Have you ever tried to make a cake? Many people consider it simple: find a recipe, add the ingredients and bake it. The truth is that it only sounds easy. A thousand things may go wrong. You may accidentally mix up or forget some ingredients, burn it, choose a bad recipe or your cake may turn out to be tasteless…
The same can happen when you’re developing your mobile app. There are so many details you have to consider, so many pitfalls you need to avoid. A survey from Statista shows that “as of June 2015, more than 100 billion mobile apps had been downloaded from the Apple App Store.” Whereas now, the app boom is over: “Most people have all the apps they want and/or need. They’re not looking for new ones.” This makes it extremely difficult to make people notice, use and love your app.
Here’s our advice on how to help your app to live up to expectations and attract attention.
Follow Modern Recipes
Whenever you start to create an app for your business, a good idea is to check and keep in mind the newest trends that will help you to be ahead of your competitors:
It’s not a secret that more and more users surf the Net on their Smartphones instead of PCs. Make your customers happier by enabling them to pay for chosen goods and services on-the-go. “Connecting more of the retail commerce experience to mobile wallets, especially when it comes to offers, coupons, rewards and loyalty, will be critical to getting more people to pay with their phones,” according to eMarketer. It will help your app to stand out because this function is not yet mainstream. And just think of all those people who have lunch in cafes and use this time to read their social networks feeds or browse through favorite apps. How much time and effort it will save them if they are able to pay for their purchases thanks to your app’s new and trendy feature.
Horizontal sideways scrolling
This way of going through pages is gaining popularity. It is more convenient taking into account how we usually hold our Smartphones. You can already check out how it works in Tinder, for example.
Lots of people prefer animation to static mobile design. It’s more fun and lively, thus, it has more chances to engage the user. So perhaps this feature is worth considering when developing your app.
Add Some Flavor
It is said that more than half of mobile customers become bored with an app and delete it after the first month of using. So your task is to keep your audience interested and make your app remain on their screens for as long as possible (ideally, forever). Apart from having great products and services, here’s what else you can offer them:
You can include some awards and nice bonuses that a user will get every time he/she is active. It shouldn’t be something difficult. The main idea is for it to be pleasant. People love collecting points that are transformed into discounts and gifts. Take Shopkick, for example. It awards “kicks” when a user browses through products inside the app or completes some in-app activities. It also gives points when you simply walk into stores and rewards users with free gift cards.
Develop a connection
This can mean two things. First of all, creating a story behind your product or company is something that can help you to win the audience. While some people love material bonuses, others get easily attached to a beautiful tale behind it. You can describe how your company appeared and what inspired you to create the product — it will help people to get engaged in the world of your app. Secondly, it means including some features that will make the users open your app every single day. Snapchat, for example, has a “Snapstreak” that counts the number of consecutive days you communicate with friends. Also, it keeps you glued to it as messages disappear after 24 hours.
Don’t forget that you need quality design that will attract users’ attention. It’s much more difficult to resist a colorful temptation that appears on your phone screen than a tasteless and pale one. There was a nice experiment in Google’s NY office. The company hid M&Ms in opaque, white porcelain jars with a lid and replaced the candy’s visual packaging with a neutral white placard and neutral font (e.g. “Peanut M&M’s” written in Comic Sans). The result was stunning. “In the New York office alone, employees consumed 3.1 million fewer calories from M&Ms over seven weeks. That’s a decrease of nine vending machine-size packages of M&Ms for each of the office’s 2,000 employees.” So, in order to keep the audience, don’t forget to invest money into your app’s great design.
Let Everyone Know
If nobody knows about your freshly baked cake, you will be alone and desperate with no one around to share your triumph. In the world of business you can’t avoid promoting your app. “Today, Apple device users can choose from more than 1.5 million applications and the number of available apps is growing faster than ever,” Statista informs us. And according to Pocketgamer.biz, “developers are currently submitting more than 1,000 apps per day.” So you can imagine how difficult it will be to keep your app in the top 20 and be the user’s first choice. In other words, you need to inform people that your app is new, useful and awesome. Let’s see how you can let the world know about your app.
What you have to keep in mind is that promoting your app starts today! Yes, this means during the development stage. This way you will have enough time to plan everything carefully, choose a strategy and start a good pre-launch campaign. Clear app managed to sell 350,000 copies within nine days of its release thanks to demos, previews and teaser videos — all done before it was launched.
Obviously, no one today will avoid such marketing tools as Twitter and Facebook Ads or ignore alternative app stores. Even old-fashioned ones like e-mails, outlets, TV commercials, banners, website ads shouldn’t be neglected. But there are some other ways as well:
Find an expert in the field your app is connected to, someone who is respected and followed by a wide audience, and ask this person to drop a word about your app. This will bring you both potential users and their trust. As an alternative, asking a celebrity to try out your beta app before the official release can also stir up interest.
Winning an award like Appy Awards, Best App Ever Awards, AppCircus competition or Apple Design Awards will definitely give you a huge benefit over your competitors. The chances are rather slim taking into account the number of apps designed every month, but just taking part in such contests can generate buzz around your app and generate reviews and downloads.
You can invent an absolutely original way that doesn’t fall into any category but will suit your app. If you are connected to cars or motorcycles, arrange a free or unusual delivery of kittens or ice-cream like UBER. If you work in photography, arrange a contest with a prize of $10,000 worth of camera equipment like Camera+ did. Or make an unintentional (or not?) mistake that will help you to get the interest of the audience. Just recall the story with Simon Circles and the push notification from Chad the developer and its success. It triggered more than 500 comments on Reddit whether it was intentional marketing or just a silly mistake. Nevertheless, lots of people admit that they downloaded the app out of curiosity or in the hopes of getting another message of that kind.
A Final Touch
So when you get down to creating your app, don’t hesitate or be shy. First, get an original idea because copying won’t make it work. Then make sure that your app is great and has all the chances to be a success. Add some “granny’s secret ingredient” to your cake in the form of some surprise feature and then tell the world about it. Remember, the sky’s the limit — only you know what will suit your product best.