How to make successful Mobile App
If there was one thing that saw growth even during the worst of the times, it has been a mobile app business. Of course, the market is getting competitive and there are so many mobile apps vying for your screen space.
However, this hasn’t deterred the market from growing. The twist here is that when you develop an app, you do not compete with the mobile apps in your domain alone. You have to compete with multiple other apps which are equally vying for the screen space. How does one make sure that they make a successful app?
There are some key points to consider and in this blog, we will list them for you.
So, read on.
The very first and literally the most crucial point to consider before you start any business, let alone a successful app business is to know your audience well. Now, there are the standard primary and secondary ways to do it. You either go and do the market research or you browse the internet and get the requisite knowledge. Whatever way you choose, you have to be thorough about your audience. The ideal way is to work on an audience caricature first. You do not have to go by what all the standard templates say because they indulge too much in words and can be far removed from the kind of filters which your social media advertising platforms or your app store or play store would offer at the time of targeting.
Hence, think like a common man. A common person who would be installing your app.
Another very critical thing here is that you need to understand the fact that you can be biased towards your app. Hence, always take general opinion from people around you to understand how well you are creating a customer profile. Talking to people about the idea will help you understand not just the needs and wants but also help you cross-check your audience profile.
The audience profile will be divided into Psychographic and Demographic characteristics. Please be sure that you take as many points into consideration as possible. It may seem futile now but when you will be doing something as insignificant as deciding the colours of your app’s UI, you will understand how absolutely relevant an Audience profile is.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic saw how even the most successful apps fell flat on their face. Now, we do not expect you to take that as a generic basis and work towards your value proposition. The reason we mentioned it is that you should take the value proposition very seriously and try to make it as situational agnostic as possible.
For instance, let us take the example of Swiggy. A food delivery platform which got significantly hit by the pandemic. But, their proposition was flexible and hence they quickly switched to delivery of essentials.
Let us take the example of another app. A story based app for kids which tries to teach the kids through storytelling. We aren’t talking Byju’s here- just to clarify. So, this app tries to replicate the traditional work of the grandparents where they tell stories to the younger ones. A good proposition, but not so much in India where we still believe in a well-knit family system.
So, you see! The value proposition doesn’t have to be good in silos. It has to be good with respect to the audience you are looking at catering.
Another example that we can take here is the game of Candy Crush. This successful app literally came out of nowhere and took on the giants like Temple Run-another famous mobile app. Fast forward today and Candy Crush is still there on almost all the phones of the 35 to 60 age group people.
Let us try to explain why!
Temple Run and Candy Crush were both aimed at providing relaxation to the tired minds. Temple Run did it in a very challenging manner, plus one had to keep focussed on the screen which did result in headaches sometimes. Candy Crush, on the other hand, was pure mindless entertainment and relaxation. While one can say that the value proposition of both these games was more or less the same, yet Candy Crush was way closer to the audience’s need than Temple Run!
We need to understand that with today’s audience, downloading an app isn’t a challenge, it is the retention that is the challenge! Thus a successful app’s value proposition will have to be modelled accordingly too.
Business Model Clarity
We have discussed being clear on the pricing and business models in several of our earlier blogs. We will discuss it yet again because the possibilities are endless and it is really easy to lose one’s way in them. Every successful app business, however, has always succeeded in making the most of the relevant ones. One reason for this is that these apps made sure that they changed with the market trends.
For instance, let us take the example of popular newspaper apps such as Economic Times. The ET app was amongst the first to go full throttle on monetising. The moment mobile ads were launched, the app had it. The moment the team saw that Facebook had started using in-stream ads, the app partnered with the brand and started generating more video content.
The point we want to make here is that before you start making the app, you should know how you are going to monetise it and still leave some room for any developments that may happen later!
Since every app is unique, you may start by writing out the advantages and disadvantages of the business model you are choosing. Once that is done, go with the one which has the minimum disadvantages.
We know that this sounds like a pessimistic approach to have but when you start, you need to focus on cutting down your losses so that you may sustain for the initial few months. Once your sustenance is sorted, you can look at profits and scaling up too.
Scope and Feature Finalisation
Building on what we mentioned in the section above, scope and feature finalisation is essential for making a successful app at multiple levels. A lot of this will be done with regard to the audience one is serving.
Putting in too much into the app isn’t really a solution because that inadvertently ends up killing the user experience. Also, while sometimes it may take the attention away from the main value proposition, other times it can be a lost cause too. Let us take the example of PayTM mall to understand it better.
PayTM had literally established it well as the preferred payment method for an average digitally active Indian. Then the firm thought that maybe they could consider competing with Amazon and Flipkart and introduced PayTM Mall which had a similar value proposition as the others. However, PayTM mall tanked and despite all the marketing and development resources employed in it, all of that had to be rescinded.
Now, we are not trying to dishearten you here but we want you to understand that too much isn’t the right thing to go by. A successful app is the one which plays well on its main features instead of piling up multiple others.
Always remember why you made the app in the first place and focus on it.
The way a mobile app is built will play an important role in determining its overall success. This is because this initial development will pave the way for all the modifications and maintenance which could be done later and also define the kind of systems the app can work on. There are three main options to consider here:
Platform-Specific Native App
These native apps are coded for either iOS or Android. Native apps used to be a thing earlier but now given the flexibility and how quickly people switch their phones and also OS, Native apps do not retain much of their original fan base. If, however, you are very sure of the platform that you want your app for, do go ahead with a Native app development because it comes way cheaper and can be done way faster; plus the user experience is very good too!
Cross-Platform Native App
These apps use shared SDKs but they run natively only. React Native and Flutter are some of the common technologies used for coding cross-platform native apps. These apps are decently cost-effective and are ideal for those who have restricted budgets but still want an app for all the OS.
A Hybrid app, as the name suggests is compatible with all devices and operating systems. They are quick to deploy and easy to update. The cost-effectiveness is not so much though for obvious reasons.
The reason we mentioned all the three app types here is so that you may make an informed decision prior to your app development.
The UI/UX design is another key criteria which define an app’s success. This is because if the app isn’t easy to use, people would not want to give it another chance.
The UI/UX design bit holds true for both B2C as well as B2B apps. The UI/UX is not just about downloads, it is more about long term retention.The longer your app is used and stays on the customer’s phone, the better is your business and your chances to earn revenue.
Also, managing your app’s UI well can also help you create a path where you can prompt the customer to either engage in in-app purchases or share your content or whatever is the goal of your app.
The Right development team
It might sound like a generic thing to say but selecting the right team is crucial to fulfilling the goals to make a successful app. The right development team will not just ensure that you have the relevant resources in-house but will also allow you to do easy upgrades later.
Try and build a team which is skilled across functions instead of having just one skill-set. This will help you to make major shifts in your development program seamlessly too.It is also important that the entire team is aligned on the goal and scope. While this may seem like a trivia but if the team knows what is the end goal, their ideas and thought process will also work accordingly.
App Performance Analysis
Needless to say, once you have published your app, the analytics will have to be monitored too to see how well it is performing.
A successful app becomes successful over days of optimisation and control. Research has found that one of the main reasons for abandoning an app in 2019 has been its inability to modify itself as per the user journey.
And it is not just about journey mapping, it is also about usability. For instance, if you do not analyse how your app is doing, you may end up ignoring the probable bugs or glitches that it has resulting in poor user experience and hence uninstall.
Marketing Strategy Formulation
The biggest step towards this will be understanding and finalising how much you are willing to spend on the promotions. Given how the algorithms have been changing, it is really really difficult for one to market their product organically.
Also, it is not just about spending money, one needs to be sure of the audience that they will market to, the kind of creatives that will go out, how the ROIs will be mentioned and a lot more.
Plus, the launch strategy needs to be in sync with the marketing activities. The ideal marketing strategy for a successful app launch is usually divided into three phases, namely- pre-launch, launch and post-launch.
Please note, a pre-launch strategy needs to be defined really strongly because this is where the buzz will be created. Once your app is in the app store, you are just vying for a screen space just like many other apps which are running their ads.
Periodic App Updation
App updates ensure that your customer does not uninstall your app. Not just it ensures the basic hygiene of your app performance but it also ensures that you are able to personalise the experience for your users.
An mobile app update is the flexibility which will allow you to tweak your business models, your revenue streams, your UI/UX and everything else. You can choose to either schedule periodic updates for your app or you can make them random as per the requirements. But, do make a goal of having so many updates in a set period of time or else, you will miss out on doing that.
Never forget that the lack of up-gradation is the most important reason for mobile apps being uninstalled. Watch the space your mobile app takes in the device memory. Facebook does that a lot and hence it keeps improving on its app-space optimisation. Yahoo mail had this major concern too and suffered a lot of uninstalls hence. But, then they upgraded and improved and the loyal users still have yahoo mail app on their phones.
A lot of mobile apps do not bother to respond to the reviews on the app store or a play store. But the most successful app teams do it.
There is literally no app in this world which will not get negative reviews from someone or the other. It is definitely not possible to please everyone but a successful app takes the feedback into consideration.
You will see that every good/successful app has all the reviews responded to with the details of the update that will be done or have been done. Not just this builds the trust of the existing user but it also ensures that the new user does not get put off by the negativity.
User Retention Strategy
We had mentioned earlier in this blog and we will mention it yet again. In today’s world and the increased fickleness of a customer’s mind, app installation isn’t an issue. The problem lies in retention, It hardly takes a prospect a few seconds to uninstall an app if they do not find it relevant.
So, the focus has to be not just the downloads but also the fact that you are able to capture the screen space of your customer for a long time.
A good way to ensure user retention is to make your mobile app interactive and to keep your customers updated about what the next update holds in store. Not a lot to do in this regard but even a small notification can be crucial to holding the attention!
Hope these pointers helped. We have had more detailed articles about each of these points which were written earlier. Should you wish to have some clarity on any of them, feel free to write to us or you can simply refer to the articles too!