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Consumers will download more than 66 billion mobile applications per year by 2016, more than double the 31 billion apps installed in 2011, according to a new forecast issued by Juniper Research.

The Juniper report contends mobile apps will play an increasingly crucial role in brands’ customer acquisition and retention strategies. “Consumers are now demanding 24/7 access to services–retail, financial, information, entertainment–wherever they are,” said report author Windsor Holden. “As a result, brands that wish to remain competitive have turned to apps as part of a integrated multichannel distribution system: they have become a critical mechanism to increase engagement and reduce churn.”

This notion expressed by the Juniper analyst is as relevant for local and small to medium size businesses as it is for large national and global brands. This thesis is at the heart of the Apptive EasyApp platform and is why we developed it for digital service providers. Enabling clients with mobile apps is strategically important to them remaining competitive, but currently it’s expensive and complex to get them there. We’ve developed an easy, fun way to achieve this goal while still providing the flexibility to create a totally custom app.

For clients, getting an app these days is equal parts a defensive and offensive consideration. It’s defensive in so much as, if a potential customer is doing a search on mobile and a competitor has an optimized mobile presence that is easy to interact with and you don’t – who do you think the customer is going to choose to do business with? They will choose the path of least resistance. An app can be an offensive play because smartphones offer such unique and powerful functionality that apps can take advantage of to create real time business opportunities, increase customer loyalty and so much more.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now – check back soon!

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