We made a decision almost 2 years ago that we would not have a stand alone app for registration that consumers would use, and that RaceJoy would be a single app, and we would not create an app for each race.
There is a blog making the rounds “Why Native Apps are Doomed“. Here are some of the top reasons listed:
- 60% of apps in the Google Play app store have never been downloaded.
- The average user downloads less than 3 apps per month. Half of US smartphone users download zero apps per month.
- Mobile users spend most of their time in apps, but 94% of app revenue comes from 1% of publishers, and users spend 80% of their time using just 5 apps.
- 80% of users who download an app fail to become active users.
Races who use RunSignUp gets positive reviews of the mobile design and look and feel of their race websites on mobile. It gives them one place to update information and be consistent and available.
For RaceJoy, the high level of functionality requires an app. Some races ask us if they can have their own race version of the app. We don’t do this because of cost and overhead. Next year RaceJoy will be used by over 1,000 races – imagine supporting 1,000 versions of the app times Apple and Android. RaceJoy also is catching on enough in areas where a runner will use it multiple times – so a race can benefit from repeat app users and not have to reinvent the wheel themselves. In addition, RaceJoy will soon have a full race calendar listing all of the races on RunSignUp and hopefully some others with direct links to mobile web registration and information.
If your race is considering a mobile app, give careful consideration to the cost and overhead. While it may be appropriate for the New York Marathon, it may not be appropriate for every race.