The Ottumwa Courier

September 11, 2012

It's all about apps

Guest Editorial

Kelly Poppe-Gale

OTTUMWA — Well, if you haven’t gotten on board the Ecommerce bandwagon, then you may want to skip on up to Mcommerce or Mobile commerce. Doing business on the web is certainly still a viable business model, but with the popularity of mobile phones and tablet devices, mobile apps are certainly presenting themselves as the wave of the future for many consumers.

The capabilities of mobile devices have gone far beyond merely looking up information to actually making purchases. I’m not just talking about buying apps or ringtones. The Internet analytics company comScore reported that 38 percent of mobile phone owners have used the device to make a purchase. The main reason cited for this emphasis on mobile technology is the ability to reach a larger audience of potential customers.

Internet retailer magazines reported that just over half of smartphone owners used Mcommerce apps in June of this year. The top apps include some familiar names like eBay, Amazon, Groupon and Target. More surprising are those apps that topped the list with less familiar names such as Shopkick, LivingSocial, RedLaser and Out of Milk Shopping List.

Amazingly, this new technology doesn’t take a rocket scientist or millions of dollars to develop. CBS Money Watch ran a story about a 12-year-old Dallas girl that developed her own app and sold hundreds of copies, all in a month’s time. There are a plethora of websites giving guidance on how to build an app, including the previously mentioned article entitled “How to Build an iPhone App in 6 Easy Steps” from

I remember buying my daughter her first iPhone and listening to her tell me, “It’s all about the apps, Mom.” I didn’t really understand until I got my own. And now I realize, along with the rest of the smartphone users, and more importantly, the retail industry as a whole, it is all about the apps!

Kelly Poppe-Gale is the RELI coordinator for entrepreneurship and business incubation at Indian Hills Community College. She can be reached via email at