A decade ago, imagining a future filled with computers, technological systems everywhere, or information at the tip of our fingers was probably envisioned by few. Fast forward to 2021, and we have technological marvels like no other. We have entered an era where technology and mobiles have become essential to the point of no return.
The pandemic accelerated its usage, contributing to the creation of a digital-first world. For businesses, having a mobile application has become the key to survival in a competitive market. The current mobile landscape is eons away from a website first world which existed years ago.
So, is having a website not enough? Studies show that only eight percent of the time spent on mobile Is spent using a web browser and over 92 percent of the time spent on mobile is spent using apps, social networking, and communicative apps. Your current target audience comprises today’s generation, Hence, the chances of your business getting noticed without a social media or app preference are slim.
When it comes to mobile, customers prefer a model of smoother user experience, gratification, and great functionality. Of all the apps released on various platforms, only some ace these features and remain undeleted from customers’ phones. Besides just having an app, nailing the features right can ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction, and justice for your mobile application.
Creating a successful app: what are the checkpoints to hit?
It is true that as a business you cannot neglect the influence of mobile applications. But the answer to building a great one probably lies in your own usage or the metrics derived from customer usage. Of all the apps that are used on a daily basis, most have certain features in common.
Certain core functionalities influence the success rate of your app in the market. These include usefulness of the app, smoother usability, faster performance, better engagement, personalization, appearance, and overall uniqueness of the app content. These are factors that influence your app’s customer retention post download.
Most app stores allow app developers to describe the app In short paragraphs with visual materials such as screenshots to support or provide a preview of the app. The highlights that you choose to showcase should resonate with the customer’s needs. The aim is to have them download the app, rather than disposing of the application after a one time usage.
A step by step guide to creating a successful app
There are several instances where a stroke of luck has made an application famous overnight. Or teeming with downloads and posts on social media due to a trend. Yet, this isn’t a recurring situation. Besides luck, the amount of effort by the engineering, design, and development teams to create the app undeniably plays a larger role.
Creating a successful app stems from various inputs from different sectors. From targeting a rival app’s features to updating to a newer design, inputs, and trial and error methods over a duration is what creates an app that translates to better customer engagement and the desired customer acquisition.
Step #1: Brainstorm for the perfect strategy
In the midst of a plethora of ideas, the best way to deconstruct them would be to get started on research. Market research, testing, getting reviews on ideas, looking at recent trends help gain insight on the type of features that may be on the lookout by potential customers.
The first stepping stone would be a solid idea or an outline. What does your app offer that a user would find hard to decline? What makes your app stand out from the rest? Sometimes the best questions are answered looking around you. What do you find interesting about recent app trends including your own app requirements and usage?
Getting answers to these questions and more can provide valuable input towards sketching an idea. It may take drafting, re-sketching, and several meetings. But until the goal of a solid outline is reached, brainstorming is a vital step.
Step #2: Take a look at the trends
Despite how great the initial outline or the core feature of your app may be, there are chances that it may get lost in translation. It is important to let your users know what you’re offering, and why it is something to not miss out on. The key to learning from the trends is to be open, listen, ask customers and implement.
It can be easy to look at the market and determine the severity of the competition. There are at least 2 million apps on Google Play, App Store, or other app marketplaces. This shows that the chances of the spotlight falling on any new app may be tough. But, your study of the trends can help curate a strategy that can help the right customers discover your app.
View and learn from competitor apps, and the customer reviews left on the same. If you find resources that the customers repeatedly ask for, take it as an opportunity to implement them in your application. There are various sources of information such as blogs, webinars, study forums, tech meetups, hackathons and others. Use social media to engage with potential users and create surveys and questionnaires. Gaining information can be done in a multitude of ways, but it is crucial to understand, define your potential users, and learn from the gaps that rival apps provide.
Step #3: Sketch an outline and list resources
Every aspect of your business works towards a particular goal. Be it an app or a website, your goal should highlight in the services you offer. Creating an outline with that in mind can help accomplish your goal better.
Along with a proper outline, make sure you have your content ready. You may have a top-notch user experience, accessibility, and a great design. But, a lack of proper content leads to customer dissatisfaction during onboarding. Designing app content prior can help.
Once the outline is created, one can make an estimate of the cost required as well. The budget required is on the basis of various factors related to contractors, number of people hired, software used, number of features, and so on. The project cost at the very beginning can be hard to determine and can only be estimated as it continues.
Step #4: Allotment of costs
If you don’t have a set team at hand, there are always good freelance designers and developers available on a contract basis. Judging based on technical skills, the more the experience, the more they cost. However, hiring appropriately depends on the features and technical skills that you require.
There might be expenses at the start, but it is important to remember that costs incur at only points of development and updates, as post-app deployment, the profits come into place. It may be a quick, but unbacked judgment to hire a less expensive person.
Hiring forms part of your cost allotment. Not only is an outline required for your app prototype, but having one for your costs can help manage the inflow of work. The requirement of costs for the team, resources, marketing, product development, and so on need to be planned out beforehand to prevent roadblocks and keep the project moving forward.
Step #5: design an approach to the app
Post drawing your prototypes and outline, based on the type of app you are building, it’s best to finalize on tools used and development environments. One can develop a native iOS app, where the code used is Objective C X code or native Android apps where the programming language used is Java or hybrid apps where it is written in one set of code but is modified for deployment on multiple platforms.
While that covers the aspect of the mobile app framework, there are other features that are a must to be implemented. Features such as good UI-UX design, faster loading speed, dark mode, conversational tools, effective customer support, and so on form the essentials of developing an app.
Step #6: Deployment of app
When was the last time you saw a social media post anticipating the launch of an app? When the features were released and teasers provided until the actual release of the app? This phenomenon is called a pre-launch marketing strategy and is more common than we think. The era of waiting for a mobile app to finish the development stage, get deployed, and then get started on the marketing is long gone.
Another feature that is highly recommended is the beta testing programs. These programs help get additional feedback on features, bugs, and usage metrics helping fine-tune the app before deployment takes place. Proper planning and scheduling of deployment can benefit your app’s building digital presence.
Step #7: Monetizing strategy
In general, the duration of creating an app varies around 3 to 5 months on average. Majorly, it is the costs that occur in this part and profit, post the development part. Whether you have a website or an app, the initial measure would be the percentage of traffic that turned into sales.
As a beginner or an expert, there are several different ways of monetizing your app. Choosing a revenue model, in the beginning, can account for profit tracking later on. Some monetization models include,
- In-app purchases
- Sponsor and partnership
- In-app advertising
- Subscription-based models
- Freemium (free trial modes prior to payment)
- Affiliate marketing and lead generation
Step #8: upgrade with newer features
Post-deployment, there are various metrics that govern the app’s presence, download rates, social media presence, and so on. Having a good analytics tool can help manage your app’s presence and make it marketable.
Looking at engagement behavior, user reviews, locations, and timings of usage, regular testing are factors that give us an insight into user behavior. Apart from these, it is crucial to upgrade your app with improvements and regular updates. This can enhance the app’s visibility, competitiveness and ensures the smoother functioning of the app.
Reaching the finish line: how to make the most out of your mobile app?
Most mobile applications are catered extremely towards customer satisfaction. A mobile app is another gateway for customers to interact with your brand and hence, creating a personalized, smoother experience is key. The fact that your team’s work does not end at deployment is highlighted here as app store optimization, usage metrics, app promotion, SEO are factors that come into play post-deployment.
Regardless of the continuous flow of effort required, your app’s core component should align with what your customers are looking for. Soaring mobile usage metrics indicate that now is a good time more than ever, to invest in a mobile application. Getting carried away with rival prospects and features or a bigger audience can happen, but rooting your goals and objectives within the app that you’re building can help it last a smaller or a bigger user base.
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