It’s hard to believe that it’s been less than a decade since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the launch of what we today think of as mobile apps – those that run on smart phones. It didn’t take long after that launch, however, for businesses and consumers to recognize their benefit – and want more. In fact, it was only four years later, in December 2011, that The New York Times celebrated an extraordinary milestone with an article in its technology section headlined “One Million Mobile Apps, and Counting at a Fast Pace.” Today the Apple store alone grows by around 1,000 apps a day, or 30,000 a month. Apps for Android phones grow at a rate of 15,000 a month.

Businesses deciding whether an app will be a competitive advantage need look no further than data showing just how extraordinary the spread and use of mobile apps are – not to mention how much commerce is being conducted digitally. Today, in fact, not being a part of this explosive growth is a competitive disadvantage.

After all, in the U.S. alone there are 224 million people who use apps (think about that for a minute; there are only 319 million people in the country in the first place and around four million of those are infants). And, among them, the average time people spent on mobile apps increased more than 20 percent in 2014 alone. On average, app users visit 25 different apps a month on their phones.

It’s not all fun and games, though. Commerce conducted over mobile apps has exploded, with research showing that this year alone, ecommerce sales are expected to reach over $2 trillion (yes, trillion), with one-quarter of that coming from mobile by the end of 2017. In other words, if your business doesn’t have a mobile app supporting it, the time is now to reconsider your app-less strategy.

Bridgette Chambers

Businesses deciding whether an app will be a competitive advantage need look no further than data showing just how extraordinary the spread and use of mobile apps are, and how not being a part of this explosive growth can be a competitive disadvantage.