What Makes An App Successful In The New Pandemic-Era App Development?

Have you noticed YouTube, Facebook, and other social media channels are suddenly showing ads of companies you have never heard of? 

This is mainly because of two reasons:

  • Companies are aggressively marketing their products & services. Well, desperate times, desperate measures!
  • New app startups are being launched. These apps mostly offer remote services and virtual products, in lieu of ongoing global pandemic.

If you are also aggressively marketing to generate new leads, I recently wrote about how to reduce marketing costs without impacting your business.

If you are planning to launch your app startup and are wondering what makes an app successful, this blog is for you. 

I have covered 4 common app development mistakes that you are most likely to make during this pandemic era app development. I have also covered case studies of 4 apps that failed because of these mistakes. And how to make sure that your startup doesn’t fail making those same app development mistakes.

Every entrepreneur is busy brainstorming ideas for launching new apps to respond to the ongoing pandemic. It is a good thing until you end up making a fatal mistake that takes down your startup even before its launch. Did you know that 50% of startups fail in their first five years?

Even the minor decisions you make define the future of your startup.

“I have endeavored to make principled, versus business, decisions. Business decisions maximize outcomes, whereas principled decisions are made regardless of the outcome.”Brian Chesky, Cofounder of Airbnb

Let’s look at the common app development mistakes you should avoid during this pandemic and the million-dollar app ideas that failed because of them.

Don’t Skip Stages of App Development 

Companies are rushing to launch new apps to respond to the COVID – 19 outbreak and one of common reasons why apps fail is due to skipping stages of development.

Right from market research and MVP development to product development, app testing, and more, there are 9 crucial stages of development. All these stages make an app successful and you cannot just skip a few stages to launch your app in a short timeline.

Failed App Example: IowaRecorder App

In this pandemic era, this app was developed to report the results of the Iowa Democratic caucuses. This app terribly failed and the event ended up happening in the most conventional way – through telephones.

Well, why did it fail? This app failed due to one of the most common app development mistakes. It was developed and launched within two months. So, no time was dedicated to testing this app against real-life parameters such as a high user volume, fluctuating internet access, etc.

How to Avoid An App Disaster Like IowaRecorder App During Pandemic?

Hire the Right Team: After analyzing IowaRecorder App, experts said that “the app was clearly done by someone following a tutorial”. No matter how quick your timeline is, app development knowledge and experience is super important to make an app successful.

If you don’t have a solid team of app developers, you can’t go about setting up your own team in the middle of a pandemic. 

Consider outsourcing development. You can also set up a team of remote app developers for your mobile app if you like to stay in charge and decide the exact flow of your app development.

This will save your project execution cost as well as help you meet the short timeline for your app. And, of course will help you avoid this common app development mistake.

Test, Develop, Test: Dan Guido, CEO of a cybersecurity consulting firm, said that “IowaRecorder App looks hastily thrown together”.

You need to follow a SCRUM project execution methodology as we, at Resourcifi, do. Depending on the complexity of your app, allocate a dedicated timeline for app testing, and fixing bugs.

Every successful app needs to be recursively tested. Let’s look at an example – Snowflake!

Snowflake is a cloud-based technology for storing and analyzing data that was founded in 2012. It is one of the fastest growing apps that raised $1.4 billion in venture capital. The app was publicly launched in 2014 – after 2 years in stealth mode

It is currently valued at $12.4 billion! One of the reasons that made the Snowflake app successful is because it was tested well before launch.

You obviously don’t have 2 years to test your mobile app during a pandemic. All I am trying to say is testing is as important as development to make an app successful. Even if you have a strict and quick timeline in today’s situation, don’t skip the stages of app development or testing!

100% Development, 0% Marketing?

I said earlier that you cannot afford to skip any of the app development stages but is just app development enough?

No matter how desperate the current pandemic situation is and how unique your app is, you will need a well-planned marketing strategy for your mobile app! This is one of the reasons why apps fail. You cannot just keep investing in development and expect your app to sell itself. This is the mistake Everpix did.

Failed App Example: Everpix

Everpix was launched in 2011 and provided a unique solution. It sorted, organized, and stored your pictures online.

In just one year, they had more than 55,000 users (without any marketing). But they had to shut down in 2013. What happened? Why did they fail!

The Everpix team wanted to make a 100% perfect app and spent a substantial amount (over $1.8 million) in building their app. Everpix was confident that they had a good product (which was true) and expected the app to sell itself.

There were no marketing or sales people in the entire Everpix team and this proved to be a fatal mistake!

Now, Everpix was not launched in a pandemic and is a perfect example of why do apps fail. But right now companies are looking to minimize the cost of launching their app and the first thing that comes to mind is cutting down marketing costs.

A recent survey revealed that 50% of companies are making marketing cuts due to the COVID-19 crisis so they can ‘live to fight another today’.

How to Avoid Everpix’s Mistake During Pandemic?

No matter how great your app is, a highly skilled marketing team is what makes an app successful. Do you ever wonder why well-established apps like Facebook also rely on advertising and other channels of marketing?

Salesforce, a SaaS company, is especially known for lavishly spending on marketing.

Well, today’s app market is highly competitive and mobile users tend to engage with apps that do constant promotion and advertising. Do you ever wonder why Vimeo is still running successfully in spite of competing against YouTube?

After YouTube was launched in 2005, Vimeo was seen as anti-Youtube. Vimeo was launched before YouTube but due to uploading restrictions, the latter became more popular.

Vimeo started marketing itself as a stable platform where you go for premium quality videos without advertisements and thus, attracting businesses and companies.

The one thing we can learn from Vimeo’s success is marketing can play a significant role in the success of your app.  Especially when mobile users have reported increased their screen time, strategic marketing can work wonders for your app during this pandemic.

USP Is Important

Underestimating your competition is another reason why you app can fail during pandemic era development. There is no point in launching another app with the same features as multiple other apps in the market unless it has a very compelling USP!

Do you remember Google Wave? Google Wave was not launched in a pandemic. 6,000 developers had already worked on it and it gained over 100,000 users! Well, why did Google Wave app failed?

Failed App Example: Google Wave

Google Wave was launched in 2009 as a real-time collaboration tool. It combined features such as mail, instant messaging, web chat, social networking, and project management under one single platform.

Even after a great pre-launch buzz, Google announced shutting down Wave in August 2010. Here’s why!

One of the primary reasons why Wave failed was the most common app development mistake. Many dedicated companies offered individual services that Google decided to put together in Wave. These separate company apps were more powerful than what Wave had to offer.

How to Avoid Google Wave’s Mistake During this Pandemic Era App Development?

The lack of compelling USP is why Google Wave app failed. This is a compelling argument for app failure during the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Right now when multiple cities are under lockdown, companies are looking to extend their services remotely through an app. And until a user gets something different and unique from your app, it will fail.

Look at it this way. Snapchat was launched in 2011, much after social media platforms like Facebook (launched in 2004) or Instagram (launched in 2010), and still is running successfully.

what makes an app successful

Snapchat was also a Social Media platform but was different from others. For instance, new e-learning startup apps are getting launched during this pandemic. But, at the end, having a unique proposition is what will make these app successful.

Make sure to do thorough market research for your app before launching it. During this pandemic era app development, you can rely on online surveys and test groups to conduct market research.

Targeted User Research for Different Markets

Due to lack of time during this pandemic era, another app development mistake companies can make is to not understand their user base.

It doesn’t matter whether you are creating an aggregator app like Uber or an app for end-consumers, you must have a thorough understanding of the market you are launching for. Hailo was an app that went from raising $100 million to running out of money and shutting down.

Failed App Example: Hailo

In early 2013, Hailo, an aggregator taxi app like Uber, decided to extend its market to NYC. By the time Hailo was launched in NYC, it already had 2.5 million users and 30,000 drivers in the UK. But why did Halo work in London but failed terribly in the US? 

Halo was able to bring only 40,000 yellow taxi drivers on board. The problem why the app failed was most yellow taxi drivers in NYC didn’t carry their smartphones to navigate the city, unlike London drivers.

Hailo made a small assumption which proved to be a fatal mistake. They assumed that their app would be a hit in NYC because it was successfully functioning in London.

How to Not Make Hailo’s Mistake During Pandemic?

Hailo was not launched in a pandemic but it made a fatal assumption. Similarly if you did market research for your app before Coronavirus hit, don’t assume that it would be valid right now.To make an app successful, targeted user reaserch is super important.

To give you a simple example, recent studies have shown that consumers of organic cleaning products are now more likely to switch to a “stronger” chemical-based solution. 

In spite of the COVID – 19 crisis, 86% of US & UK consumers say they feel it’s appropriate for companies to reach out to them for surveys. The methods of surveys have shifted online in the light of social distancing but you can use them well to make your app successful.

Conduct a thorough research of your target buyers before launching your app to respond to the ongoing pandemic. It’s not only a good reality check for your app idea but will also give a direction to your app development.

Final Words

Do you know what is worse than delaying your app launch? A failed app!

You might have just the perfect app idea for the ongoing pandemic era. But repeating the same app development mistakes, like these failed apps, just to quickly launch your app won’t do you any good.

You can definitely meet a quick timeline. Cut your costs and save time in a way that the quality of your end-product doesn’t get affected.This is what will make your app successful.

For instance, hiring a remote app development team can help you save time as well as money! This is where we can help you launch your app successfully during this new pandemic era of app development.

Resourcifi is an award-winning Staff Augmentation Company. We have set up a team of highly skilled web and mobile app developers after years of thorough vetting. You can set up a remote team of developers with us on a full-time, part-time, or hourly basis.

Want to know how much you can save with us? Use our savings calculator to know how much you can save by setting up your development team at Resourcifi.

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