Mobile apps are surely a thing in this digital age we currently find ourselves in. Locally we are yet to see widespread uptake of mobile apps due to two major reasons. Limited internet infrastructure and the steep data prices are huge impediments to the smooth flow of a mobile apps revolution in Zimbabwe. Sad as that is I think we should rather look at it as a nursery of great opportunities. Particularly now with the altering of the status quo by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are mobile app ideas that can now take off.
Noteworthy Remarks On Mobile App Dynamics
I understand some people locally have tried out coming up with mobile apps. Most have not managed to pick up any momentum and people have somehow concluded that mobile apps are not ideal for Zimbabwe. However, I think that is not entirely true – trust me, I know there are hurdles (such as I highlighted at the beginning) but they can be surmounted. Bear in mind that if you are to cut it with mobile apps you must understand the business models to choose from.
Some of those business models are direct sales, advertising, subscriptions, and freemiums. From what I have observed locally if you start with a business model that requires people to pay something you might experience a stillbirth. Ideally, you must start by providing a free service and then gradually include paid-for avenues. Better still you can provide a free service and leverage on the advertising model. The advertising model entails people or other businesses paying for ad placements in your app. Do not take this lightly – that is where most people have failed locally when it comes to mobile apps.
Grocery And Basic Essentials Platform
This is something that I have seen many players doing. I still feel there is room for several more to enter this space. My rationale stems from the fact that most of such platforms do not have mobile apps. Having to load a URL to access a service provider might not always be convenient. I am confident that we are yet to see game changers in as far as this domain is concerned. Come up with a platform that has up to date inventory that is designed to make it feel like one is shopping from an actual shop or supermarket.
Academic Virtual Assistance
Here is an idea that will appeal to many people. Many people are pursuing various kinds of studies. There are inevitably several people looking for assistance. It could be in writing assignments, project proposals, dissertations, reports and the like. Create a mobile app where people can place requests for assistance in any of those regards. Tutoring can also be another approach here because it is a highly sought-after service nowadays.
Basic Delivery And Courier Services
Many people are moving goods these days – the size of cargo varies. There are two ways to look at this idea. One, targeting the local market and two, targeting the regional market. Locally there are so many people looking to move goods who at times have no transportation. Then we have people looking to move goods from neighbouring countries into Zimbabwe. Many of you know of the “Malayitsha”; that is a typical example. Some want to move small packages such as can fit into envelopes or small boxes.
When you put all this together and think of a mobile app surely there are prospects. You are seeking to streamline a business model already being done but mostly in an unstructured manner. Create a mobile app that provides these services. You do not even necessarily need to have the transportation infrastructure – you can outsource or be a broker between those who have it and the clients who need it. There is plenty we can talk about here but I just want to inspire you to think innovatively.
Content Sharing Platform
There is no limit as to the amount and type of content you can share nowadays. From text-based to image and video-based content there are lots you can do. Typically people have been using platforms like YouTube and Facebook, for instance. The tricky thing is that on those platforms you have to search for content because there are all types of content. How about you create a mobile app that niches on a particular type of content? For example, create an app that focuses on say, academic content or news content – just some examples. Niching will draw people who are searching for related content. The great thing about such an app is that it is scalable i.e. it can be grown to add more niches over time.
There are so many online platforms that are somehow like online marketplaces. Some are generalized whilst some are specific but there are very few mobile apps in this regard. Essentially you have to find out which niches are not that covered and you work something out. When talking about an online marketplace I am referring to a virtual Mbare Musika as an example.
Most of us still struggle to find enterprises online. It should be easy to just go to a platform where you can search for a service that you are looking for. For example, you get to Masvingo and you want to find a place where you can get your punctured tyre fixed. There must be a platform where you can easily find this information. Mobile apps in this regard are long overdue.
Freelance services mobile app (like Upwork) and a Questions And Answers platform such as Quora are mobile app ideas worth trying out locally. Some of the business ideas already exist but offline. Ideally, you have to devise online models to roll out those ideas.