No product launch is a guaranteed success but some are sunk when they’re barely launched – and often by their owners. Having created numerous Android and iPhone apps from our Portsmouth headquarters, we’ve developed our own set of guidelines for success. Here are our tips to help avoid torpedoing your project before it’s left the harbour.
#1. Test it thoroughly
Even large enterprises often outsource their software development these days, and that holds particularly true for specialist work such as iPhone app creation. Product testing is often lost in the shuffle, with the customer assuming that they’re paying for quality control that the programmers assume the customer will do. As a result, it’s all too easy to finish up with a competed app made by professionals that garners a string of one star reviews because a piece of major functionality has been missed or doesn’t work on a key platform.
#2. Know what’s essential
From the first sketch to final testing, focussing on getting the critical components right will keep costs down and quality up. Don’t get distracted by the optional extras or you may wind up with a beautiful product that doesn’t do its job: imagine a ‘welcome to Portsmouth’ iPhone app with a map that doesn’t zoom, or frustrates users by requiring a constant internet connection – no matter how lovely the start up animation or the photos, it’s likely to get poor reviews.
#3. Shout about it
Once your app has launched, it’s time to tell the world. Thousands of new apps launch every year, and while many find their niche, others sink without a trace. The Windows, Android and iPhone app stores are cluttered with hundreds of apps in every sector, so don’t expect chance to lead the right customers to your product. Instead, create a deliberate marketing campaign using your existing channels (and perhaps some new ones) to lead customers to the app.
#4. Understand what success is
There can only be one best-selling app in the iPhone app store, but there are a thousands more apps that are doing sterling work for the companies that own them. Making money directly from an app, either by charging for it or through in-app purchases isn’t the only success metric. Many businesses provide free apps that allow users to perform useful tasks – choose paint colours, for example – and at the same time encourage them to shop with their particular brand or ecommerce store.
#5. Encourage users to leave reviews
Reviews can start a positive feedback cycle in the Android or iPhone app store as app store rankings typically take both review quality (number of stars) and the total quantity of reviews. The quite reasonable assumption is that an app that has been rated by 1,000 users will be better than one that has been rated by 2, even if the thousand users gave a lower average score. For a new app, this means that standing out from other new apps can be as simple as having a dozen reviews rather than none.
If you are based in Portsmouth, Hampshire or surrounding areas and would like to discuss mobile app creation, app development or digital marketing for your business, view our portfolio or make contact with our web design and digital marketing team. We really like to talk.