12 Mobile Apps that Breathed New Life into Unlikely Products

A few weeks ago, I shared with you some ways that mobile applications can make a product better.These included areas such as:

  • Making the product’s capabilities available on-the-go
  • Adding new benefits the original product could not provide
  • Ordering new parts and supplies
  • Better customer service options

Today, I want to share with you 12 specific examples of mobile applications that did exactly what I’m talking about: breathing new life into products and services. Hopefully, these will inspire you in your own business. And if you’d like to brainstorm some ideas, Ascendle is pleased to offer a free consultation.

1. Pokemon GO

This mobile application took a well-known brand with a large but limited cult following and expanded its reach to a vast, global audience. Many Pokemon GO players would have scoffed at playing Pokemon, collecting cards, or watching the animated shows. But this innovative game used GPS technology in a whole new way to appeal to a much broader audience. And while Pokemon Go is among the first apps to incorporate augmented reality for the mass market, watch as this technology absolutely explodes in the coming months and years!

2. Shopular

Shopular also took GPS technology in a new direction. In this case, the mobile application identifies when you’re nearing a participating retail store, then searches for bargains or coupons. When it finds a match, the app sends a push notification to alert you. This revolutionary means of deal delivery adds a whole new level of targeting and timeliness. By providing relevant information when you need it, this app rewards both marketers and shoppers.

3. Thirdlove

Shopping for lingerie can be an embarrassing activity for men and women alike. Thirdlove revolutionizes lingerie shopping with a selfie and a mobile app. Users take pictures of themselves with their camera phones, and the application uses those images to size them for a variety of lingerie. This appeals to users who don’t like store dressing rooms (or find interacting with salespeople awkward) because it all takes place in the privacy of their home. This makes Thirdlove the brand of choice for a large customer base, many of which only heard of them because of this innovative app.

4. Modiface

The makeup aisle at your local department store is full of samples and mirrors. Even so, there’s only so much experimenting most shoppers will do on site. Modiface transforms the makeup product industry by allowing users to “try on” virtual makeup instead. This allows shoppers to experiment with a wider selection of brands and colors than they normally would. Shoppers find this a fun and far less messy way to see what these products will look like on them. Marketers want their products available in the app, and are willing to pay for that — especially since it includes the ability to purchase right through the application.

5. Raise

Raise changes the way people shop for gift cards by creating a marketplace where users can find discounted gift cards for their favorite brands. Not only that, but they can also sell the cards they don’t need. The Raise mobile application takes it a step further: now you can search for and purchase discounted gift cards for the store you’re actually in, assuming there are electronic versions available.

6. Peach

Online auctions have been around for decades now. Peach is an application looking to change the way you view and participate in auctions. These private, 9-minute auctions specialize in designer brand merchandise and eliminate the clutter and wait times that turn many people away from bigger sites like eBay. Users get great deals on the types of products they want, and sellers reach their target audiences more directly.

7. Threadless

Fashion design can be hit or miss, so Threadless came up with an innovative way to locate a sure thing. This application allows users to submit their own fashion designs for public review — and then the app marketplace votes on which ones they like best. Threadless learns which fashions to make, the designers get recognition and a royalty, and the market gets the clothes they asked for. It’s a win-win-win.

8. Uber

Everyone’s heard of Uber by now, the service that transformed the urban transportation landscape on its head. Uber turned every car and driver into a freelance taxicab available through an open market. The mobile application allows users to “hail” one of these freelance taxis wherever they are, and even lets them choose the type of vehicle, too.

9. Cover

Ever sit in a restaurant long after you’re finished, waiting impatiently for the check? This new application revolutionizes the restaurant scene by allowing diners to pay and check out whenever they want, rather than waiting for the bill. Restaurants like Cover because it speeds up their table turnaround times, leading to more customer seatings and higher revenues. Diners like it because it eliminates time wasted waiting for their checks and then for payments to be processed.

10. 8fit

This application gives a new twist to the home fitness industry by providing workouts and plans that can be done in your own living room. Local gyms may not like it, but it’s a perfect complement for in-home exercise equipment products. Users who don’t like traveling to the gym will find 8fit the perfect solution — and the products endorsed within will find brand new audiences.

11. ChowNow

Another app designed to make dining more enjoyable, ChowNow changes the way people order takeout from restaurants. Instead of looking up a phone number, calling, and trying to communicate the correct order (which in itself can be an adventure), ChowNow customers make their selections from an online menu, choose their pickup time, and then show up when their food is ready. You can even pre-order meals for in-house dining without the wait.

12. CPMG

This conference application transformed the way attendees at CPMG-hosted conferences interacted. The app puts the power of scheduling meetings, providing feedback, and accessing data into attendees’ own hands. The results were more one-on-one interactions, more follow up opportunities and connections, and a better overall experience across the board.

What Innovative Benefit Can Your App Provide?

These 12 specific apps using the power of mobile applications to transform products, services, and even whole industries. And while this list focuses primarily on consumer markets, the effects can be just as profound in the B2B world.

What about your own products and services?

How could a mobile app change the way you do business, too?

Angelo Firenze is the Vice President of Business Development at Ascendle, a contract software engineering firm leveraging 30+ years of experience building mission-critical software applications. Ascendle specializes in creating commercial-grade custom mobile and web applications.

This article first appeared on the Ascendle blog.

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