With 3.2 billion smartphone users and 1.14 billion tablet users, it is no surprise that mobile apps are in their golden period of rising. We have a smartphone or a tablet around us constantly, and well, chances are that you are reading this on a smartphone too. Apps, as we know them today, came into existence in 2007 with the launch of the very first iPhone. It brought a paradigm shift to the smartphone industry and cut to 2021, people spend 88% of their time on mobile phones on apps.
These consumer apps – with their smooth animations and trending graphics – reached Android and other operating systems, making themselves more accessible to a wider audience. Soon, people started questioning why they couldn’t use these systems for enhanced productivity at work. Thus began the roll-out of enterprise apps. The users slowly got accustomed to the ease of operation on these apps, and today, there are billions of mobile app downloads from platforms like Google Play Store and App Store. In 2020, more than 218 billion app downloads were registered from unique devices, a 6.86% increase from the previous year.
In this remarkably growing industry of mobile apps, what is the significance of enterprise apps and consumer apps? Here’s all that businesses and consumers need to know for informed decision-making.
Enterprise Mobile Apps Vs Consumer Mobile Apps
As the names suggest, enterprise mobile apps are mobile apps created or used by the workforce of an organization to conduct day-to-day work-related operations with ease. These could include business management apps, apps to streamline internal communication or other such apps that help the employees do their work faster and better.
Consumer apps, on the other hand, are created to serve the general public’s needs and are sold directly to the end-users. They have higher competition and a larger user base than enterprise apps. They can include a large category of apps, like social media apps, music apps, gaming apps, or photo-video editing apps. Some examples are Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Candy Crush, Uber, Google mobile applications, and so on.
What Makes Them Different?
As mentioned above, consumer apps are for everybody. So, the target audience has no limitation of group, organization, or individual.
For enterprise apps, they are used by a very small segment of people at once. They are very efficient and add to productivity, but they have a niche target audience.
All the common app downloading platforms like Google Play Store and App Store host the consumer apps. These apps also offer great support to their customers, from pre-download to post-download.
Not designed for common day-to-day usage, enterprise apps are not available in the mass market. They are specifically designed for business environments and are available for restricted purchase or on a subscription model. They have stricter rules over confidentiality and security, offering limited access to the employees and employers of the same company.
Consumer apps are aimed at making the users’ lives better in many possible ways. For example, if you want to know what you are looking at – use Google Lens. Do you want to quickly jot down your thoughts? Use any of the thousands of noted apps available. All such apps aim at streamlining processes and making lives slightly easier.
On the other hand, enterprise apps are strictly designed to achieve certain business goals. They are often custom-made for each organization. The enterprise apps optimize management processes and increase productivity, having a positive impact on business operations.
The primary goal of consumer apps companies is to have more positive reviews and good word of mouth for the app and increase app usage.
For enterprise apps, the main goal is to increase the revenue of the clients and improve their efficiency by streamlining processes.
In general, enterprise apps are costlier than consumer apps despite their smaller target audience. This is because they are mostly custom-developed and require more resources and investment.
Consumer apps can generate revenue through in-app purchases and by hosting ads on their platform. They can also charge subscription fees or levy a fixed charge for using the app.
Enterprise apps have an indirect revenue model. They can have a lifetime license for a one-time fee, or they can offer a subscription-based service, or also take a certain share in the business in return for substantial timesaving and cost-cutting.
The design and UI/UX hold great significance in consumer apps. To beat the competition, companies have to gain loyal customers through retention policies and brand recognition campaigns.
For enterprise apps, while the design is important, it is not the most critical selling point. Keeping the needs of business customers in mind, UX is a good investment along with a focus on offering better features.
Yet, What Makes Them Similar?
Both the apps follow the same rules of working and behaving to serve their user base. They need to be simple to use, solve a problem or add value and have a convenient user interface.
Both the consumer apps and enterprise apps have to maintain constant engagement to sustain themselves. While developing these mobile apps, the UI/UX is taken into serious considerations, for an engaging experience.
As the competition is rising, apps also have to set rising goals and keep achieving them. Both these apps have to follow the trending patterns. They have to add modifications to the app behavior with each update and fix their bugs, for success.
Things to Consider While Developing Enterprise or Consumer Mobile Apps
UI/UX in Business and Consumer-centric Apps
As a developer, you must understand the key differences in the UI/UX of enterprise and consumer apps. From color schemes to evoking emotions with imagery, the scale of such implementations will widely vary, depending upon the target audience.
You can add more or less actionable buttons and a responsive design in consumer apps. The enterprise apps will have an information architecture facilitating collaboration between the users.
Purpose of App Development
Consumer apps like Bitmoji or Instagram grow with their potential to entertain us. There are productivity apps like Notion and Zoom as well, which give us more room than others.
But in enterprise apps, there is always a solution to a work-related issue, with the main purpose varying with each organization.
App Development Approach
While consumer apps often deal with entertainment and basic productivity enhancement, enterprise apps use secure protocols to protect the core data of businesses. Consumer apps only use cloud-based data syncing. The development process implements data encryption techniques, integrated with web or machine-based systems that can be deployed with legacy systems, across the organization.
As a developer, you must consider the available channels as consumer apps are available on all application stores like Google Play Store, App Store, Samsung Galaxy Apps, etc.
Meanwhile, enterprise apps are available through company repositories and other secure means of distribution.
Have an idea for a consumer and enterprise app? Let’s discuss. Our app development experts will be happy to help you create a positive impact on the users’ lives!