Apps cover every industry on the universe, from games, academia, languages, food, to the property industries, everything that revolves around our day-to-day lives. All Apps can however be split into two categories, tradable and non-tradable apps.
Differentiating Tradable and Non-tradable Apps
Tradable apps are similar to globally tradable goods and services (those that can be supplied from anywhere in the world to anywhere despite the distance disparities) in real life, such as electronic gadgets. Non-tradable apps would then be considered to be equivalent to such goods and services that can only remain local such as a commute from one’s house to their everyday work place or fast food prepared for that specific day – the focus is on localization.
Therefore in essence tradable apps would focus on say the weather, maps or communication platforms such as Skype. Non-tradable apps would therefore focus on say local transport modes or routes, local restaurants, events or locally based financial transactions like with one’s bank.
Tradable Vs. Non-tradable Apps
Tradable apps are made locally but consumed globally. The potential growth for such apps is immense, as has already been seen with apps like WhatsApp. A global user base presents an opportunity for massive revenues. Further growth that perhaps most top tradable apps should be considering would be localization. Other apps are already leading on this. The power of localization lies in showing an understanding of the users’ cultures and how to satisfy their needs. The hard part lies in going beyond basic translations but actually adapting the app in its entirety to the symbols, colors and importantly norms that the specific users in that specific region are used to, to gain that initial traction and maintain a higher user base.
Non-tradable apps are limited to how far they can grow as they focus on a specific region or community. However, the opportunity to increase revenue is huge. There are local apps that do so well in say the developed countries including local events apps. Taking those, if they don’t already exist in a developer’s specific country and adapting them to that country would mean meeting the needs of the locals. And because it is an app tested and tried in another country, it would be easy to work with. However a developer would still need to keep at the back of their minds, the different needs of the app users. Even if countries are neighbors and probably both developing ones, user needs will never be exactly the same.
Non-tradable apps can be taken a step further – through app franchises. Even though this might sound like a really new concept – there are franchises in almost every business/industry sector and the same could apply for apps. Developers can take their app beyond their borders through franchising their app to a developer in another country they want to get into. This works well for the franchisee especially if the non-tradable app they are buying is already well known – they get to cut on marketing costs because the app name and its functionality are already out there and the chances that the locals might have seen it and tried it on App stores but realized they couldn’t download it because their region wasn’t covered also exists.