5 Essentials to App Success

by Emily on February 19, 2014

in Articles

social-networking-business-apps-mobileWith increasing smartphone success, the app economy continues to boom. An estimated $25 billion in annual revenue makes mobile app development a thriving business.

But with over a million apps available across platforms and app production growing exponentially, it is difficult for an application to stand out amongst numerous competitors with incredibly similar features. In fact, research reveals that one out of every four downloaded apps is actually discarded before being used. Many developers wonder how can an app ultimately gain recognition and start generating revenue.

In order to avoid getting squished by the sheer number of apps out there, here are five essential steps for creating a successful product that stands up to the test.

1. Solve a Problem

Even though some of the top downloaded apps are entertaining mini-video games, apps that tend to boast the longest shelf life focus on either:

  • solving a proble,
  • fulfilling a need or
  • providing a service have

For example, consider the apps a person uses regularly like the flashlight app, weather forecast, camera and photo sharing program, or exercise tracker. Each of these are used on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The common element amongst these apps is their joint practicality in helping people with everyday life by fulfilling a need.

During the creative process, brainstorm necessities and activities that humans perform everyday. Then, think about ways that an app can help. There are two general ways in which an app can work:

  1. Tackling an intrinsic problem that the app fixes or supplies for the phone itself
  2. Enhancing phone use with a sleeker, better interface than what the device alone provides

2. User-Friendly

The most successful apps are intuitive. Apps that can be understood and navigated within seconds of opening the program have a higher success rate.

Ideally, an app should make life simpler for the user. From its function to its interface, a successful app should provide an answer before the user knows they need it. For example, in a calorie tracking app, the app should save all searched and used items, having stored them in an obvious area for future use.

Lastly, the app should be crash and bug free. In general, fewer than one eighth of app users will try a failed app more than once. Because phone software updates come frequently, app creators should program their apps to work concurrently with those changes.

3. Price Point

World-wide app successes stories like Instagram, VSCOcam, and SnapChat did not start out charging for downloads. They provided a free service in the hopes that their popularity would generate opportunities and revenue. Though it is a risky way to start, this strategy can be rewarding in the end.

Other ways to take this example and still turn a profit include starting with a free demo version of the app as a teaser in the hopes that people will come back to purchase the full app. If it is well-liked and well-received, users are likely to purchase a reasonably priced app. But the gamble here, of course, is taking the chance that your app won’t generate enough interest to earn full downloads.

4. Target the Right Platform

The Android phone market is as flourishing right along with Apple. Most successful apps are compatible on both Google and Apple phones which provides a bigger market for an app to corner.

But if a developer can’t afford to design versions for both popular operating systems, it is typically advisable to study your intended market and choose the platform that will connect with your consumers best. If this still seems unclear, many developers start with Apple’s App Store because Android’s tends to be overcrowded.

5. Strategic Marketing

The last step is to start your marketing campaign before the app hits stores. Promoting something before it is available generates anticipation and excitement, and this can help it sell well once it is released. Rely on social media to get the word out.

Using these five great tips, you will be ready to launch into the world of mobile app success.

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Stefan October 20, 2015 at 05:00

You can build best app, if there is no marketing, none will know.

Yet, you as you said, you need to solve the problem and make your app cross-platform.

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