Lately, it seems like a custom web app is absolutely necessary to do business online, and even companies that have excellent responsive websites have companion apps. Despite this, very few of these apps live up to their promise. What can you do to ensure that your app will keep people's interest? Here are a few things that will help ensure that your offering won't end up being uninstalled:
1. Keep it relevant. Most companies have caught on to this, but there are still a few that make the mistake of releasing an app that has nothing to do with their main service. An example of this would be a food company that puts out a video game. That may work if children are the target market, but if you cater to adults, you need to keep a tighter focus. The food company in the example would be better off with a cooking app or one that promotes eating the types of food that company sells.
2. Don't just duplicate your site. This is especially true if you have a great adaptive site that offers just as much functionality on the small screen as the app would. This offers no value and will soon find its way to the uninstall list. It's a good idea to offer shopping capabilities if your business involves online buying, but remember that your mobile site is already there to take orders. Your app's main function should be to augment it rather than duplicate it.
3. Come up with something unique. Don't worry if you draw a blank on this one. If you talk to a full-service development company, they should be able to brainstorm with you to devise a new angle. Developers get orders all the time, so they can tell you if an idea is something different or a "yet another X" concept. Developers are also good sources of ideas for methods of presentation and other areas that can be made unique even if the main concept has been done.
4. Don't charge unless you're in the app business. People will pay for apps if they're being sold by app companies, but it's a much different story if your business is something like selling cars. In the latter case, people expect your app to be free and will generally refuse to "pay for your ads."
5. If you are in the app business, avoid saturated concepts. This is basically a matter of supply and demand, but it also ties in with the fact that it's much harder to excel when a market is already full of top-notch competition. Avoid saturated categories unless you have a truly unique concept. Go ahead and commission a custom app that you think could be the next Angry Birds - but avoid copying the one that already exists.
6. Hire an experienced and adaptable developer. This is an essential requirement no matter what you intend your app to do or why you want one. Modern developers can keep up with changing project requirements and use processes that assume that changes will be needed. This is much different from ones who use old-fashioned methods that demanded exact specifications from the start and couldn't accommodate changes midstream. Of course, the value of experience barely needs to be explained. Developers who have plenty of it are the ones who are most likely to deliver a glitch-free product and do so within the estimated time frame.
By keeping these six key factors in mind, you'll increase your chance of being successful with your app. To learn more or discuss having a custom app produced, just contact us. We'll be glad to work with you.