It’s safe enough to say that all of us are glued to our mobiles, mobile apps in particular from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. Mobile apps have become an integral and unavoidable part of our lives. 3.5 billion people use smartphones as of now in 2020.
Does that give you a scale of the market that is out there to be exploited? We live in a consumer-driven market, and those 3.5 billion users are your target consumers.
The consumer need must always be the top priority for businesses. With respect to mobile apps, what does a consumer need? – Convenience at his fingertips! Does Uber spring to mind immediately? By understanding this need for convenience at the click of a few buttons, businesses are surging ahead when it comes to mobile app development.
The brainchild of convenience at your fingertips and a robust application is Dunzo in India. Seeing all the success in this space, everyone wants to get on the bandwagon; however, not every mobile application is successful. While building a mobile app, a few pointers need to be kept in mind, which are discussed below.
Before we delve into how you can build a successful mobile app, let’s look at the factors you need to take into consideration before you jump into this venture.
Firstly, by no means is a mobile app development a small investment. A mid to large scale application could cost upwards of $200,000 to design, build, and launch successfully. Even the $200,000 depends entirely on the complexity of the application, the interface design, and backend coding complexity.
Once you have sunk in $200,000, your initial thought will be that the app is going to be a grand success and how mistaken we all are. Here’s a fun (or not so fun) fact – two-thirds of the apps that hit the market fail to cross the 1000 downloads mark within the first year.
This is not exactly a sign of success. Another more prominent sign of “not being a success” is that 25% of the users who download the app, abandon it after using it just once!
These numbers make you think twice, don’t they? A few factors that are responsible for the failure of these apps are bad tech, solid competition, issues with financing, making the grave mistake of not understanding your consumers’ need and more. Let’s see what it takes to create a successful mobile app and sustain.
Are you going the Android or the iOS way?
There is no doubt that getting the coding and the design of the app is of utmost importance. Something that is equally important and overlooked at times is deciding which platform you are going to build your mobile app on. Platforms have come and gone, but iOS & Android are here to stay.
Your coding will take shape following the decision of which platform you are going to launch on. You will need to take a call on which platform will serve you best or whether you’re going to launch it on both the platforms or even opt for a hybrid platform.
The choice you make will have a huge impact as the developers will use language native to the platform chosen. Analyze and consider your customer demographic very carefully – Which platform do the majority of them use – iOS or Android? What is the cost difference between designing on each platform? Is it better to go with a close platform or native app development? The performance of your app depends largely on the database you choose.
The customer is king, understand them!
Value is the first thing customers look for in a mobile app. Your app is not going to be used if the mobile app does not prove to be valuable to your customers. Enticing your customers and making them use your app goes above and beyond simply displaying your products and services and asking them to pay to use it.
The burning question that needs to be answered here is – Why will a customer sacrifice storage space on their phone to download your app and use it to ensure you make money through it? An emotional connection to the app and the need to use it is the only way this will happen. Understanding customer behavior and catering to it is key.
Based on the study of human behavior, behavioral models have been formed. According to one such model – the behaviour of a person is influenced by multiple factors – motivation to do something, the ability to perform the action, and eventually, the trigger.
Uber understood that the need of the customer was getting a cab from their precise location at the touch of a few buttons on their app. They clearly understood the motivation of their customers. Furthermore, they recognized features like easy payments (Google Pay, E-wallets) made their app extremely user friendly, and this helped enhance the ability of the app.
Prior to launch, using technologies like machine learning to understand how and when to launch the product is 50% of the work done and that lights the path to success. This will allow the customers to engage with your app and business repeatedly.
The ideal way to find out if a need for your app exists and if there will be a motivation for customers to use your app is through Proof of Concept.
The Proof of Concept will help answer questions like – What challenges do your customers face? Will the app provide solutions to the prevalent challenges? Doing this basic research will help determine who your target customers are, what their need will be, and how you will solve their problems through your app.
This will allow you to design the functionality and UI/UX of your app in such a way that people download it and use it repeatedly.
No Security, No Application
This is the tricky part – ensuring that your customers trust you with their data and access to their mobile devices. Customers today are up to date with the data protection laws and want to be sure that your app protects them in all ways possible. When you have a payment gateway integrated, it brings about another level of data security concern.
The burden lies entirely on you to ensure security from the app’s standpoint. Securing the app’s code from the ground up will help to a certain extent. Here are a few things which will need to be airtight secure in the app – network connections on the backend will need to be secure, data files, code & databases will need to be encrypted, authentication technologies will need to be enabled.
Be pleasing to the eye
Design and Functionality are Iron Man and Captain America to the success of your app. Design-wise, the mobile app should be user-friendly, clear, intuitive, and engaging.
Specification: Come up with a concrete plan based on user-based testing as to what you want the users to see as soon as they open the app. I definitely wouldn’t want to see ads from Sephora when I open Uber to book myself a cab. Decide what needs to be there and what is going to be redundant.
Visual Design: The goal of the app should be to lead the attention of the users in the direction you want them to go in; the key to this is having a focused and clear presentation of information. Ensure that it feels like the customer is having a conversation with the app by optimizing information and using single fields of input
When it comes to mobile app development, you may feel that you jumped into the deep sea for a swim meant for the swimming pool. With the proper guidance and the right implementation strategies, you may turn out to be the next Uber for all you know.