Why 90% of Apps Fail Within 30 Days
According to data from mobile intelligence startup Quettra, the average app loses 90% of Daily Active Users within the first 30 days. In fact, One-Third of Mobile App Engagements Last Less Than One Minute.
The data shows that users make snap judgements about digital products and aren’t likely to give your app a second chance. This underscores the importance of impressing your users the first time they engage with your product, to ensure your app doesn’t fail.
With less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps expected to be a financial success in the future, what makes the difference between a successful app and one that fails?
Poor Market Research
There should be a need for your app before you begin app development, and the decision to launch a project should be research driven.
Is there a market for the app you are developing? Do you have a clear understanding of your audience? Are you solving a documented problem? Do you have competition? Without research, you might find that you build a product that you think people will want when in reality they don’t have a need for it at all.
Entrepreneurs often get locked into the single minded vision that their app idea is phenomenal. It’s natural to get attached to an idea or a dream. While normal, it’s counter productive to get overly attached to an idea without any sound research behind it. Acknowledge early that apps are often poorly researched and badly executed.
Ask yourself these questions first:
1. How did you get the idea for the app?
2. Is it justified by any research outside of your own personal experience?
For more information on researching your audience, see our article on testing your target market.
Define What Your App’s Success Looks Like
It’s important to determine what success means to you and your enterprise. Typical Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs are:
The number of downloads, Daily/Monthly active users.
If your app is set to monetize, success may be defined as a target figure.
Most apps that are released fall short of these goals due to the following reasons:
The Lack of a Proper Monetization Strategy
A realistic monetization strategy is key. The most common reason why mobile apps fail financially is that their owners can’t monetize them properly.
Ways to monetize:
Freemium is when you offer the app free of charge to get started, but only unlock certain features once you pay for the app either by a one time fee or subscription model. Apps adopting this strategy tend to be more successful. Users can get familiar with your brand and services first, so they are so much more likely to hand over money in exchange for more features.
A flat fee, flat rate or linear rate refers to a pricing structure that charges a single, fixed fee for the app/service, regardless of usage.
Users are charged a regular, recurring fee to use the app/service. Typically a monthly fee fits neatly within most personal customer’s salaries vs an annual fee which guarantees more money upfront, but introduces a higher financial barrier to entry.
In App Advertising
A model you’ve likely seen used in social media apps, it removes the cost barrier altogether. Your goal is to accumulate a sizable user base from which you can gather data, which is then used to target specific segments by paying advertisers.
Poor User Experience Design
Android and iOS have very intuitive interface guidelines that operate differently from one another, using gestures and common buttons or prompts placed in different areas.
For example, Android has the back button built into the hardware and android apps take this into account, with navigation above. Apple devices don’t have this, their back navigation is generally in the top left hand corner, with navigation bars on the bottom of the app. Thus, when designing and developing for multiple platforms, it’s important to build with platform differences in mind.
Regardless of whether you develop iOS or Android, your app needs to be intuitive. If your user struggles to perform basic functions within a certain on your app or can’t easily use core functionalities, the result is poor usability and likely user drop-off.
Finally, app performance and load times are hugely impactful on usability and user experience. If your app has long load times, and registration/signup that is overly complicated, it will likely seal your app’s fate.
For more information on mobile app design, read our article 10 Things to Consider When Designing a Mobile App.
According to Perfecto Mobile, 44 percent of defects are found by the user, 24 by direct feedback and another 20 from public user reviews in store.
Make sure you test properly and thoroughly. Once the testing is complete, it needs to be acted on with documented systems and processes for following up on the user testing feedback. Without this key step your app release will be overshadowed by bugs, interface, performance and compatibility issues and is more likely to be poorly reviewed.
Imagine you’ve come this far. You had the big idea, you designed the app, you built it, marketed the product and then…
You drop the ball.
Without perseverance and continuous improvement, it is all for naught. You need perseverance to gather data, alter the design, change marketing strategy and introduce new features. If you get negative reviews, follow up with them. The crucial steps after launch involve iterating to greater success, not quitting after initial bumps in the road.
An app’s success depends on factors ranging from budgets to blind luck, but mostly it can be boiled down to poor research and execution as the main reasons apps fail. We’ve looked at:
Researching your Target Market
Focusing on User Experience
At the end of the day, focusing efforts on market research, following platform specific best practices and thorough QA can be the difference between success and failure.
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