With roughly 5 million apps available between Android and the iOS, competition is very high in nearly every niche or category. Additionally, both platforms and their respective Mobile App Stores are placing emphasis on high quality app submissions that provide value to customers. If you are an app developer, do not let these details deter you. There is still plenty of room and opportunity for your app to succeed. Check out the following tips on how to build a killer successful app and you can be well on your way to making your app dreams a reality.
What is Your App?
Do you have a clear vision of your app? Do you know which features and functions it will provide? In other words, have you clearly outlined your app and covered topics like the layout, design, interface, navigation and more?
The first step in building a successful app is to outline your app and everything about it. The more thorough you are in this step, the better your app will be. You can also get some feedback on the concept of your app from trusted individuals like family, friends, or fellow developers. This might inspire you to make some potentially successful tweaks or additions to the concept of your app.
How can you call your app a success if you do not define what success looks like for you? Before beginning any stage of development, marketing or collaboration with others, first define what constitutes success to you. It could be one million downloads, 1,000 subscriptions, achieving a high rank, getting mainstream attention, 5-star ratings or anything else. Whatever it is, make sure you can define it.
Who are you trying to sell your app to? Who is your app designed for? These are important answers to ascertain. Identifying a target audience can help you create an app that is useful, as well as a marketing campaign that appeals to your desired customer base.
Size-Up the Competition
Now that you have an idea of what your app is, what success looks like, and who your target audience is, it is time to size up the competition. With millions of apps already on the market, you must look at the ones that are successful in your target niche. Check out what customers are saying about these apps, what features stand out, and read reviews about the successful competitors. Evaluate this information and see how you can make your app better, different or easier to use.
Value to Customers
As mentioned, emphasis is being placed on high quality apps. Inferior apps are slowly being phased out or removed from the stores. These high-quality apps provide value to customers through its usefulness. If you are creating a hiking app, make sure the key features for finding trails, mapping and tracking your hikes are all top-notch, easy to use and get the job done. This is the real value that customers are looking for: purpose, practicality and potential to make life easier.
Less is More
Don’t bog down your app with too many features. This can hurt you in the long run because users may feel overwhelmed with trying to figure out how best to use your app. Provide a set number of features in the beginning and perhaps look at other ways to add features through future updates or in-app purchases. Customers want an app that makes their life easier and performs its functions quickly. If they must spend hours trying to figure out your app and all its features, there is a good chance they move on to a simpler competitor.
Test Your App
Before releasing your app to the public, test it on real users. See if you can get friends, family or co-workers to try your app. Their feedback could be invaluable. It is a great way to fix bugs, iron out the kinks, improve on weaknesses, and emphasize the app’s strengths.
An integral part to any business’ success is listening to the customers. If users are complaining about bugs, fix them. If they are making suggestions on possible features, then see how best to implement them. Whether it is a complaint or a compliment, always acknowledge the customer’s feedback and thank them for it. Customers will remain loyal if they feel that you are loyal to them. Additionally, loyal customers will sing the praises of your app and potentially bring new customers.
In addition to user experience, you will need to know how well your app is operating. This requires you to track every error, crash and exception during a user’s session. This data flow will help you to fix issues and prevent any major errors. Additionally, it could also show you how users respond to the errors or crashing. For example, some users may quit using your app outright if the issues go unfixed or happen frequently.
Direct Marketing Campaign
During the initial release phase, a direct marketing campaign can help to get your app some attention. Remember, with hundreds to thousands of apps in your niche, users will not monitor the market to see what new releases have come out. Additionally, it is not up to the user to decide if your app is better than the next hundred competitors. It’s up to you to create a marketing campaign, before your app is released, and play to your strengths. Highlight the areas that your app will make their life easier and more productive. Then talk about how your app does things more effectively and efficiently than other apps. Use a marketing campaign to convince your target audience that your app is the one that they should use.
How to Generate Revenue?
Generating revenue is the bottom line focus for businesses. If they do not make any money, then they can’t stay in business. Choosing the best revenue model can be difficult for some. You do not want to scare off potential customers with a high up-front price tag. Additionally, you do not want to overwhelm customers with advertisements. Ideally, allowing users to take your app for a test spin before making them commit financially is the best option. For example, make your app free to download and then charge them through in-app purchases. This idea also presents a few options:
- Create a free app that has limited functions and then charge them for the full version.
- Let customers download the app for free, but then charge them a subscription fee to use all the features.
Whatever revenue model you choose, it is important to provide users with the opportunity to test out your app before paying. You would not go to a car dealership and buy a car without taking it for a test drive. It is the same concept with your app. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes!
The article is written by Peter Pane, Owner at Jim’s Computer Services
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