There’s no debate as to why a business needs a mobile application. We ourselves have covered this discussion at length. Just to give you some insights, take a look at these stats:
- Number of smartphone users worldwide in 2019 – 3.2 billion. (Source)
- Website traffic generated through mobile phones in 2019 – 56%. (Source)
- Number of apps downloaded in 2019 from App Store alone – 204 billion. (Source)
What do these 3 statistics tell us? One, mobile as a device has a massive audience pool. Two, this audience is actively browsing the internet from their mobile phones. Three, this audience is interested in using applications.
Together, these 3 stats point to one thing – A mobile phone app is a great way to reach an audience, and to engage an audience. Barring very few industries (like a digital marketing company, for example), every company can digitally sell their services and/or products via a mobile application.
OK, so the fact that your business will benefit from a mobile app is understood. The question is, how do you ensure your mobile app is better than the competition’s? How do you ensure your app is brilliant? There are steps that you and your mobile app development company can follow to achieve this, and we list them out in this article.
*We are a mobile app development company ourselves, so we know what we’re talking about.
1. You need to put in the time and effort for research
What do you research?
- Who the target audience is, based on your services/products.
- Their likes, dislikes, and current needs.
- How your service or product can be positioned to fulfil their needs.
- What services/products are NOT in demand and/or redundant.
- The current market in terms of demand and competition.
It is important to lay the groundwork before you even start technical work. Businesses sometimes assume their idea/product/service is innovative and will be mass consumed, and rush to develop and produce an app in order to beat the competition. Once released, they wonder why no one is downloading or using their app. Eventually, all the effort and time goes down the drain.
Initial research will help you avoid this depressing situation. How? By giving you answers:
- You will know how large your audience is, so you can project estimated app downloads and ROI.
- You will know how high or low the competition is, and get insights into what prices to charge.
- You will know what features to include in your application.
- You will know if your idea needs to pivot in order to enter a niche market.
These are invaluable insights that you and your development partner can apply when designing and developing the mobile application.
2. Define your goals and set a timeline
Too often we see businesses coming to us for an application with no end result or objective set in place. While it does not affect the process of developing the application per se, it will definitely affect your expectations from the app post release.
What are goals? Here are some examples:
- How many installs are we expecting in the first month/quarter/year?
- How many hours of engagement are we expecting per day/week/month?
- How many repeat visits do we expect per user per day/week/month?
- What percentage of growth do we expect in terms of installs per month/quarter/year?
Firstly, how can a business even estimate these numbers before releasing an app? Easy, by following step 1 – doing market research. This gives you insights into the audience size, the demand, competition, etc, which can be extrapolated to set goals.
Secondly, why set goals? Because they act as a benchmark for you to measure success and grow, or map failure and calibrate.
3. Build for your audience, not for your product/service
There are two ways to build an app – product focused, or audience focused. This decision comes into play when designing the UX and UI.
When you focus on the product, you design the UX and UI to showcase products or services that you want to sell. Which makes sense, and will work if you know they are in demand.
But a lot of times what the majority of the audience wants can be different from what your primary product or service is. In that case, designing to cater to your audience’s needs will prove to be beneficial.
For example, A bank has many services with new accounts being their major revenue point. However, their mobile will be used by existing customers, who would want features like money transfer right at their fingertips. When designing their app, they will need to make features that their audience needs easily accessible, with revenue generating services (like signing up for a new credit card) as secondary features via pop-ups, etc.
4. Release on the right platform
iOS, Android and Windows dominate the market in terms of usage, so you’ll need to consider releasing on one or all 3 of these platforms.
The first step is finding out if a majority of your audience is clustered on one platform. The geographical location of your audience, income bracket, past activity, etc can give you a clue as to the OS segregation. Because if a majority is on one platform, it makes more sense to develop for just that platform and gauge the response. You can then release apps for each platform depending on success.
If your audience is equally divided, you can still opt to release on only one platform and analyze its performance. Or, you can simultaneously release on all platforms. It totally depends on your timeline (are you willing to wait until all apps are ready) and budget (can you afford apps tailored for each platform) in this case.
Developing a killer app that maximizes ROI goes beyond just 4 steps, of course, but these 4 are something we quite often see businesses take lightly. A lot of thought is put into aesthetics, defining capabilities, etc (all extremely important, no doubt), but not into these 4 aspects. That is why we created this article, to give you insights into what we, as a mobile app development company, focus on along with the obvious factors.
Drop us a message to discuss your mobile app development needs.
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