With news last week that the government contact tracing app may not now be ready until the winter – and that attention has switched to developing an app on the pre-existing Apple/Google platform – the thoughts of businesses may be drifting away from apps as a way to manage the spread of COVID-19 moving forwards.

And that would be a shame since it isn’t just the contact tracing technology – or a single, government-sponsored, nationwide app – that can help us. Individual businesses can easily develop digital solutions of their own to help customers access products and services safely and with confidence.

In the post-lockdown world, a sense of security will be critical to encouraging customers to re-engage with the economy. Every business should be investigating how a relatively simple app might have potentially huge – and on every level beneficial – effects.

  1. Contactless Service
    In restaurants, for example, an app might be used by diners not just to book a table, but to place food and drink orders direct to servers. Payment, too, can be made remote – and involve no potential transmission via cash. Hardcopy menus might be replaced in the app by digital ones – again reducing handling.
  1. Minimise Overcrowded Queues
    Nights out at pubs and bars, too, could make use of paperless tickets, drinks ordered direct to the table and no cash handling. We’ve already achieved this for some clients – for example, take a look at our app for Club Global. Much of this technology isn’t new – it’s just that its benefits are now even more pronounced.
    And this isn’t limited to nightlife. Our app for Really Awesome Coffee offers street vendors the chance to avoid long queues.
  1. Limit Unnecessary Handling
    The software we developed for Jaguar Land Rover could keep track of cars, and manage efficient use of space. This is solutions can be easily adapted for car parks and for car rental firms, as a simple addition of payment gateways could help avoid unhygienic payments. Switching from paper to e-brochure apps such as the one we put together for  Joseph Ash could offer shops, salons and other service-oriented businesses the chance to show their wares outside of a physical setting as well as minimise the transmission of germs when browsing products in-store on a personal mobile device. 
  1. Maximise Office Hygiene
    It’s staff, too, who can benefit from app technology. Symptom-checking using thermal imaging software to detect fever, contactless clock-in, and reducing paper form handling can all help protect people in the workplace. On top of that, many of these functions will also speed up business processes – releasing efficiencies as well as limiting the spread of infection.
  1. Promote Hygiene Control in Schools
    It’s not just business that can benefit, either: in schools, thermal imaging for symptom checking might also be invaluable, and apps such as Kahoot! can help teachers deliver quizzes and other educational tasks with limited personal contact.   Likewise, personal hygiene apps which send reminders to kids to wash their hands – and which offer techniques for how to do it properly – will gamify what might otherwise be an onerous task.

So, there you have five real-life examples of how apps can be key to life after lockdown. But this list is not extensive. Apps unlock the capacity of organisations of all kinds to help people gather safely and with confidence – and in the post-lockdown context, ensuring that people are both protected and feel that way will be critical to maintaining our health of both individuals and our economy.

Apps can make your business more efficient – and safer, too. It’s a win-win.

If you have a question about how apps might help your business, then just send us an email to info@image-plus.co.uk, or call us at 024 7683 4780 – we’re always happy to chat to you with no obligation.

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