Mobility and mobile devices have changed consumer behavior and industry norms. “Research firm Forrester predict[ed] by the end of 2016, fully 46% of the global population will utilize smartphones. Users currently spend 58% of their digital time in mobile applications.”
As the rise of mobile apps continues, it’s important to avoid common app development mistakes. Here’s a look at the most common mistakes appreneurs and mobile app development firms make when they launch a new app.
1. Mistake: Creating a mobile experience similar to a desktop UX
Many mobile app developers make the mistake of creating mobile apps that are too similar to desktop apps. They simply look like smaller versions of the desktop platform. And they offer the same functionality, but fit on a smaller screen. Keep in mind, a mobile app is a different platform and should be treated as such. Mobile users require a different experience.
2. Mistake: Building a mobile website instead of a mobile app
With 2.2 million apps in the Apple App Store and 2.8 million apps on Google Play, the standard has become extremely high. And “[a]pps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser.”
Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on handheld devices. However, “[w]hen it comes to deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, the most appropriate choice really depends on your end goals.” For example, “for interactive games (think Angry Birds) an app is almost always going to be your best choice, at least for the foreseeable future.” It’s a mistake to think that a mobile website is the best choice for all businesses.
3. Mistake: Overlooking mobile app marketing
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to build a useful mobile app, and fail to market it. How do you expect to reach your audience without a marketing strategy? People may download your app based on word of mouth, but nothing works better than a smart app marketing strategy.
“A mobile app marketing strategy can complement a brand’s offline experience (in-store special offers, for example), drive e-commerce, or simply help connect a brand with its loyal customers.”
4. Mistake: Ignoring user engagement
The real power of mobile apps come from their personal nature. When users install an app, they carry their device around all day. In fact, apps “are now an integral part of our daily micro-moments, with people spending an average of 30 hours per month in them, according to Nielsen1. Apps play a key role in those I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy moments.”
It is the perfect opportunity to engage users in a personal way. Localytics describes highly engaged users as those that have 10+ sessions per month.
5. Mistake: Anticipating high mobile app retention rates
As Think With Google explains, “People download apps every day, but the truth is that many of them are abandoned or never even used.” The mobile app ecosystem suffers from poor retention. According to Loyalitcs, “[a]cross all industries, 80% of all app users churn within 90 days.” You can improve retention through, in-app messaging, push notifications, individualization, remarking and more.
If you want to build a mobile app for your business, first understand customer needs and study the metrics that contribute to overall app success. Once launched, study app analytics to improve over time.
This article has been edited.
Harnil Oza is the CEO of Hyperlink Infosystem, a mobile app development company with a team of the best Indian app developers who deliver mobile solutions for both Android and iOS platforms. He regularly contributes his knowledge on leading business and technology sites. Connect with @harniloza on Twitter.