A new Shop.com Partner Store, The APP Company is a great fit for WebCenter Owners and all UnFranchise Owners, as they dialogue with business owners in their daily and weekly routines. We had a chance to sit down with Nick McCandless, Partner of The APP Company, to discuss their company, the Shop.com partnership and the market for app development for small and medium-sized businesses and large organizations.
You can learn more in our upcoming Webinar with Nick McCandless and Scot Robinson on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 9:00PM EDT. You can register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1776535203829402881
Jason Pelland (JP), Field Development Executive interviews Nick McCandless (NM) below:
JP: Nick, thanks for taking the time to meet with us to discuss the relationship. Can you give us a quick introduction.
NM: Hello Market America. My name is Nick McCandless, and I am one of the Partners here at The APP Company. The APP Company is a fully integrated mobile software company and has been designing, developing, building, managing & publishing mobile Apps for more than eight years. We have launched over 100 Apps to date & have created Apps that have been featured on the App Store & the Google Play Store. Our Apps have risen to # 1 in Education, #2 in News, #3 in Entertainment & #5 in the Sports & Lifestyles categories. Our clients range from large organizations such as the University of Southern California (USC) and Cosmopolitan to small businesses like Joe’s Italian Ice and Hope Family Wines. We are excited to be working with Market America to offer our industry-leading App platform at an incredible price that is attainable for all businesses.
JP: That’s great! Can you give us an idea of the current app market?
NM: Apps are a huge market that every business should be taking advantage of. In 2017 alone, there was over 195 billion app downloads and over $100 billion in revenue generated. These numbers continue to grow year-to-year as user’s dependency on mobile phones continues to grow. Just from 2016 to 2017 the usage of shopping apps has gone up 54% as consumers have become more comfortable making purchases from their mobile devices than any other device. In fact, during the 2017 Holiday Season, mobile shopping exceeded desktop shopping for the first time. The average U.S. consumer spends over 5 hours a day on their mobile phone and this continues to grow year to year leading to increased app usage. Approximately 90% of this phone usage is spent inside of mobile apps versus just 10% on mobile browsers.
JP: What types of applications are businesses and organizations using apps for?
NM: Businesses and organizations are using apps for many different objectives. Typically these objectives include providing an enriched customer experience, building a stronger form of communication with their customers, and establishing a more profitable business. Through our robust feature set, we are able to help businesses accomplish all three of these objectives using our platform that has been tested and proven by businesses of all sizes and industries. Apps typically offer valuable content, social media integration, a more interactive experience, rewards, and more to provide a better experience for customers and keep them coming back to the business.
JP: Can you give us an example or scenario of an app for a Small Business, maybe service-based, restaurants, healthcare, etc.?
NM: Small businesses can benefit greatly from having their own app. We work with businesses all over the globe that make it easy for their customers to view their menus, specials, calendar of events, receive alerts of ongoing deals and events, and more all through our App technology. An example of this would be a small ice cream shop that regularly updates their flavors and keeps their customers informed through their mobile app. They also feature their rewards program so that they no longer have to manage the old-fashioned punch cards and can collect valuable data and information about their customers while offering a better rewards experience for their customers.
JP: Well, what about a larger company?
NM: The APP Company has worked with many large companies around the world to help them take their business to the next level and streamline processes that save them hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year. For example, we worked with one of the largest commercial appliance companies in the world and built them a sales platform that is used by salespeople around the world to showcase their products to various clients. Not only do they use this as a tool to sell their products to potential clients, they use it as an educational/training platform for their new clients to learn how to use their new appliances to produce more food without sacrificing quality all white saving tons of time and money.
JP: Do you work with Non-Profit, Associations, or Organizations?
NM: We love working with non-profit organizations. We have extensive experience collaborating with nonprofits in a variety of different ways. We have worked with nonprofits on creating apps for events, fundraising, donor engagement, and more! Thanks to our technologies, we are able to work within the budgets of nonprofits and offer solutions that help them achieve their mission.
JP: How about Educational Institutions?
NM: Universities around the country use our technologies for various purposes whether its educational courses, management of events, organization of various points of data, etc. The education system has unfortunately not kept up with technology and The APP Company is working hard to solve that institution by institution. Through Market America, we look forward to connecting with more educational establishments and making a strong push on this effort.
JP: There’s probably a use in some municipalities as well. Do you have experience in that market category?
NM: We have worked with various municipalities to help streamline and make certain processes more efficient. With most municipalities having limited resources, we understand the importance of automating and making tasks simple and easy to manage. Examples of this include handling report generation, managing data, handling directories, etc. We have experience in all realms and are available to make these processes simpler.
JP: I imagine a big push for app development is related to Social Media Marketing?
NM: Social Media runs the world we know today. With companies finding new ways to leverage social media and build a more engaging experience for their customers, we have made sure that we keep up to the latest ongoing trends. Our App technology integrates all of the major social media platforms so that app users can simply follow a businesses’ social media all in one place rather than going into multiple apps or websites to see what is going on.
JP: Are there branding capabilities with your platform?
NM: Our App technology offers a plethora of branding opportunities through our endless design options. Branding is key to having a successful business and we understand that. Our Platform was built with this in mind and wanted to make sure a business has the opportunity to provide their customers with a tailored experience that makes them stand out from the competition.
JP: So, Nick, how does an UnFranchise Owner identify a potential app candidate to refer to you?
NM: Identifying a potential App candidate is very similar to identifying candidates for WebCenters. Businesses that are looking to acquire new customers, offer a better experience for their customers, and better communicate with their customers can do so in many ways through a mobile app. Any business that is currently a WebCenter client would be an immediate candidate that can take advantage of our App Platform. Not only does our App Platform fully integrate their website, but our platform offers a variety of features that can only be accomplished though a mobile app. Mobile websites are beneficial, but some statistics are showing that apps are preferred by customers, so extending their digital presence in the app market is a must. If there is a business or individual who has a website but not through WebCenters, we can still service them as a client as we have the ability to integrate and work with all websites regardless of platform.
JP: Again, if a potential candidate already has a responsive or mobile website, how could they benefit from having a mobile app as well?
NM: Mobile apps offer a wealth of features and functionality not possible with a website, even if mobile responsive. Apps provide businesses with the power to send notifications directly to their customer’s phones, offer native experiences like robust rewards programs and interactive experiences, deliver an experience that is much more consumer friendly as backed by the research mentioned above, collect and utilize customer data with non-intrusive methods, and many other reasons that we would love to discuss with clients related to their business.
JP: So how does an UnFranchise Owner initiate a conversation with The App Company?
NM: To initiate a conversation with us, simply visit http://theappcompany.com/marketamerica/ where we have more information about our platform including materials that can be shared with potential candidates. We have a form that can be filled out to begin the process. We typically respond within 24 hours and are open for free consultations to discuss what we offer to your candidates and get them excited about the future of their business through our App technology.
JP: What are the various packages and what do they include?
NM: We offer three different packages: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Bronze is for candidates who have a technical resource who can use our platform to build and customize their app to their liking. Most businesses do not have have the resources or know-how to accomplish this so we recommend our Silver and Gold packages for this reason. With our Silver package, we will build and design their entire app up to 5 pages. With our Gold package we will build and design their entire app up to 15 pages. All packages include 24/7 access to our platform, managed submission for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for both iOS and Android, and 24/7 support and maintenance.
JP: And what is the benefit to the UnFranchise Owner by referring a candidate?
NM: We made sure when partnering with Market America that we offered a very strong benefit to UFOs on providing leads to us for App clients. For clients that sign up for one of our Bronze, Silver, or Gold packages, we are offering 23% IBV of both the initial setup fee as well as on the monthly service contract for the life of the customer. The customer will also receive 5% cashback. On our custom app development, which can typically range anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000+, we are offering 15% IBV which is massive when you consider the price points of custom app development.
JP: So there’s a big opportunity to earn a substantial amount of IBV, as well as recurring IBV from this partnership. That’s incredible! How involved does the UnFranchise Owner have to be initially and on-going or are they just providing the lead?
NM: The level of involvement is completely up to the UFO. They can do as little as provide the lead and let us handle the rest, or they can be involved in the calls and communications as well. We can handle everything ourselves, but also understand UFOs who would like to be with their customers every step of the way.
JP: I imagine many businesses aren’t going to just purchase a package online without some type of further information or consultation. Is there an appointment capability or consult The App Company provides?
NM: Yes, setting up an appointment with us is easy. Simply go to http://theappcompany.com/marketamerica/ and fill out the form with as much information as possible. We will then be in touch within 24 hours to set up a time to discuss the opportunity with the client.
JP: What is a typical client of yours?
NM: Our clientele ranges from small to large businesses of all sectors. The most popular industries in our collection of clients are restaurants, service-based businesses, sports organizations, educational institutions, and beauty-based businesses. The great thing about our company and technology is we can service every business imaginable and make sure they enrich their business by working with us.
JP: What is your largest client?
NM: The largest client of ours that we can publicly speak of is the University of Southern California (USC). We currently actively manage four major apps for them with over 250,000 active users monthly on average.
JP: Can you give us an idea of some of the clients that have used The App Company?
NM: You can view a list of our active clients at http://theappcompany.com/featured-apps/ but some of our most notable clients are: University of Southern California (USC) , Cosmopolitan, BNP Paribas Open, Buzz Aldrin, RATIONAL USA
JP: In sales and marketing, we always speak to our USP, the unique selling proposition. So, what sets The App Company apart from competitors?
NM: The APP Company has been in business since Apple announced the App Store. We have been through all phases of the app market and seen how the industry has transformed over the years. Through this experience, we have seen what works, what doesn’t, and how we can help businesses and clients around the world truly take advantage of what the app market has to offer. In addition, we have built an industry-leading platform filled with rich technologies that allows us to offer pricing that other competitors simply cannot touch. Working with The APP Company, you are associating yourself with the most experienced and skilled App team in the world and receiving all of this expertise and wealth of technology at an unbelievable price.
JP: What is the process for developing and launching an app?
NM: Once a client has joined The APP Company, we will work with them to learn what their objectives are with their app as well as provide them with insight into what they can do to fully leverage the technology being offered. Once we have an agreed understanding with the client, we will build and design their app if they signed up for the Silver or Gold package or are having custom app development done. If they are using our platform, typically the process of building, designing, and getting their app submitted and approved into the Apple App Store and Google Play Store will take less than 3 weeks. For custom app development, it depends on the project and the size of the project, but we always provide timelines to our clients so they know what to expect.
JP: Is there on-going support for the client?
NM: All clients receive 24/7 support with our industry-leading US-based team. We are responsive with turnaround times of less than 24 hours to ensure that everyone is taken care of and their app is providing them with the most benefit. We also handle all of the hosting, maintenance, and required updates to make sure their app keeps up with the latest standards for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
JP: What about updates, who is managing those?
NM: Content and design updates of the app can easily be managed through the Platform which the client gains access to when becoming one of our clients. While our platform is simple to use, we are always there for the client and able to make changes for the client as a part of their service contract. In the case of required app updates from Apple and Google, we handle these processes for the client at all times.
JP: What advice would you give an UnFranchise Owner as it relates to taking advantage of this huge market?
NM: As you can see from the information and statistics mentioned, the app market is HUGE and is still growing year-to-year. Every business can benefit greatly from having a presence in the app market and providing an experience to their customers that makes them stand out from the rest. Most businesses at this point have a website, but many businesses are lacking when it comes to having their own app. Now, more than ever, is the time for businesses to take advantage of this as app usage is at an all-time high, it’s continuing to grow, and most small businesses do not have apps because of their limited budgets. This will change thanks to the technology we have built and our business model, but businesses wanting to stay ahead of the competition and offer the best experience for their customers, have stronger communications with their customers, and increase their revenues have a prime opportunity and The APP Company is excited to work with them to make this happen.
JP: Nick, I can’t thank you enough for your time and energy to give us a little more insight into this opportunity. I am excited to see where this relationship goes and looking forward to hearing some of the success stories from our UnFranchise Owners!
NM: The pleasure was mine! We are also excited and looking forward to this relationship as well.
JP: As a reminder, we will be having you as a guest on an upcoming webinar to showcase The APP Company further on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. I’m looking forward to that as well. I’ll provide the registration detail on our blog and social channels.
To register for our webinar with The APP Company, click here:
This is currently a US-only partnership, but we are exploring opening this relationship up further. Currently The APP Company services English-only speaking countries and becoming more familiar with Market America-Shop.com. You can also meet Nick and Scot at our upcoming International Convention in Greensboro, NC Aug. 10-12, 2018.