo-targeted ads, help desk, and real-time chat. You will surely improve your customer engagement with this type of communication with your customers.

8. Capture Data in Real-Time

Whether it is related to the company’s finances, suppliers, customers, or sales, data plays a critical role in any organization. Mobile applications make it easy to get valuable insights, such as the period the most sales happen during a year, which customers use your app the most for, the most promising geographies for your business, which product or service customers search for the most, and more.
 
Using these insights, you can make the right decisions for your business. Additionally, you will be able to offer the right content to your customers at the right time and at the right place.

9. Increase Customer Loyalty

The dream customer for any business is a loyal customer who consistently buys from the business to add to its profitability. However, a lot of hard work is needed to win the loyalty of your customers; you need to show them that you care about them and understand their needs. The best way to do is this is by building a connection with your customers through a mobile app.
 
With a mobile app for your business, you can not only engage more frequently with your customers but also offer rewards and loyalty programs to them like gift coupons, free vouchers, and free membership upgrades. This will increase customer satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and ultimately boost your sales.

10. Improve Customer Care

With a mobile application, your customer care will be online 24/7 the year-round. A mobile application developed by one of the top app development companies will be sufficient for you to provide customer care services. You can provide these services through reviews, helpdesk support, product guides, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) integrated into the mobile app. You can even go a step further by offering live chat support in your app through chatbots. This will eliminate the need for dedicated customer service representatives while speeding up the delivery of customer care services, saving money, and increasing productivity in the process.

11. Take Advantage of Several Built-In Smartphone Features

The smartphone comes with several useful built-in features. You can leverage these features to your advantage by building a mobile application. For example, a mobile application will make it possible for your customers to share pictures that they took with your products as part of a promotion. Ultimately, this will increase the promotion’s reach and the recognition of your brand.
 
On the other hand, if you’re business is in the transportation industry, then you can leverage the smartphones’ GPS feature to allow drivers and passengers to plan their trips, calculate expected time of arrival (ETA), and get directions through your mobile application.
 
Retail businesses can also use the in-built features of smartphones to their advantage by offering in-store proximity marketing to their customers via their app using a Bluetooth-enabled (BLE) device. In short, the built-in smartphone features should be reason enough for businesses everywhere to invest in mobile application development.
 
The above list is not exhaustive, and there are many other reasons for businesses to invest in mobile application development. However, if your ultimate objective is to increase sales and profitability for your business, then the reasons given above should encourage you to hire dedicated developers for mobile app development.
 
Whether you are interested in iPhone app development or Android app development, there are several mobile application ideas for businesses that can help you gain a competitive edge in 2020, depending on your industry. Some of these mobile app ideas for businesses are discussed in the next section.

The Top 5 Mobile App Ideas for Businesses in 2020

Over the past few years, there has been an exponential increase in mobile application development for businesses. This is due to the rapid increase in the number of smartphone users and mobile application downloads. Statista reveals that the number of smartphone users worldwide will increase from 3.2 billion in 2019 to 3.5 billion in 2020. Below is a bar chart that illustrates this:
 
number of smartphone users worldwide
 
From the above graph, we find that the number of smartphone users worldwide has increased at a constant rate since 2016. This trend is expected to continue in 2020 and 2021, with the number of smartphone users increasing to 3.5 billion in 2020 and 3.8 billion in 2021, respectively.
 
Another interesting finding of Statista and perhaps the biggest reason for businesses around the world to consider mobile application development is that there was a significant increase in the number of mobile application downloads in 2018 compared to 2017. The number of app downloads is expected to continue to increase over the next few years to reach 258.2 billion by 2022. Below is a bar chart illustrating this:
 
number of app downloads
 
From the above graph, we find that the number of downloads worldwide increased from 178.1 billion in 2017 to 205.4 billion in 2018, an increase of 27.3 billion within one year. While such a drastic increase in the number of app downloads is not expected in the next few years, we will experience an increase in app downloads worldwide between now and 2022, which is illustrated above.
 
With an increase in both the number of smartphone users and the number of app downloads expected worldwide, 2020 would be a great time for businesses to invest in the development of innovative mobile applications. If you’re not sure about what type of mobile application to develop for your business in 2020, then you may want to consider the following mobile application ideas for businesses that are trending today.

1. IoT Applications

Gartner predicts that the number of connected devices in the world will increase to 26 billion in 2020, generating a revenue of over $300 billion in the process. On the other hand, Statista predicts the internet of things (IoT) connected devices installed base worldwide to reach 30.73 billion in 2020 and 75.44 billion in 2025.
 
iot connected devices worldwide
 
From the above graph, we find that the IoT connected devices installed base worldwide has increased steadily over the past five years, and this trend is expected to continue over the next half-decade. This is a real opportunity for businesses to capitalize on.
 
The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered by many as the future of technology. This is because it enables you to control your car, the gadgets, and appliances in your home, and more from a single operating point remotely. With so many connected devices, there has never been a better time to invest in the development of IoT mobile applications for your business.
 
If you’re not thinking about developing an IoT application for your business, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to get ahead of your competitors. This is because IoT mobile apps are a futuristic technology that can change how apps are developed in the future.
 
With an IoT mobile application, you can increase convenience for your customers while automating many of your processes. Another advantage of an IoT mobile app is that this type of app is highly interactive and can keep your users/customers engaged with innovative, user-friendly features. In short, an IoT mobile application developed by one of the top app development companies can help you meet many of your complex business needs while ensuring a competitive advantage for your business. Depending on your industry, you may want to choose one of the following IoT mobile app ideas for your business:
– Home automation
– Smart parking system
– Smart office systems
– IoT-enabled ECG devices

2. VR-Enabled Apps

Another innovative mobile application idea is virtual reality or VR-enabled apps. A trendy technology, virtual reality is making the unthinkable possible. If you want to get ahead of the competition, then you must take full advantage of this capability.
 
In the past, VR’s use and popularity were limited to the gaming world. However, this is no longer the case. As of 2018, there were around 171 million VR users worldwide spread across a range of industrial domains. Today, VR is being integrated with other disruptive technologies such as IoT to enable its greater use in industrial and business settings.
 
With VR mobile applications, you can provide your customers with an immersive and life-like experience of your business and products/services at a time and place of their choice. While the development and use of VR mobile apps are seen most in the retail sector, businesses/organizations in other sectors are also developing and using these apps. An example of this is the healthcare sector, where VR mobile apps are used for medical education, diagnostics, pain management, physical fitness and therapy, and human stimulation techniques.

3. On-Demand Applications

On-demand applications are already a hit with many businesses today. This is because they are fast becoming an integral part of the consumer’s life. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), over 22 million consumers are attracted by the On-Demand economy each year, with spending exceeding $57 billion. Perhaps, the most interesting finding of HBR is that $35.6 billion of this revenue comes from the online marketplace. Following is an illustration of this:
 
annual ondemand economy spending
 
From the above infographic, we find that area in the on-demand economy with the highest average spending per year (in billions) is the online marketplace. Transportation comes in second, but there is a gap of almost $30 billion between the two areas/sectors of the on-demand economy.
 
This shows that, if businesses want to take advantage of a booming on-demand economy, then they need to focus on and invest in the online marketplace. The best way to do this is by developing an on-demand mobile application for your customers. By doing this, you will provide your customers with quick access to the products/services they desire at their fingertips. Ultimately, this will bring benefits to your bottom line.

4. Social Media Applications

Social media applications will stay useful for several years to come. This applies to both consumers and businesses. For businesses, the greatest benefit of developing a social media application lies in the fact that there were over 3.4 billion social media users worldwide in 2019.
 
In addition to getting exposure to at least some of this social media user base, there are several other advantages of developing a social media app for your business that should encourage you to go ahead with the app development.
 
These benefits include (but are not limited to) brand promotion and user loyalty, faster demonstration of products and services to a wide customer base, valuable insights about your prospects and competitors, enhanced user experience that boosts your brand reputation, specific and targeted advertising, and increase in search rankings, website traffic, and conversion rates.
 
With the advantages of developing a social media app for your business established, you may want to know the approach on social media apps that will encourage consumers to buy from you. Sproutsocial provides some answers with findings that are illustrated below:
 
behaviors consumers want from brands on social
 
From the above chart, we learn that the behavior consumers want to see most from brands on social media platforms is honesty. The next most wanted behavior is friendliness. Consumers also want brands to be helpful and funny on social platforms. The behaviors least desired from brands are being snarky and politically correct.  So, once you have a social media app for your business, make sure that you are not too vocal about government policies and social issues there. Most of your consumers won’t appreciate it.
 
In addition to the above, Sproutsocial suggests the following actions on social media apps to get consumers to buy from you:
 
brand actions on social that prompts customers to purchase
 
From the above infographic, we find that the brand action on social apps/platforms that prompts consumers to make a purchase the most is being responsive. The next most important action is offering promotions, followed by the provision of educational content, sharing of interesting visuals, being funny, and offering exclusive content.
 
Actions on social that seemed to negatively impact the will of consumers to buy from a brand included providing behind the scenes content and trash-talking competing brands. Therefore, if you want to increase sales with your social media app, then make sure not to talk negatively about your competitors there. Instead, focus on increasing customer engagement by being responsive, offering promotions, providing educational content, and sharing interesting visuals. This will help you to get the most out of your investment in a social media-based mobile application.

5. Blockchain Applications

Blockchain applications are the fifth and final mobile app idea on our list that businesses can develop in 2020. According to Statista, the global blockchain market will grow to $23.3 billion by 2023. This means that businesses will have plenty of opportunities in the coming years in blockchain to capitalize on.
 
Contrary to popular belief, blockchain is not just about cryptocurrency and the provision of financial services. Instead, it can be used to secure data in a range of industries. In fact, blockchain is already proving its worth in many sectors other than the financial services industry.
 
A 2019 survey by Gartner finds that blockchain is now a critical priority for many organizations. Following is an illustration of this:
 
critical priority
 
From the above graph, we find that 53% of the surveyed organizations consider blockchain to be one of their top five strategic priorities in 2019 compared to 43% in 2018. The blue highlight represents the 2019 findings, while the green illustrates the findings of the 2018 survey.
 
Another interesting finding of the Gartner study is regarding the sentiments of organizations about the blockchain technology.
 
blockchain technology by gartner
 
From the above bar chart, we find that there has been an increase in the number of organizations that believe the blockchain technology provides great scalability and will soon enter the mainstream. There has also been an increase in the number of organizations with an executive team that believe that a convincing business case exists for blockchain.
 
Unfortunately, there has also been an increase in the number of organizations that see blockchain as overhyped. However, this does not undermine the benefits of developing a blockchain application for your business.
 
First and foremost, a blockchain mobile application can help you to enable a secure business ecosystem. Additionally, it ensures transparency with a complete ledger system. Another reason to hire a mobile app development company to build a mobile blockchain application for your business is that blockchain applications are simple to use and highly reliable. What more do you want?

Conclusion

From the information above, we find that the downloading and use of mobile applications is on the way up. Therefore, it makes great sense for businesses worldwide to invest in mobile application development in 2020. There are several advantages to this, and some of them have been discussed above.
 
Also discussed in this guide are the best mobile app ideas to develop for businesses in 2020. These mobile application ideas for businesses include IoT applications, VR-enabled apps, on-demand applications, social media applications, and blockchain applications. You can extract the maximum benefit from the development of these applications by hiring dedicated developers to build them.

Our Review Process

Our writers spent more than 30 hours research the most trending mobile app development ideas today in various industries and niches. They considered 15 different mobile app development ideas and read through the research of top sites before shortlisting the mobile app ideas for businesses mentioned in this guide. This research process makes the provided information trustworthy.

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