Mobile App Failure: Reasons to Consider

This year, global mobile app revenue is going to rich $461.7Bn. By 2023, Statista research predicts a considerable increase up to $935.2Bn. The market is certainly getting stricter in terms of competition and fight for users` attention. While high demand attracts more creative app solutions, the competition opens more opportunities to fail. 

Since the app development isn’t inexpensive, businesses usually can’t afford collapse. To successfully design an app is to consider the factors of business, software QA and testing, branding, marketing, user needs. Business strategy mistakes, weak marketing campaign, and low app quality are among the main factors that hinder app success on the market. 

Business scale

Most of modern mobiles app today either replicate the popular ones or just similar to each other. That is why a successful app is always a complicated business strategic path. It involves everything — from branding to user-oriented approach in product and services. Usually, the mistakes at the planning stage seriously impact app post-release flow. 

  • Consumer demand. The app launch might be a success, its functional & performance base might be just perfect. But if there is no suitable market demand for the product/service the app offers, none of the above works. If an app equals “a solution to a common problem,” it has the strongest market position. 
  • Budgeting. App development and its further maintenance require investment.  20% of the initial costs for development will go to the software post-launch support every year. That’s the reason to take a conservative approach to budget planning. Otherwise, there is a risk to run out of money even before an app starts generating first profit. 
  • Branding. Brand strategy works both ways: for marketing purposes and as a part of business goals. It is crucial to keep the brand promise aligned with the app primary objective to gain the relevant engagement rates. This works especially in communicating brand value — if an app supports it via the functions or services delivered, downloads and purchases are just a matter of time. 

Development scale

Probably, one of the most complicated and significant stages in the overall app growth strategy. Not only does it imply coding, but it also reflects the way app undergoes a profound quality assurance & testing. The majority of negative reviews criticize slow performance, sudden app crashes, interface glitches. A high-standard app goes beyond online/offline availability and battery consumption. The point is that users of today are rigorous about low-quality apps, so fast release is never a great idea.

Deadline issues. The time-period from the requirements phase to app delivery depends on product complexity and often takes from several weeks to several months (or more). That is why it’s better not to plan the release along with a special event or date; the development process is unpredictable. Moreover, financial support for future app maintenance influences timeline directly. Once the project runs out of money, the team will be forced to halt app development. 

Skipped application testing. A smartphone isn’t a calling device anymore. The mobile app market is bursting with offerings, transforming our smartphones into multifunctional personal assistants. This is the reason why overlooking software quality check-up usually ruins user experience. To stay competitive, any app has to undergo the following testing criteria: 

  • Functional set. This is a stage where QA engineers compare the way an app functions with the initial requirements. The process covers everything: checking the mandatory fields, testing for interruptions (e.g. stimulating incoming call scenario), payment transactions, cross-module navigation. 
  • Performance. The way an app behaves under certain performance requirements also matters. QA pros ensure an app works under different although expected load conditions. They determine whether the app supports a minimum, average, and peak user levels with the appropriate network coverage. Yet the load requirements isn’t the only important area here. QA engineers take a focus on the device performance and pay attention to the app startup time, memory consumption, analyze interruption scenarios with already installed apps. 
  • Usability and user interface. When launching an app, one must be clear with the product target audience and preferences of end-users. The role of UI and UX to be intuitive enough for your users to navigate the app. Thus, usability tests encounter users` opinion on layout, design, and overall interaction with an app. Besides, interface elements require particular attention while performing these tests. Some users may want to change the device to landscape or portrait mode, and your app should operate on any by default.
  • Compatibility. Modern mobile devices offer a range of version updates, changing screen resolution, size, and hardware so that the users get interested. That is why an app undergoes testing across all devices to ensure its desirable flow. At this stage, QA engineers continue working with a user interface and check if it is per screen size of the hardware. They also ensure the text is readable and accessible for the user with any device.

Marketing scale

Many apps fail as soon as they go live. Many of them get downloaded only to be deleted later. And marketing is among the key stimulators of app post-release hit. Nearly 40% of tech startups that don’t serve a market need never succeed. These are the critical mistakes in the area of product promotion that hinder the growth of a new app. 

No audience research. Long-term engagement becomes impossible as soon as the customers don’t see the value an app brings. Having a clear understanding of the audience is a huge advantage when promoting an app. In this case, user analysis, observation & data validation will come in handy to define who is going to be targeted before an app idea goes to design.

Weak or no marketing. There are cases when companies fail to inform the users about the recent app release. The best way is to organize a well-thought-out marketing campaign just like with any other new product. Strong advertising including social media ads, banners, emails, website optimization — there is much to try and spread a word before the official launch and after an app hits the market. 

No post-launch communication. A lot of teams do a great development job and then stop. But in the era of unlimited applications, there is a need to build an ongoing communication strategy with the user. The post-launch communication keeps the customers engaged with the app again and again. That’s why push notifications, alerts, QR code scans, rewards, coupons — all approaches are useful to touch the customer at least once a month. 

Sure, the list is to be continued. Knowing the aspects above won’t make an app immune to failure, yet they will help to avoid the major mistakes during the launching campaign. High-standard quality combined with the business strategy and customer analysis will definitely bring the benefits for the enthusiastic app creators.

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