The mobile app arena is extremely competitive. Learning from the mistakes of others can prevent you from following in their footsteps. This article outlines some of the main reasons why apps never take off, so you can journey towards app success.
Brainstorming, building, and launching a mobile app is like building and selling a house. If you don’t have the right plan, the correct tools, or the appropriate team with the vision to lay the right foundation, you won’t end up with the structure you wanted. Likewise, if you don’t have the right mobile app strategy from the get-go, brick by brick your project will start to crumble.
The mobile app market is becoming more and more lucrative. Statista reports that worldwide mobile app revenue in 2019 was at a whopping $462 billion. But what many enthusiastic entrepreneurs don’t know is that most mobile apps never manage to make it past the first few weeks of development.
At Scopic, we’ve helped a number of clients whose ideas were fantastic, but whose products were being drowned in the deep sea of competition. Over time, we’ve noticed a pattern of key areas where others have fallen short, so we created this guide to help you avoid the mistakes of others.
So, what are the missing ingredients you need to set your app up for success? In this guide, we’ll identify the 4 key aspects of creating a successful mobile app.
Doing the right planning and research, choosing the best platform, running frequent tests, and employing effective marketing strategies are all things you’ll need to learn how to do if you want to launch a great mobile app.
4 Development Mistakes That Can Make or Break Your Mobile App’s Success
- Lack of planning and research
- Choosing the wrong platform
- Skipping the testing process
- Insufficient or incorrect marketing strategies
1. Lack of Planning and Research
Every project needs a consistent and strategic business plan. Without direction, goals, and a clear plan of action, even the best app ideas are unlikely to succeed.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs get lost in the excitement of their idea and forget to draw out a strategic plan to keep their team aligned throughout the entire project. So, before working on a project checklist, ask yourself these 5 vital questions:
Who Is Your Target Market?
Researching your audience before you design and develop your app is not only necessary in understanding their specific needs and challenges, but it’s also the best way to gain key insights that could help strengthen your idea and lead you onto new, unexpected paths.
What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?
You may have a brilliant idea, but if you don’t make your product relevant to the specific challenges your target audience is facing, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Many business owners are inspired by an idea they themselves would like, but fail to put themselves in the shoes of their users.
How Will Your App Provide the Solution to This Problem?
Make it crystal clear how your product will help ease these pain points. Plainly outline the specific features that will contribute to tackling your target market’s biggest challenges.
What Makes You Different?
Study up on your competition and aim to be unique. Make sure you’re aware of what’s currently on the market, so you can position your value propositions with the confidence that your product will stand out.
What Are Your Main Objectives for This Project?
Your goals should be clear from the outset so that everyone involved knows what they should be doing and why they should be doing it.
A solid business plan forms the backbone of your idea. It can help you identify the areas you need to research more, pinpoint areas of opportunity, ensure communication is clear from the get-go, and help streamline your team’s workflow.
2. Choosing the Wrong Platform
You can only choose the right platform if you’ve done effective market research. It’s possible the product you think will be a perfect mobile app might not even be suitable for mobile devices at all.
Whether your app is for desktop, web, or mobile devices should be a decision you make based on your target audience and the specific type of problems you’re trying to solve.
Let’s go over 3 examples, and identify the best platform for each.
- If your users are radiologists looking for a medical imaging solution, you’ll want to be leveraging desktop as your platform. It will allow higher quality imagery as well as maximum control and security over sensitive patient data.
- If your users are fitness addicts looking for a health and wellness solution, leveraging mobile will give your users the flexibility to access your app wherever and whenever they need some healthy inspiration.
- If your users are office managers on a search for a custom communication system that can be accessed across multiple platforms, leveraging web will help them keep in touch throughout the day in the office.
Whatever the case may be, knowing which platforms your users respond best to is key. After all, mobile app statistics show that only 32% of users return to an application 11 times or more. So don’t leave it down to your gut feeling. Invest the time to research which platform will bring you the best results, or talk to a specialist who can advise you.
3. Skipping the Testing Process
25% of apps downloaded are only used once. That means you’ve got one shot to make a good first impression.
If you don’t test properly before going live, you can guarantee there will be glitches along the way. If one of those glitches occurs during your customers’ first use of the app, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll never be used again.
Your app might look and sound great on paper, but until you’ve tested each feature, how can you tell what needs improving? And until you’ve tried it out on real users, how can you know if you’re meeting their expectations?
Before you start testing though, there are a few things to bear in mind.
For starters, be sure to work with experienced developers who know what to test and what questions to ask. Here, it will also help to get back into the mindset of your users and think about the actions they may take, as well as the problems they may face.
Also, compare the features of your app with the product’s purpose and objectives. Question the security of the app, and consider how best to introduce updates.
Finally, make sure there is an option for your users to leave feedback, and act upon their comments in a timely manner. Here are a few examples of the kinds of questions you and your team should be asking yourselves and your users:
- How user-friendly is your app?
- Does it do what you promised it would?
- What happens when something crashes?
- Will an error message appear if something goes wrong?
The more questions you ask, and the more thorough your testing is, the fewer glitches you’ll encounter along the way. You’ll also be much more prepared for any challenges you face once live, and you’ll be sure to improve the chances of your app being used more than once.
4. Insufficient or Incorrect Marketing Strategies
It’s extremely important to define the right marketing strategy to optimize your chances of being found and loved once live. Your idea may be outstanding — your app, even better.
There are several core points you need to consider:
Choose the Right Channels
Start by reflecting on your target market and the channels they’re like to use, the sites they visit, and the type of content they read. Then draw up a timeline and create effective SEO content that helps create a buzz amongst your audience.
From targeted social media campaigns to content marketing strategies, there are many ways you can cause excitement in anticipation of your soon-to-be app.
Capture the Right Message
Sending out the right message can be a difficult line to tread. You need to generate enough interest and intrigue to encourage your audience to download. Yet, you should be careful not to go too far and promise what you can’t actually deliver.
Many companies end up over-selling in an attempt to boost downloads, only to encounter extortionately high churn rates as a result. The average app loses 95% of users after 90 days. If you don’t want to be average, make sure your message is both engaging and consistent.
App Store Optimization
Your presence in the app stores will be the ultimate deciding factor when a user is considering downloading your app, so you need to entice visitors to do just that.
Potential users should be able to go to your profile and find as much information about your product as possible. From your logo to your description, your title to your screenshots, every piece of your profile should be optimized to capture your audience’s attention.
Dominate the Mobile App Industry
Now you know the most common reasons why mobile applications fail to take off and how to set yours up for success. Keep these 4 points in mind, and refer to them often during the process of building your mobile app.
It may be a tough market, but the demand is certainly there. Mobile users now spend 87% of their time in apps, versus just 13% on the web. So to ensure your innovative idea stands the test of time, use this guide and watch your mobile app thrive!