Want to make a payment to someone but don’t have a possibility to actually visit this person? Use a digital wallet app. Want to pay phone or electricity bills etc..? You have an app for that too. This shows that mobile apps have become an integral part of our life and a necessity for an enterprise. The mobile app industry has become bigger than ever before. The world has come into a 6-inch screen within the reach of two thumbs. State of Mobile Market Report 2019 by appannie.com shows the same.
So now you must be thinking that if a mobile app is such an undeniable business necessity and there are huge growth opportunities, then you should be diving deep in this ocean too. But before you leave the boat, let us help you with some safety instructions. There are many myths and rumors, which surround the mobile app development. They give rise to false and unrealistic expectations. In this article, we will discuss such app development expectations and face some harsh but important realities associated with them.
App Development Expectations – 1
“The mobile version of my website can be repurposed into an app.”
No, a mobile app should have a different purpose than a mobile website. You should understand that apps are very different from websites. You are not developing an app just because it’s a trend. Your app should get a job done. A mobile website is a platform, which is more generic than personalized and vice-versa for mobile apps.
Although there are no “on-paper rules” that draw a line between the tasks to be done using mobile websites and apps, there is surely a different vision corresponding to the development of an app. Mobile apps tend to show faster call to action, smoother user experience, sometimes offline access. And they engage customers better than mobile websites.
Now if you will just convert your mobile website into an app not considering 3-4 customized user scenarios, which will serve users better, then there is no point at all of developing an app. Instead, you should market your mobile website better which will be a more cost-effective option with increased reach in a generic way.
App Development Expectations – 2
“Building the first version of the app would be a piece of cake.”
The first version of the mobile app is one, which demands a lot of thought and effort. Let’s look at the series of steps which you must follow before you get done with the first version of your app. First of all, you have to draw a structured mobile app avatar of your rough business idea on the paper. Right from the user interface to monetization strategy. Secondly, you need to learn the basics of programming. Even if you hire coders, you need some basic knowledge of programming.
Thirdly, you need to decide on your budget. An app can be anything, from a simple notepad to digitally secured hi-tech banking app with latest features. Budget for your app should complement the size of your pocket and the service you provide through your app. Lastly, a committed timeline should be fixed. From the first code to the app launch, everything should be time-bound and achievable.
Of course, there are ready-to-use app templates and freelance developers who can make your life easier with the coding part of app development, but the points mentioned in the previous paragraph need to be check-marked before completion of the first version.
App Development Expectations – 3
“App store (or Google’s Play Store) will welcome my app with open arms.”
This is the most heartbreaking reality that submitting an app in an application store is not so easy. The app has to be nearly perfect before you can launch it in the store. Some common checks include:
- The app should not crash and should be bug-free.
- All the metadata and app information should be complete and accurate.
- Updated contact information in case App review wants to reach you.
- An active demo account and login information.
- You should enable the back-end services during the review.
Apart from this, the guidelines related to data privacy, objectionable content and user-generated content are given in great detail by the application stores. You also need to provide information related to the developer, advertising, extensions, spams, etc… In short, there are a lot of legal and functional requirements related to the submission of an app, which you need to keep in mind before you submit your app to the store. And of course, be prepared to get rejected multiple times. Don’t give up.
App Development Expectations – 4
“My app will be automatically visible to users once it is submitted in the app store.”
If you were expecting the same, then you were ignoring the whole field of app store optimization. There are millions of apps in app stores. Simple statistics will tell you that thousands of apps will be similar. In such tough competition, the search button on the app store will not automatically show your app in the top search results. You can make it by the optimization tools and tricks.
You need suitable keywords, descriptions, and screenshots to increase your app’s visibility in the store. The app stores also provide their badges, graphics, and images to enhance your product’s image. Hence, the growth in the popularity of your app in the store is not just a luck-based thing. It is an exact science based on many parameters. The important part is the cyclical nature of this process. More downloads of your app will lead to improved rankings in the store and vice-versa.
App Development Expectations – 5
“The store optimization is enough to attract new users.”
I have one word to contradict this expectation – Digital Marketing. The process of creating an online web presence for your product. Digital marketing includes blogs, social media handles, and YouTube channel related to your app. Paid ads on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, etc. all tend to increase your app’s visibility. Search engine optimization tools and techniques also help in marketing your app digitally.
But before you make and post your ads on these channels, you have to think about your target audience. Digital Marketing provides you the option of choosing people you want to target in a personalized way. For example, if your app is related to sports equipment and products, then YouTube can help you in showing your ads to people who watch fitness related videos on YouTube regularly. This marketing is cost-effective as compared to TV ads and more selective as compared to newspaper and radio ads.
App Development Expectations – 6
“I don’t need to think about any change or modification of my app if it’s successful.”
The user of your app is continuously evolving. With ever-changing preferences and an urge to “trying something new” will always keep you on your feet. The competitors will come up with new features and better solutions, and you just can’t sit in your office losing your market share.
Here come the mobile app updates into the picture. From fixing small bugs to the addition of new features in the app. It also helps for customer engagement as they see that their feedback is important and you are consistently trying to improve their in-app experience. Always write your release notes corresponding to the newer versions of the app in a good way to the users will understand the need of downloading the update.
App Development Expectations – 7
“Once my app is downloaded, the users will come back regularly.”
Most of the app downloads don’t turn into active usage. It is because the app developers stop putting an effort in marketing of their apps, once it becomes a hit. It is understandable that you have made a great app. Certainly, to maintain your app in the user’s phone memory, you have to call them back more frequently.
Push notifications, personalized content and exclusive offers for different user segments are the tools that can help you lure users back to your app. Also, regular updates and improved versions are necessary to gain customer loyalty. Some app developers even incorporate small quizzes and games into the app so they help them to enhance users’ engagement.
Inactive usage of your app shows that people are not even bothered to uninstall your app, which they eventually will. This lost charm of your app will pull you out of the biggest marketing channel called word-of-mouth. If they are not using it, they will not talk about it. Hence, in reality, you have to work on your app consistently to increase active usage.
App Development Expectations – 8
“I don’t need a customer support section right now. I can plan it later.”
You may continue to have this expectation if you are just targeting a few hundred downloads for your app. As the app downloads will increase, the number of queries and complaints will also increase. People will face issues, difficulties, and confusions in your app. You alone will not be able to handle all the heat. Also, if your app becomes a hit, it will take no time to hit a few million downloads. And at this point, if you will not be able to provide immediate support to your customers. The reputation will come down at the same rate.
You can start giving customer support through basic e-mail service and ultimately open up a customer care center. But you cannot afford to ignore your users at any time if they want to reach you. The other way to have a dialogue with your customers is the user review section in the store where people will candidly write about all the negative and positive things of your app. Here, you should use the reply section. Show them your gratitude if they liked the app and apologize if they didn’t. Also, promise them that you will surely resolve their issue. Show your users that you are not ignoring them.
App development companies are also using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and chatbots, etc. nowadays to automate their customer support. These can help you in understanding your customers better with the help of data and analytics.
This article aimed to throw some light on the actual work that you need to make for a successful app. It is similar to opening up a new business. It requires idea, vision, effort, time and money. Half knowledge about anything can be dangerous. If you are doing your research on app development, then you have taken a step in the right direction. Knowing about the territory you are going to, will give you some clarity on the possible pitfalls and will make the journey safer.