#TBT to 2008: How the Apple App Store changed the way consumers engage on mobile

By Karen He

In this month’s #TBT, we’re celebrating the Apple App Store turning eight years old. When it debuted in July 2008, it had a mere 500 apps for customers to choose from. Today, with a simple search, consumers can quickly download more than 1.4 million mobile apps.

Without knowing the breakthrough it would bring to the technology landscape, the Apple App Store forever changed how consumers use their mobile devices and consume content. It also significantly altered how businesses design apps to keep up with their customers.

More than just successful innovation

Though it was possible to download mobile apps before app stores came onto the scene, it was not an efficient process, which led to low user adoption. Businesses can learn a lot from Apple’s best innovation. Apple isn’t always the first move in innovations or disruptions, but it prides itself on creating well-thought-out and well-designed products and services that customers can use with minimal to no friction. From creating the button-less iPhone to a database with unlimited types of mobile apps and content, Apple shifted the paradigm of how businesses and consumers interact.

Shifting businesses’ focus to mobile

As a result, businesses redefined their storefronts to fit into a simple mobile app so customers could browse, research and purchase their products and services. With mobile apps, businesses can reach out to more customers and increase their overall sales revenue, but to do this, businesses need to take their mobile apps as seriously as their websites and brick-and-mortar stores. Far too often, businesses run into mobile issues, such as less-than-stellar mobile experiences, and the slightest user confusion can cause even the most loyal customers to abandon ship.

Marketing follows trend

On the same coin, the Apple App Store has driven marketers to change how they communicate with mobile customers. Today, marketers measure the success of their mobile channels in app downloads, in-app purchases, push notification responses and levels of engagement. Plus, marketers’ traditional way of pushing customers through their journey have evolved due to the increasing popularity of mobile apps, which influence customers’ shopping behaviors both online and offline.

As the Apple App Store turns one year older and wiser, there is a meaningful lesson to learn. When consumers adopt new ways of doing things, their behaviors shift and they expect businesses to offer great customer experiences by adhering to the latest business trends.

Industry leaders are undoubtedly cooking up the next innovation that will disrupt the market by changing the way customers engage — are you and your mobile strategy ready?

Image Source: Flickr

Written By

Karen He

Product Marketing Manager at IBM Tealeaf

Karen He is a hands on professional with Product Marketing and Product Management focus. She plays an integral role in IBM Tealeaf's product marketing team, enjoy working closely with Product Management, Marketing Communications, Field Marketing and Sales teams across IBM to formulate…

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