Majority of mobile apps fail. They languish out there in the app stores and in the worldwide web – unheard of, unused and unloved. Even if a mobile app is discovered and downloaded, 77% of users never use an app again 72 hours after installing. Time spent on apps is also low with 34.1% of mobile app engagements lasting less than one minute. The mobile app industry metrics, however, show that time spent in apps is soaring, up 69% over last year. But that only tells half the story: overall app usage has grown a modest 11% and driven largely by social networking apps (which are dominated by big, deep-pocketed brands). The big brands also dominate the list of 2016’s top apps.
So does it all mean that app owners, especially with modest promotional budgets cannot win at all? While there is no guarantee of success in the mobile app business, the chances of success can be increased by optimizing the go-to-market strategy.
Let’s look at a few factors, which impact the success of a mobile app:
1. App Product Strategy:
It is said that no amount of marketing can sell a bad product. So the foundation for an app is the right product strategy, which arises out of market research and a deep understanding of consumer insights. The product must solve an existing problem or meet a need better than existing solutions available. If the differentiator is baked into the functionality of the product and only on how it looks, it stands a better chance of success.
2. App Discovery:
With millions of apps vying for attention, it is natural that consumers experience app fatigue and a majority of the apps sink without a trace. As a product owner, it is natural to think of all the efforts as wasted if the app is not presented in front of a potential consumer. App Store and Play Store tackle discoverability issues in their own ways with an intent to help app publishers. Aside from that App Store Optimization aims to make it easier for users to find your app primarily through search. It has become both an art and a science as it optimizes app’s title, keywords and description. It can improve your App Store rank for search terms that are important to you and your app. It is not enough just to showcase an app but app downloads are important too. App-install campaigns via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are popular strategies to drive installs. Targeting the right audience, the relevance of the digital platform in terms of context and the quality of creative, play critical roles in driving app installs.
3. App User experience:
‘When something is designed to work beautifully, it tends to look that way, too’, quotes Apple. The emphasis is on how things work rather than how they look. User experience encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products, was the definition coined by Nielsen Norman Group.
Peter Morville of Semantic Studios developed the user experience honeycomb in 2004 (in an age where mobile was not omnipresent) but is still relevant today.
Fundamentally, an app needs to help users accomplish whatever they set out to do, faster and better through delightful interactions. At the core of it all are human emotions. At Robosoft, we believe that mobile solutions need to strike a chord among users and engage them emotionally.
“Does it better” will always beat “did it first.” – Aaron Levie, CEO at Box
4. App User engagement:
The chances of success of a mobile app will increase only if app engagement increases. A user must be given enough reasons to keep using the app again and again – by making every user interaction memorable and delightful. The key is to use data intelligence to Engage, Retain & Grow users using a mix of analytical and automation tools.
5. App Monetization:
Not all apps aim to monetize (e.g. an internal app for the sales team in a large enterprise) but many, especially games, do so. In-app purchases, advertising, gamification – the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals, are some of the methods product owners can deploy to improve monetization.
Navigating through the mobile app world today is turbulent. Product owners need experienced partners who can deliver end-to-end mobile app solutions – strategy, design and engineering, to create digital products that delight.
Why not connect with us and get into a conversation on the optimal go-to-market strategy for your mobile app?
An edited version of this article was published here.