The invention and proliferation of mobile apps have radically changed the way business transactions are being carried out. An exponential increase in the use of smartphones has led to an equally steep rise in the number of mobile applications. A report by Smart Insights indicates that 89% of the time spent by a user on their smartphone is on a mobile app. This has huge implications for the business sector and the mobile app development industry.
Mobile apps have revolutionized the way customer service is provided by companies by enabling customers to ask and obtain responses almost instantaneously. Businesses benefit by being able to increase the size of their target audience reach, by latching onto the purchasing tendencies of customers on the move. So, if you are planning to increase your target audience reach and increase sales, then developing a mobile app must be on your radar.
Steps to Ensure a Successful Mobile App
Developing an app requires considerable thought, planning and technical knowledge. If you are planning to develop a mobile app, or are planning to outsource to a specialized vendor, here are some crucial points to note to ensure that your app is a success:
- Make It Meaningful: Your app should be simple and must have a defined purpose. It should also be intuitive, engaging, easy-to-use and the best when it comes to function and use.
- Applications with APIs: Integrating APIs with an app gives developers access to data and services essential to create a mobile app, that is user-friendly, generates high-performance, and is of superior quality.
- Embrace The MVP Approach: Focusing on MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is an approach which will help you in the long run. MVP refers to a product with the highest return on investment versus risks involved. An app is all about user-friendliness. You will need to place the key functionality in front of your target audience in order to maximize your learning of user behavior and how the app performs under varying conditions. This would help you develop updates even if the users do not demand new features.
- Develop Measurement Tools: Measurement tools would help you find out the number of installs and other essential data which reflect the popularity of the app in the market. It is essential to track user sentiments and conduct a SWOT analysis so that the next upgrade to your app does better than your previous one. Conduct an analysis of all your version releases. Some important metrics which you should check every day are daily active users, users retained, average time spent on the app, number of crashes, among others.
- Maintenance: Do not stop once you believe that the desired number of users has been captured. Keep introducing new features for attracting new users and maintain the performance of the app such that users are retained.
- Adequate Security: Every user is concerned about the security of their personal device. You could try to give as many layers of security as possible. The layers of security that you can provide include:
- User authentication and authorization
- Encryption for app data in motion
- Encryption for app data at rest (both client and server side)
- Security via native source encryption of file
- Security for app management and distribution
- Test the App: Like any software application, a mobile app requires rigorous testing to ensure its stability and performance. The types of testing to be performed include functionality, load, usability, security, localization and others.
- Make It Simple: The higher the consumption of memory and battery by the app, the greater are the chances of the app getting uninstalled. Make it simple so that minimal memory and battery are used up by your app.
- Monetize It: In order to generate more revenue, you could add in-app purchases, ads, and revenue generating features. However, you need to decide on these in the initial stages of development.
- Market It Well: It is highly essential that you start marketing your app right from the onset. Start by contacting media houses two to four weeks before the app launch. You can also contact bloggers who write for apps in the similar category for marketing your app.
- Do not DIY: Developing a mobile application requires technical knowledge and expertise. Without a professional by your side, it might be difficult to create a smooth running mobile app. Consider taking the help of experts who have experience in developing apps similar to yours.
- Compatibility with All Operating Systems: While developing an app, do not overlook the fact that it needs to be compatible with all types of OS available in the market. Cross-device compatibility of an app is the need of the hour and you must consider this. Unlike the past, you now have access to a lot of cross-platform app development tools. Therefore creating an app compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and other OS should be easier. Apart from this, focus should also be given on compatibility with older versions of the different OS and across smartphones with different sizes and orientations.
Success of any mobile app depends on your perseverance, efforts and continual innovation. Therefore, do not stop at just creating the app; go further ahead by taking efforts to sustain it and constantly enhancing its functionalities.