Commentary

Need A Helicopter? Now There's An App for That

The size of mobile commerce often is judged by how many things are purchased from a mobile phone or the total value of those purchases.

Some of those tracking stats can sometimes be misleading, since mobile is involved throughout the entire mobile shopping life cycle, not just at the transaction stage.

But now rather than things being associated with mobile purchasing, increasingly there are services, often relating to convenience or time-saving.

The car services Uber and Lyft are among the most obvious examples, with consumers using those apps for the convenience of quickly locating and requesting a ride.

And then there are the services that will deliver packages, much like the car services, except that it’s the goods that take the ride, not the people sending the package.

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In addition to those types of new services, there also are mobilizations of existing services.

A relatively new example of this is from Gotham Air, which recently re-tooled its app so people in New York who want to get to JFK can tap into the app to find a flight, book it and pay the $219 fare, all with just a few taps.

The app includes a function so travelers can select a flight time within the next 10 days and as long as at least four people sign up, that flight goes.

Since the 6-minute flights are essentially chartered, four passengers are needed and when that number is hit, a confirmation is sent to the app.

The app economy may ultimately lean less toward buying things and more toward purchasing services.

In many ways, apps are very well suited for quick service selections.

It’s only imagination that will determine what an app will next automate.

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