In many ways, preparing businesses for the new normal has already begun. We all know that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are here to stay. Innovation and flexibility of businesses world over have been put to test and some are emerging stronger than others. While industries like travel, retail and hospitality will take a considerable time to get back to normal, some sectors like ecommerce, video streaming, gaming and work-from home solutions have become immediate beneficiaries of the newfound challenge.
Mobile apps – all kinds of them – have acquired a newfound sense of importance in the current scenario. Anything that can be done online, is being done online. Consequently, mobile apps stand to not only become immensely popular and profitable, but also make a massive impact in helping people adhere to social distancing and stay safe from the deadly virus.
Let’s take a look at 5 app businesses that are poised to be the most successful, impactful and profitable businesses in a post-Covid world.
1. Edtech or Education Apps
Millions of students across the world haven’t set foot in their new classrooms this year. However, this has been a great year for the digitalization of education. While the classroom experience will always be a vital aspect of education, COVID-19 has tremendously emphasized the merits of taking education online.
Education apps like Google Classroom, Remind: Safe Classroom and ClassDojo saw a 580%, 290% and 565% growth respectively from January 2020 to March 2020. Google Classroom was the #4 non-gaming app by downloads in the last week of March.
Apps that have been at the forefront of digital education for many years now saw an opportunity in this crisis and stepped up to the occasion. India’s biggest learning platform, Byju’s, that was doing great as a freemuim subscription model, went a step ahead and began offering free online classes, seeing a 150% growth in number of users. China’s Tencent classroom saw 730,000 school students using its platform in Wuhan alone as the pandemic caused a total shutdown. Many other apps offered tools to help teachers create video lessons and organise schoolwork, conduct tests as well as grade papers.
The surge in demand for edtech is evident and loud. Innovative apps that make it easier for students to learn and teachers to teach online will continue to grow and be profitable.
Another category of apps that is seeing a massive surge in demand is finance or fintech apps. The economic uncertainty coupled with the inability to visit the bank has led to more and more people using mobile to manage their money.
The overall time spent in finance apps increased 55% in US in Q1 2020. In Japan and South Korea, the rise was sharper at 85% and 90% respectively. Robinhood, a fintech app, ranked #1 on app stores in its category and grew by 260% in April 2020. (Source: App Annie)
From basic activities like accessing bank accounts, paying bills and transferring funds, to things like investing, trading, stock monitoring and personal finance management, everything is increasingly mobile. Consumers look for apps that are secure, reliable and user friendly, to stay on top of their money matters. Time spent in stock market apps increased by 80% from the first week of January to the last week of March. The volatile economy and market uncertainty seems to be at play here. App Annie reports that consumers are now using their banking apps every day, which is a surprisingly new trend.
3. Home Improvement and DIY
With people spending so much more time at home, the market for home improvement, renovation supplies and DIY has literally taken wings. From redecorating their living spaces to doubling down on home automation technology, homeowners are going all out make their stay-at-home time worthwhile, and this trend is only set to go up with travel restraints and an impending summer staycation.
Home Depot and Lowe’s reported 195% and 205% increase in their respective app downloads. The digital-first homeware retailer Wayfair too saw an 85% growth in its app downloads. Promptly responding to the customer sentiment, these brands refocused their attention to serve their mobile customers better by offering improved augmented reality, video sessions with pro designers and personalized value offers.
Mobile apps that help users create and curate their home improvement ideas as well as help them find and buy the right products are set to be a big hit with consumers who now want to make their time at home more enjoyable.
4. At-Home Fitness Apps
Yes, gyms are going to be off-limits for a while longer. Public parks and your other running tracks are no safer and yet, fitness can’t wait. More so when people realize that a stronger immunity is the best way to beat the virus, they want no setbacks in the way of getting their workouts done. As a result, at-home fitness apps are rising steadily in demand. A collective of 10 fitness apps including Nike Training Club, 30 Day Fitness and Asana Rebel among others have seen nearly 5 million downloads in just a week in March 2020.
Fitness encompass a large variety of apps and offer immense potential for growth amid the coronavirus pandemic. From full-body workouts to specialized skill-based training like Yoga or Kickboxing, from live trainer sessions to wearable activity monitors, there’s a lot of room to play here and consumers are ready to adapt now more than ever.
5. Learning Apps
This is not about curriculum based education apps. With the fall in time spent socializing outside the house, people are turning to learning new skills and hobbies on their phones. From language learning apps like DuoLingo and Babbel to diversified course apps like Udemy and Khan Academy, learning apps saw a rise in demand all over the world.
Udemy saw a 425% rise in enrolments in late march. Duolingo reported a 101% increase in usage overall, adding that new learners are spending 13% more time learning, even on weekends compared to users in the past.
Consumers are using their time to learn fun and useful new skills in fields ranging from arts to technology. Apps that make this possible are here to stay and thrive.
To sum it up, users are spending more time in apps. From learning new skills to managing their wealth, consumers look to get as much done on their phones as possible. Any app that helps people practicing social distancing not miss out on the exciting opportunities are here to thrive. Now’s a great time for new ideas, carefully executed visions and trendsetting innovations. So if you’ve got that idea bobbing up in your head for a while, now’s the time.