As of 2020, there were over 8.93 million mobile apps available worldwide, which only accounts for part of the app market. The number of both web and mobile apps continues to grow year after year. It’s clear that app development is not slowing down, and companies are constantly trying to create that next big thing.
I’ve noticed two major trends currently happening in the world of app development. First, is the rise of applications known as super apps. What’s a super app? It’s one app that includes a wide number of services all housed together in one single app. While super apps have been popular for quite some time in Asia, they are only now starting to make a splash in the American and European markets. Big tech brands such as Square, Intuit and Facebook are leading the way with the development of these new super apps that include banking, shopping and many other functional tasks in one place.
The second trend I’ve noticed is the development of niche apps. Unlike super apps, which are typically developed for the widest audience possible, niche apps are apps created with a specific purpose for a very specific market or industry. They have a small target audience, but because they are so focused and geared directly toward the customers they are trying to reach, they can have a big impact on individual industries.
Why Niche Apps Are Preferred For Specialized Industries
If you work in a specialized industry, finding a niche app that targets your exact market is more likely to provide you with tools that will solve your business’ pain points than going with a larger app that’s developed for a wide audience. You’ll spend less time trying to customize a rather unwieldy app to suit your company’s needs and can instead spend that time working on your business.
Of course, if you can’t find an app that is geared toward your industry, it’s becoming even easier to create one thanks to several app development platforms that are either low-code or no-code. In fact, Gartner predicted that the growth of low-code app development would increase by 23% in 2021. Taking advantage of this technology trend means creating apps that your company needs in much less time than traditional app development would require and for much less monetary investment.
Another trend in niche app development is the rise of progressive web apps (PWAs). Along with the increase in PWAs, we’re seeing mobile commerce taking off at a faster pace. Since PWAs are being developed for niche markets in both the B2C and B2B worlds, they are having a big impact on the overall application marketplace.
Why SaaS Companies Should Focus On Niche Apps
If you’re an app developer, finding niches that are in need of specific apps and creating them could be a lucrative venture. One way to start looking for those industries is to think about those areas where you might have some expertise in. For example, an app developer with special knowledge in the health supplements industry could develop an app that helps sellers of supplements market their products on social media. While the audience for this app will be smaller than that of an app helping sellers of all types of products, by narrowing down your focus, you have the opportunity to gain a significant piece of the market share for that targeted audience.
Businesses have been adopting niche apps in favor of super apps for some time. For example, there are several CRMs available, but if you’re a service-based business, perhaps you’d be more inclined to choose HoneyBook, which was developed specifically with service-based businesses in mind, rather than one of the larger apps that seem to target all businesses, regardless of industry.
Accounting is another category of software or app that should be available for each niche. The financial data available in an accounting general ledger can be used for making many business decisions. Of course, a company can try to customize one of the larger software options available on the market, but an app developed for their specific niche could potentially help them make better decisions and have a clearer picture of their business’ future.
Sure, a super app might have name recognition and trust associated with the brand, but niche apps will generally require less time onboarding, less time customizing, and could even have a support team that understands your industry and needs in a more detailed way, saving you time and money.
Personalization In Niche Apps
Personalization is a trend in both marketing and software that is going to continue to grow, especially as our technology gets smarter. With the rise of personalization in every aspect of our digital lives—from the ads we see on social media to the emails we receive regarding past purchases—we’ve grown accustomed to this move away from generic solutions to highly targeted and relevant solutions. It’s my prediction that the app industry will follow suit, and we’ll see more and more niche apps for specific industries that can offer a personalized experience for their customers becoming the norm.
Niche Apps Are An Intuitive Solution
If you’re currently looking for a new app to help you run your business, or you’re a developer looking to find a new app to create, I believe you can’t go wrong with niche apps. Sure, super apps have their appeal as all-in-one solutions, but a niche app can go deep into one specific need and tailor the experience to be relevant to a certain industry, meaning a customized and intuitive solution, as well as loyal customers who trust you as the expert in their field.