Why Some Apps Plunder

(and what you can do to make sure yours doesn’t!)

Did you know nearly 35% of mobile app engagements last less than a minute ?

Mobile Multi-tasking

This means you have 60 seconds or less to impress your users.

To prove to them that your app is really worth keeping on their phone and using up their limited storage space. To assure them that it is worth re-opening later. To convince that it is time well spent. That means your app must be a winning app at the first-go because in this case, first impressions do matter.

That’s a lot of pressure. But it’s possible.

There are a few questions you must ask yourself before you put your idea to form:

  1. Will my app solve a problem?
  2. Is there a market for it?
  3. Is my app unique? What sets it apart?
  4. Is it making the user’s life easier?
  5. Is there competition?

For an idea to come to life it has to go through several tests. Some end up failing due to:

Lack of creativity and market research.

Every one of you, I’m sure, thinks you have one-of-a-kind, million-dollar idea; however, have you done your research? Did you check if a similar mobile app already exists in the market? It if it does, it is essential that your app can bring something to the user that the existing one doesn’t. You can do this by reading reviews of the current, similar apps. What are users wanting and the app isn’t delivering? What would make the user choose your app over the other? And if competition doesn’t exist, ask yourself – is this something people are looking for? Or does it not exist for a reason?

Take the example of Hailo, a mobile app that hails taxi cabs in New York, whose shortfall was that they didn’t do their research beforehand. Hailo started back in 2013 with the idea to use an app to match yellow cab taxi drivers to passengers. It started off in London and though very successful, when it became available in New York, it suffered because it failed to do proper market research. Uber and Lyft were the prominent go-to apps for easy, convenient and cheap rides and ultimately Hailo was unable to compete.

Lack of audience research.

Knowing your audience is crucial in the success or failure of your app. Who does your app aim to target? Once you finalize on a specific niche only then can you evaluate their needs, interests and habits to develop a winning app. Whether your app targets millennials, mothers or singles, you will need to do extensive research to analyze what works best for them because each group or community has different requirements in terms of mobile and app usage and engagement.

Lack of testing.

Do you know the ins and outs of your app? According to Perfecto, 44% of the defects are found by the customer, 20% by public customer reviews and 24% by direct customer feedback. That’s harsh! Don’t launch an app without comprehensive testing – you don’t want a potentially great product to have a bad reputation or negative reviews just because you didn’t put out a great version of it initially. Have the app tested on multiple devices and platforms because you may not get a second chance to prove its worth. Once it is launched, keep track of the reviews and do what is needed to fix any bugs that are found. Additionally, address each user who reviewed individually to acknowledge that you’re taking care of the issue and eventually, that the issue has been fixed.

Lack of app marketing.

You’ve launched – great! But, why aren’t people downloading it immediately? Why isn’t it going as viral as you had thought? Well that’s because PRE-launch marketing is the key to the success of your app. To succeed, you must start early. Marketing is essential. Here are a few ideas to do beforehand: build an online presence, whether that’s engagement on other sites, launching your own site, building social media presence, etc., engage potential users, generate excitement through social media, use beta-testers and influencers to spread the word, pay for ads, join groups or meetups or attend conferences, get featured on app review sites or blog sites. Essentially: make your app known.

Take Everpix, a solution for managing an extensive library of pictures. The app sorts through and organizes the snaps and stores them online, saving a lot of time and headache for photography-enthusiasts. However, the team at Everpix spent $1.4 million out of the $2.3 million on personnel. They spent a year and a half trying to perfect the app that by the time the app was launched, they were out of money and resources to sustain and continue marketing it. Sure, they built a great product that stemmed from an awesome idea, but without putting it in front of potential customers, the app sank.

Lack of a support system.

Essentially, you can have everything but without a great support system the app can plunder! Make sure the team you work with to develop your app and eventually market it has the capability to understand your needs and exceed them. You don’t want a potentially-awesome app to fail just because you didn’t have the right support.

That is why it is important to find a team that is experienced and understanding, innovative, multi-faceted, proactive and supportive!


Karishma Shah

Karishma Shah is blogger and freelancer located in beautiful San Diego, CA. Her curiosity towards life is what inspires her to learn and grow as a human being and write about it along the way. With her background in marketing, interest in words and story-telling and passion for helping others through leading a non-profit, Karishma finding writing as a perfects means to express her enthusiasm and curiosity.