So, the lockdown continues. People have a chance to spend more time with their families and on hobbies. But there is one serious side effect of the COVID-19 quarantine – all companies have to work in an unknown environment. Or even worse: the offline-based small businesses have to draw up a survival plan.
The truth is simple: when you have to close your store, cafe, or fitness center for an indefinite period of time, all the planning that you have done breaks apart. Online options might be the way to quickly handle a growing crisis because they speak directly to your customers via their smartphones.
We would like to share several ideas that will help you survive COVID-19. Fast decisions and first-class development services will keep your business afloat.
5 ideas on mobile app development for your small business
Modern app development might surprise you with a diverse variety offered on the market. No matter what industry you work in, there is probably an option that will allow you to go online, increase income, and broaden your target audience. Let’s take a look at the list we have prepared.
1. Educational apps
Education is vitally important for different age groups all over the world; hence, the global eLearning (online education) market is growing rapidly. In particular, the market size is expected to reach $157.7 billion by 2025.
Read also: eLearning & mLearning: Educational App Development Best Practices
Naturally, eLearning is a huge industry, so here are several app development ideas for you.
There are lots of language learning applications that now exist on the market, and many of them prosper thanks to their unique features. Unlike the most popular apps, your company already has loyal clients and a well-developed offline foundation.
Your mobile app can be a vivid cocktail of best learning practices, charismatic teachers, and a strong knowledge base – you already used it every day at your language school before the lockdown, and your students are a strong fan base of the mobile alternative you will soon be ready to offer.
Examples: Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, Lingvist.
Currently, children cannot attend school at their physical locations, and adults are likewise unable to attend their classes of different kinds. But despite the lockdown, knowledge still has enormous value. The idea of online tutoring is to provide teachers with a platform to continue their lessons.
Examples: VIPKID, TuTree, Chegg, HashLearn.
Educational apps for schools
There is so much space for your ideas in this area. There are many subjects and topics at school that can be transformed on the digital level. Education is changing, and modern solutions are used both in the classroom and at home.
The secret ingredient of such apps is gamification methods applied in mobile apps widely differ from a standard educational system, but the essential concept is to maintain engagement.
Apart from the lesson itself, online tools are easing up the whole learning process. The feedback systems and messaging features allow for better communication between teachers and students. School diaries keep everything in order: lesson schedules, grades, homework, etc.
And finally, nothing would help better than live streaming video lessons with an opportunity to communicate effectively, ask questions, and get answers (by both educators and learners).
Examples: ABCmouse, Tappity, Ready4 SAT, Photomath.
In other words, these are solutions for disabled people. This niche of app development is not that crowded yet, which means you can easily find your place and build up a socially responsible business.
This is how these apps can help: encourage students to speak more often, express their emotions, help identify words and models for students with decoding problems, or improve reading for the students with splinter skills.
Examples: Rufus Robot, Montessori Numbers, Otsimo, Proloquo2Go.
2. Fitness apps
Is there finally enough time to get into shape? You are locked at home. No more going to the movies or relaxing in one of your favorite cafes. Many initially turn to watching movies or starting a new series, or perhaps a new hobby. One can only do such activities for so long before the urge to get some exercise kicks in. Why not turn your home into your own personal fitness center – just you and your yoga mat or dumbbells, or just gym clothes. Let’s see what you can do with that as a business owner.
Workout video lessons
Even if you are already in perfect shape, using a workout fitness app is a simple option to keep up with your routine. The two most important traits of workout apps are to be motivating and easy to use.
The best way to motivate people is to organize live streaming workouts. Your regular customers might be bored at home with no physical training – this is the audience that will be ready to join your platform as soon as you launch it. Create a new schedule and organize group and individual classes – this is a great online solution on how to handle a business crisis.
Read also: Immediate Action Plan for Tech Companies in Response to COVID-19
Check out the Fitplan app and its key features. The main idea is to provide workouts with elite personal trainers – what workouts do you want to offer?
Social media for fitness
Live streaming is not the only way to increase motivation. You may have heard that if you tell someone about your intention, it becomes harder to give up on it. With social fitness apps, you can share your progress with anyone you want, be it your friends or your family.
The inKin app allows people to connect, and create teams and contests, the app then generates reports and statistics about the team’s progress, and you can share your progress in challenges of different kinds.
Another option for runners and cyclists is Strava. People sign up and start competing with other users for the highest pace or a distance record.
3. Cooking apps
There is a very small number of people who do not cook at all. For some of us, it is just a part of the daily routine, for others – it is a favorite hobby. In any case, cooking takes some time and effort, so mobile apps are great helpers in this regard.
Read also: How Can Technology Improve Your Restaurant Operations?
Interactions – that is what people are looking for during the quarantine, even when they cook. If you had previously held offline-based cooking classes, your audience will be glad to meet you online because communication matters now more than ever.
You can create an app that allows you to provide cooking classes. We recommend integrating social media features to boost engagement levels. Online streaming classes are the best way to combine cooking and communication, exchange cooking tips, ask questions, and share the final results.
Such apps as Cookpad allow users to create their own recipe collections and share them with others. Saving photos, bookmarking, news feeds – these features make cooking a truly uniting process.
4. Food delivery apps
How can restaurants survive during COVID-19? Now more than ever is the time to stay connected with customers by offering your menu via mobile app. It is a nice alternative to grocery shopping – it is faster and safer.
Did you know that the number of food delivery app users is growing every year? According to eMarketer, there were 31.4 million people in the US in 2018. By 2023, they expect this number to grow up to 59.5 million users.
Starting such an app now is a great investment for the future as this tendency will not change any time soon.
Depending on the business you are running now, there are two different types of apps:
- Aggregators connect shops/restaurants with customers. The given period of time offers a good reason to check out aggregator apps in your location if you do not run a restaurant or a grocery store, but have enough resources to organize deliveries.
Examples: DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates.
- Full-circle food delivery apps stock or cook food, then deliver it to the buyers.
Examples: Starbucks, Taco Bell, Rhino Coffee.
5. Telemedicine apps
Telemedicine (healthcare online) has always been on point, but now it is more than a trend – it is a vital necessity for countries to keep their population safe. Considering the lockdown situation, mHealth (mobile apps for healthcare) is among the highest booming ideas for app development.
Read also: 7 Digital Transformation Mistakes to Avoid
These medical procedures can be conducted online:
- virtual visits and remote consultations when there is no need for hospitalization,
- receiving feedback on various types of tests,
- prescription updates according to the patient’s current condition, and
- follow-up visits for when the treatment has been provided offline.
Examples: LiveHealth, Express Care Virtual, Doctor on Demand, Amwell.
Bonus: more ideas you should not overlook
Coronavirus planning for business may include app and online store ideas that are not so obvious. What else can it be?
- furniture delivery so that people could set up a workspace at home,
- fitness tools to organize a workout routine,
- cooking and WFH tech tools, and
- toys and board games used by several age groups.
Not every business can go online in the blink of an eye, but it is worth a try. Think carefully about your product and its online perspective.
How to quickly develop an app during the COVID-19 lockdown
We are sure that you would prefer to go online under more positive circumstances, but even in remote work conditions and within a short period of time, it is possible to build a new mobile app from scratch. Here is the best strategy for you:
- Set up a team of remote developers. Freelancers shouldn’t be considered as an option here since it is too risky and leads to unexpected outcomes, even though it might seem cheaper (The coronavirus has created an environment which demands fast decision making, but not necessarily risk taking). That’s why only teams and companies with a trustworthy reputation, well-built remote working processes, and long-term experience will provide you with fast and high-quality results.
- Create a visual prototype. The best way to build your product during quarantine is to start with a product discovery phase that is adapted precisely to a quick development process during the crisis. It allows a technology company to readily gather your requirements and transform them into a working visual prototype (a product’s demo version) with a basic set of features to give your audience exactly what it needs right now.
- Develop a product and launch it to the market. After gathering feedback on the product from your users, investors, and friends, it goes straight to development and is then ready for launch. As a result, this new solution will help you continue your work and minimize the impact that COVID-19 has on your business.
Your business can respond to the coronavirus quickly
All these questions on how to keep a business afloat have one answer – find your customers online. They never left the city or country – they are staying in their places and trying to set up new routines with their families.
You know exactly how your target audience looks and what it needs at the moment – this is a starting point to help your small business survive the new coronavirus business environment. You do not need much – just one well-constructed idea for a digital solution. Everything else is a matter of development skills and expertise.
World crises are not the reason for you to give up. At Eastern Peak, we choose a positive mindset and professional skills no matter what. Contact us now to develop an app quickly and with the best results for your business.