There are more than nine million apps in the world. We spend up to a third of our waking life using them – but in an oversaturated market, how can you make yours stand out?
We look at some key mistakes to avoid when developing an app to be sure yours rises above your competitors and delivers profitable results for your company.
App Mistake 1: Not Knowing Your App Audience
You might know who your existing customers and target market are, but when you develop an app, you need to think about how that audience differs. There will be some crossover - after all, you’re probably building the app to meet the needs of your customer base - but it’s likely that the audience that engages with your website, social media channels, real-world shops and apps will all slightly differ.
As a general rule, when it comes to ecommerce, for example, app-users tend to skew slightly younger than those who primarily shop on websites and in real-world shops.
Bear this in mind when thinking about the goals, design and functionality of your mobile app development project.
App Mistake 2: Using Dated Functionality
Consumer trends move quickly. Good development research and up-to-date knowledge of the changing market are vital for ensuring your app meets the needs of your target market.
An example of this is Augmented Reality (AR). Anyone building an app now needs to seriously consider adding this to the functionality if they want their app to be interesting and engaging in the longer term. The global mobile augmented reality market is forecast to grow hugely between now and 2030.
AR is the meeting point between the world around us and the digital world, offering app users a more engaging and exciting experience. The classic AR gaming example is Pokemon Go. It encourages users to step outside their home and explore their community in a blend of virtual reality and real life. AR is now an integral feature of popular social media networks such as Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.
Entrepreneur magazine predicts that AR livestream shopping, already huge in China, is going to be increasingly important for the Western market in the coming years.
Programming apps with the latest developments increases their longevity, helping maximise the value of your investment.
App Mistake 3: Using Substandard Copy
Your app concept is promising. You have a beautiful and functional interface design. Losing an audience interest with ineffective copy is frustrating, and a common oversight when creating an app.
Good app copy communicates your ideas concisely and clearly, seamlessly weaving in data through narrative. Users get maximum information with minimal reading time.
Effective copy also speaks to your brand identity: the name of your app, how you define it, the story you tell are all paramount for gaining and retaining users. This is harder than it sounds.
When writing for apps, you need to focus on microcopy. In essence, microcopy is all about brevity. Instead of saying something in 10 words, you need to find a way to get your point across in the three.
Cut out the superfluous. Get to the heart of the matter. Tailor content so it is personalised.
App Mistake 4: Failing To Personalise Your App Content
Every time a user clicks on an app, there is an opportunity to understand more about them. Missing the chance to tailor the User Experience (UX) is one of the more common app development mistakes.
Personalisation in Apps is about striking a fine balance between understanding the user and conveying you know too much about them. Using customer names, and showing them relevant content based on their previous purchases and searches.
App Mistake 5: Not Utilising The Power Of Notifications
Half of UK mobile phone owners have more than 21 apps installed on their phone, with 24% of those having more than 31 apps. With so many apps competing for a user’s attention, it’s not surprising that many get forgotten or ignored.
Push notifications can draw users back. They can also be a great way of letting users know about new products, blog updates, and bringing their attention to offers.
Of course, many of us will also know firsthand that too many push notifications can be annoying. But as with so many things in app development, balance is key.
A smart way to use push notifications effectively is with carefully planned personalised content. This might mean informing users when their wishlist items are back in stock, or the occasional exclusive offer based on their previous habits, and to reward their valued custom.
App Mistake 6: Taking Uncalculated Risks
Many different variables intersect to make an effective APP. It’s a daunting thought. So many things can go wrong or can be overlooked in the initial planning stage.
Do you know your target audience as well as you think you do? Will the copy and planned user journey deliver the desired outcome?
Thankfully, there is no need to commit to developing a mobile app that follows your blueprint to the T - at least not in the early stages.
To mitigate the risks involved with getting it wrong - wasted time and money - you can test out an idea with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
This might sound complicated but really it isn’t. It’s simply about testing a smaller version of your concept before adding in all the bells and whistles. Quality assurance testing allows the product to be fine-tuned.
App Mistake 7: No Marketing Plan
Before launching, it is important to research your market, and learn more about your competitors. What can you offer that they can’t? What would give you the competitive edge?
Excellent execution of a good idea is important. But if you don’t have a clear strategy to promote the app and a plan to get it onto the phones of your customers, then the best app in the world will be a waste of money.
For online mobile app development, there are many channels for growing your audience, including newsletters, social media marketing content and working with PR companies.
Social media habits are changing all the time, and it will serve you well to work with someone knowledgeable about recent developments, whether that’s trending hashtags, mediums or connecting with recent movements.
App Mistake 8: Building For Just One Platform
It is annoying when you attempt to download an app, only to find out it is not available on your platform. For most apps, iOs and Android development are the standard choices.
Globally, about 70% of mobile phone owners have Android phones, while 30% have iPhones and/or iPads. But while that provides a snapshot, you’ll need to think about your specific target market and the devices they use. It might be that more of them on iPhones while others prefer to use desktop apps.
Developing a mobile app for different platforms requires slightly different back-end and front-end to meet the needs of the sizes of various device screens, for example, and their functionality.
App Mistake 9: Choosing An Inexperienced App Developer
It takes years of experience developing apps to streamline the process and ensure maximum efficiency, value for money and optimum results are achieved. At ADAMAPP, we do just that. We’ve developed more than 400 apps for a wide range of business clients over the past decade.
We can help you develop an ecommerce, B2B or B2C app that avoids all of these common app development mistakes, maximising your company’s profitability, and giving your brand a competitive edge.
Get in touch to discuss your needs.