Creating A Mobile App? 2 Precautions To Consider Before Diving Into Development

Thinking about creating an app for your customers or fans? Apps are a great way to boost customer experience and build rapport with fans. It makes sense to use every avenue possible to create success for your business, including investing in custom app development. Proof that apps work is everywhere. ShiftPixy is gaining traction. Companies like Uber and Lyft owe their success entirely to their mobile apps, and where would anyone be without social media apps?

Not all apps are successful, however. According to Gartner, less than 0.01% of mobile apps succeed financially. You don’t want to be included in that statistic, so you’re probably wondering what the secret is to creating a successful app. Is success created through marketing? Or is it purely features and a smooth user interface that make an app popular?

The answer is somewhere in the middle. Before you begin developing your app idea, take these points into consideration:

1. Cool features don’t automatically translate to app usage

Great marketing can sell initial app downloads, but downloads don’t guarantee continued use. An app isn’t successful unless it’s used regularly. Cool features don’t guarantee your app will be used. Your app needs features that will make your customers want to use it regularly, and place it on their home screen. The best way to get your app on a user’s home screen is to design it to improve the customer experience with your brand.

Design your app to improve the customer experience

An app that makes life easier for your customers or fans will outperform apps that simply have cool features.

In this detailed mobile app building guide, Buildfire presents an example of a fitness center in San Francisco that has been in operation for three years. The fitness center has a low retention rate, and growth has been stagnant. Departing members explain the reason they left: they had difficulty booking classes and personal trainers. They could only book from the fitness center’s website on a desktop device, and they were always on the move.

In the guide, Buildfire explains how an app could solve this problem by making it easy for clients to book trainers and classes with a mobile app. This would result in increased client satisfaction, boost social proof, and the business would see an increase in productivity and revenue.

Before you start building an app with cool features, take an honest look at your business and identify areas of customer frustration. Figure out ways to eliminate those frustrations with your app. When you do, you’ll have an app that will make it to a user’s home screen.

2. Apps are often free

People need a good reason to pay for an app, even if it’s just one dollar. Most apps are free, so if your brand is unfamiliar, people will be less likely to risk the purchase. Yes, even for a dollar, people will hesitate to purchase your app if they don’t know exactly what it does, how it works, and how it will benefit them.

If you choose to make your app free in order to get more downloads, you’ll need two things:

A plan to recover the cost of developing your app

Developing an app is a financial investment in your business. If you’re not going to recover development costs through selling your app, you’ll need to recover the cost in other ways.

A detailed explanation of what your app will do for its users

Some people will find your app on your website through search engines or PPC ads; others will find it while browsing official app stores. Place an explainer video on your website, along with copy that explains your app.

App stores provide limited space for you to describe your app. Use this space wisely, and be specific about what users will get out of your app. For example, Facebook launched an app for iOS called “Messenger Kids.” In the app store, the subheading reads, “Safer Messaging and Video Chat.” From the app name and subtitle alone, it’s obvious this app provides a safer messaging experience for kids. The description further clarifies how it works.

Social media apps are an extension of the desktop applications everyone has come to know and love. Your app may not be self-explanatory and will require thoughtful descriptions.

Want to succeed? Study failed apps and keep researching

For the best chance of success, study apps that failed. Some of the best apps have failed because the company ran out of money, or they expected the app to sell itself. No product sells itself. Plan your mobile app development as if it’s a new business. Keep researching your market, and learn from the mistakes of others.