A person typically decides to download an app within a few seconds. Moreover, the vast amount of available apps intensifies competition for user attention. As of November 2022, 5.6 million mobile apps were available between Google Play and Apple’s App Store alone. So, what does it take to develop a successful mobile app in today’s saturated market? While app market competition is fierce, failure does not always result from getting lost in the din. In most cases, additional variables are at play. This article outlines six common reasons apps fail and identifies areas for improvement, allowing you to adjust your strategy to meet business and product objectives effectively.
Why Applications Fail
99.5% of consumer applications fail. Let’s investigate in greater detail why these mobile applications failed.
Poor Market & Audience Research
Developers often have too much confidence that users will love their app, but can you validate this assumption? Positive thinking can have unintended negative consequences. Before developing your app, you must comprehensively understand your product’s target audience. Audience research is not only necessary for developing applications that meet specific user needs but also assists in creating marketing campaigns that will attract users. Consequently, a successful app launch strategy is founded on thorough market and audience research.
Lack of Originality
Another reason is that the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are flooded with duplicate applications so that users cannot feel the originality of an application. Meanwhile, if we pay heed, a successful mobile application always has a unique value proposition.
Competitive research will help reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to determine your competitive advantage or superior value. Building an app with the same features as your competitors won’t help you win over users. A unique value proposition (UVP) is the first step you need to consider to optimize user loyalty and overall business success.
Prototyping mobile apps is an excellent method for creating UVPs. Testing mobile products with prototypes are essential for user-centric design and development. Often the prototyping process will uncover new ideas and determine the best direction to take during development. Developing a prototype is a cyclical activity in which the product team continuously reviews and refines the product concept, returning to the beginning of the process several times until the concept meets business goals and user needs. Overall, the process helps identify and fix problems earlier, and it’s certainly much cheaper to make changes than to encounter a crash once the app has already been launched.
Choosing Wrong Platform
You could say Android and iOS (as well as other platforms) have a very intuitive interface guide. Nonetheless, they operate in different ways and attract different groups of users.
The gadget type can also provide helpful information you can consider while building your application. For example, iOS users typically have higher incomes and education than Android users. This information alone can influence your decision to create a product monetization strategy. If your strategy relies on in-app purchases, iOS is probably the most profitable platform; however, if you plan to monetize through ad placements, Android may be better. Remember, the main goal of any mobile app is to provide users with a solution to a specific problem they are facing. Without a solid understanding of how users behave on each OS, you will have a hard time developing applications that meet the specific needs of your target group of users.
Building with platform differences in mind is essential when developing applications for multiple platforms. Frustration that users feel when using a slow application, bugs, or errors are another common reason why applications fail. For example, users get frustrated when an app works on their iPhone but not their iPad. With the average user taking less than a minute to decide whether an app is worth using, the slightest glitch in the app can be a threat.
Bad User Experience
Bad user experience is one of the biggest reasons why apps fail. Many components are involved in creating an app to offer a great user experience. Some examples of poor user experience include:
- App performance issues (lag or bugs)
- Long load times (slow loading)
- The registration process is long/complicated
- Features that are difficult to access
All successful mobile apps have one thing in common: they benefit the user. If the user intends to use the application repeatedly, we can be sure that the product is valid and offers a lot of value. Creating great UX involves exercising design thinking and building a broad understanding of the target user demographics and their unmet needs.
While it’s rare for an app to launch without minor bugs, investing in QA before launch helps you ensure there aren’t any significant issues. If an application is not adequately tested, it can be guaranteed that it is full of bugs affecting the user experience and is more likely to crash. One crash is more than enough to stop users from using it again. In fact, the most common negative reviews on app stores are related to app crashes. App testing must be done thoroughly, with a documented process, to ensure your app is market ready. In today’s mobile app market, it doesn’t take long for users to rate the products they download. Users have very high expectations for mobile apps’ quality, functionality, and performance. You will unlikely get a second chance if you fail to impress the user the first time.
Poorly Executed Mobile App Launch
Most of the time, apps fail, or their launch affects their success. App launch strategy significantly impacts acquiring and retaining users; it is a marketing endeavor that requires extensive research and ongoing work to see results. To increase your chances of success, a well-thought-out marketing plan must ensure that every step is made and executed correctly at the right time.
If you want your app to have high download and user retention rates, it needs to make an excellent first impression in the first few days before launch. This is a critical time to highlight application value to optimize onboarding. If you don’t impress new users quickly, you will likely lose their interest.
The mobile app launch is not a one-time event. There will always be room for improvement, making mobile app rollout a cyclical process requiring reassessment as market demands change. Newly launched mobile apps should be updated and relaunched regularly to keep users engaged through updates and new features.
Application performance depends on many factors, from competition to marketing budget to sheer luck. But beyond these factors, poor research and poor execution processes are common reasons why apps fail on launch. Focusing efforts on market and audience research and thorough quality assurance testing can be the difference between failure and success in your mobile app development process.
Read also about “UI and UX on Mobile App, Which is More Important?” here.