For some businesses, an app is an important part of their operations and/or sales process. Having an app is not a new thing; however, a huge number of companies who hadn’t previously entertained the notion of an app were forced to do so during 2020.
Hospitality and leisure businesses found that having an app for ordering food/drinks was an integral part of their adherence to Covid-19 social distancing regulations. An app enabled customers, under the relative tier system, to order from the menu at their designated table, rather than queueing to order at the bar.
For similar reasons, numerous fast-food chains have introduced/developed their apps to allow customers to pre-order their food so that it’s ready when they arrive. This helped them to manage their takeaway queues when seating wasn’t available/encouraged because of the virus. McDonald’s already had this facility, pre-lockdown; however, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and most other prominent fast-food chains followed suit during 2020 to maximise the number of customers they could serve whilst still keeping to government regulations.
Of course, the most prominent app of 2020 has to be the NHS Track and Trace app. Designed exclusively to monitor the spread of coronavirus, the app attracted criticism with its late rollout, its design flaws, and its reliability. Loaded onto people’s phones whether they wished this to happen or not, the app has been contributed to the containment of the virus (to what degree is a matter of opinion).
There was talk by more than one of the larger supermarkets that they would introduce an app to help customers queueing for entry in bad weather. The idea, when touted by the media in the summer, was for customers to register via an app when they arrive, and that this same app would ‘page’ them and let them know when it was their turn to enter the store. A great idea, considering how uncomfortable it will be for certain groups to queue outside in the rain and snow; however, further news of such an app has not materialised since.
Companies in other sectors have introduced their own app or used a third-party platform to allow customers to book online for their services during the pandemic. Hairdressers, beauticians, gyms, medical centres, and many more businesses, have found this digital solution to be incredibly valuable during 2020 when walk-in appointments were effectively banned and waiting rooms had to close. The National Trust, for example, kept a number of its parks open during lockdown but used Eventbrite’s ticketing system to control visitor numbers.
The closure of the arts for the majority of the year left theatregoers bereft. The Marquee—a streaming app dedicated to plays and performances, etc. for the culture vultures amongst us—though not created during the pandemic, waived their subscription fee on World Theatre Day this year to bring the arts to people missing their regular fix.
The Zoom app has been one of the most prominent apps used during the pandemic. Face-to-face meetings were doomed once the virus took hold; Zoom enabled UK Plc to interact regardless. Primarily for business use, and despite other platforms offering similar services, Zoom is one app that has revolutionised the way we work—and which, we suspect, will continue to do so, even after the pandemic ends.
E-commerce has galloped ahead this year, a progression that has only been hastened by Covid-19. Could an app open your business up to a new audience? Could one improve your day-to-day operations? Would an app allow you to continue trading during a national lockdown?
Maybe an app is something you’ve not really thought about before. If there’s the chance one could propel your business forward, considering that so much has changed over the last twelve months, isn’t it worth exploring the possibilities?
We can help you create an app and the marketing strategy to surround it. Contact 07983 575934 for more information or get in touch here