Just a few weeks ago on their fiscal Q1 2015 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced something surprising: after launching in October 2014, Apple Pay now accounts for $2 out of every $3 spent with contactless payments. Especially given the failure of Square Wallet last year, which sought to solve basically the same problem, this announcement surprised a lot of people.
On closer look, though, the initial success of Apple Pay—even if it’s only been around for a few months, and even if it still only accounts for a fraction of all payments that happen every day—can be traced to something that Square Wallet didn’t address: need.
Before options like Square Wallet and Apple Pay came around, consumers essentially had two options: paying with cash or paying with a card. While cards may have been more of a pain when they first came out, today, it’s hard to beat their convenience. No waiting for change and stuffing it into your wallet, no counting out pennies in your pocket, no confusion. It’s basically just swipe and go. So right from the outset, anything that wanted to make payments better for consumers had to somehow be easier than paying with a card.
Square Wallet, quite frankly, wasn’t. Partly due to a lack of retailer adoption, and partly due to the fact that the process of paying with Square Wallet took more time than paying with cash or a card, it never really took off. Who wants to give the cashier their name and then wait around for them to pull you up? Not us—and apparently not many other consumers, either.
Building off of the failure of others to make payments easier, Apple Pay has—where it’s an option—made payments easier and quicker. It’s not swipe and go, it’s touch and go, and apparently it’s working. What Apple Pay does that Square Wallet and others before it didn’t is address a true need and offer a solution that really is better.
If a solution didn’t make payment easier, or quicker, or eliminate the need to get out your wallet, why would you use it? The short answer is that you wouldn’t. From the outset, any new payment ‘solution’ had to find a need and provide a solution that addresses it in a better way than anything around today.
You might be wondering what all of this has to do with driving enterprise mobile app adoption. It comes down to the same thing: need. Enterprise employees don’t use apps like consumers. They’re not using them for fun, and they certainly aren’t using them to make their job more difficult. They want a solution that helps them be better, faster, more efficient at their job. If you can’t get that figured out, you’ll likely never see the level of adoption you’re looking for.
In thinking about your enterprise mobility solution, from the app store all the way down to the apps themselves, ask yourself: what’s the value you’re providing? What needs are you addressing? What exactly are you doing for your employees? If your answer is that you just want them to use your apps because you think they’ll somehow use them for the sake of using them, you’re going to remain behind the curve.
Your app store and your apps need to address a real need of your employees, whether that’s helping them check out customers faster, look up information quicker, go through everyday processes more efficiently, or any other of the number of needs in the enterprise today. Without that, your apps aren’t a value-add, they’re a novelty.
Want to drive enterprise mobile app adoption? Go back to need. Chances are, the answer you’re looking for lies with the biggest problems your employees face every day.