Creating an app is hard work. Creating a successful one is even harder. According to research firm Gartner, more than half of users don’t spend a cent on smartphone apps. If you want to monetize your app business, you need to have intuitive design, useful features, solid promotion, scalability, and excellent customer service. But first, you need a fresh, innovative idea.
Ask Yourself What, Who, and When
When you tell someone you created an app, their first question is likely, “What does it do?” You should be able to answer this in a short, simple sentence that sums up how your app benefits the user. You also need to know who your target user is and when that person would use your app — not “when” as in “3 a.m. to order pizza,” but under what circumstance your app is useful. For example, people use Uber when they need a ride.
Then Ask Why
Research your market. With the number of apps available today, chances are yours isn’t the only option. Why should users choose your app over others? Examine your competitors’ apps, decide what’s missing or what you don’t like about the experience, then improve your own product. Adding innovative features, such as real-time communication from the Agora Quick Start Guide, can elevate your app above the crowd. Also, study your competitors’ target audience. Is there a niche that isn’t served by their apps that you can appeal to?
Think Like a User
Knowing how to promote your app is essential, but the best marketing in the world means nothing if people can’t or don’t want to use your app. Have actual users test your app, then listen closely to feedback and make improvements to provide the best user experience, or UX, possible. Design is key. No matter how useful your app is, no one will want it if it’s clunky and hard to use. Aim for simplicity, and remember to design smartphone apps with smaller screens in mind. Use large icons and simple menus to make navigation easy.
Give your app room to grow. If you want your app to succeed on a large scale, it needs to function on a large scale. An app that works great with 10 users will fail if it doesn’t work well with 10,000. Problems like slow loading times will frustrate users, so make sure your app has the potential to seamlessly handle an increasing amount of traffic.
Listen to Your Users
After launching your app, provide excellent customer support. Always be professional and remember that even the best ideas can receive criticism at first. Be receptive and responsive. Engage with your audience. If there’s a problem with your app, address it and let users know what happened and how you fixed it.
Creating a successful app business starts with a great idea, but that’s only half the work. Prevent your idea from lingering in obscurity by knowing why apps fail and avoiding these potential problems.