With the Mobile App market on a continuous upward trajectory, it makes sense for organizations and businesses to start exploring this marketplace. With smartphones and tablet usage and sales also not slowing down, mobile applications are another way to reach and interact with your target audience.
Companies can look to making in-house, custom mobile applications, designed to solve a particular need or purpose, or they can opt to crate commercial applications, made for selling and monetizing. Regardless of the type of application you’re trying to develop, there are certain things you should keep in mind.
Firstly though let’s define what mobile application development really is. Mobile Application Development is the process of writing software code for devices such as smartphones and tablets. Developers write mobile apps to take advantage of certain devices specific features, e.g. the small screen size or touch capability. When developers build an application natively for a device, it means that the code is specific to that device’s processor. There are a number of different mobile platforms developers can build apps for, the two main ones being Android and iOS.
Apart from technical know-how, there are other factors individuals and companies should be vary off when looking to develop an app. Business and Marketing management play a key role in how successful a particular app will be.
Let’s look at some of the things you should keep in mind when developing mobile apps.
Before starting the developing process it is vital that you research your target audience. Not only that, you should also look into competitor research, find out their strategy, application strong points, marketing methods etc.
Reviews are an important metric to gauge the success of a particular app. You can use this to identify strengths and weaknesses of current apps and look to build your app to address these.
Another key factor determining what you can develop will be your budget. App development is not cheap. Therefore, your budget will determine how complicated your app can be.
Depending on the industry you operate in, you may already have programmers that are proficient in mobile app development. If you don’t, you’ll have to enlist the help of freelancers or hire a software company.
Once you have you app developed you will have to decide a price point. Obviously, the first decision you have to make is whether you want to charge for your app in the first place. You can use your competitor analysis data to figure out what pricing you should have and how to position yourself in the market.
Do you want to be a premium product/service? Or aim for the lower price brackets. All of this will be influenced by your market research and your company strategy.
Once you have your App developed, the next step is to start getting people to download. Depending on what platform you used (Android, iOS etc.) you will have to list it to the required app store.
Focus on getting the description as perfect as possible. For someone reading your app description for the very first time it should be informative, persuasive and well presented. The value of the description cannot be underestimated as it is probably the main factor that will influence whether a person, who is not aware of what the app is about, will download the app. Google’s Play store shows about 2-3 lines, with users having to click “Read More” to view the full description. So you have to sell yourself in these 2-3 lines.
You can also leverage social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter to generate a buzz around your product. Whether you want to run paid campaigns or aim for organic reach, the choice is yours.
Once you have finished the app development process and got it up on the market, the next stage is making it successful. There are numerous apps on the market that have been created and then just left alone – with no promotion strategy, purpose or direction.
If you fail to plan your app promotion strategy your app could get lost amongst the million other available on the market. So how do you make your app a success?
If you develop something that solves a real need and has good functionality you are already half way to making your app a success. Keep on top of any bugs/issues that will arise and establish a communication channel with your customers to ensure smooth functioning.
Your approach to development should focus on user experience and the fact that the value of your app is dependent on how good the user experience is. User experience can be determined by UX, speed, design/layout, support etc.
Don’t try to over complicate your product. The app should be easy to download and subsequently easy to use. Users will not appreciate complicated sign up or usage instructions and are unlikely to jump through hoops to use your app. Therefore, make it as easy as possible for users to interact with you app.
A simple app will also decrease the number of bugs and crashes reported by users. Less complicated apps are also unlikely to run into problems, so that’s another added benefit. You will have to spend less time and effort on app maintenance. You should keep an understanding of how an app will function in the real world and develop and design it accordingly.
Customer interaction is a key for any business. If you are not available for your consumer base they are unlikely to buy from you. Customer support and reach out can be your best tool for long-term success.
Problems and bugs will arise, no matter how streamline you make you application. You response to these will differentiate your app from others. Chances are that there are other similar apps already available on the market, they may also be priced the same. Therefore, the only way to gain a competitive advantage is to make the extra effort in customer outreach.
Good customer service can also be a free marketing asset. Satisfied customers will be more likely to give better reviews and recommend your app. The powerful “word of mouth” marketing publicity you will generate will give you more customers and sales.
The mobile app design industry has not been around for very long. However, in this short span of time, it has shown exponential growth with many companies and individuals gaining immense success.
There is plenty of room still to experiment and grow and so new entrants have a lot to be excited about. Proper planning and execution can be a sure fire way to get your app developed and make it a success. By keeping in mind some of the points listed above you will increase your chances of success dramatically.