What Makes an App Successful: Market Research in New Product Development

This article delves into the essential role of market research in shaping the trajectory of app development and explains what makes an app successful.

In the ever-changing world of mobile applications, the key to crafting a successful app lies not just in innovative design and cutting-edge features but in a foundational understanding of the market. This article delves into the essential role of market research in shaping the trajectory of app development and explains what makes an app successful. 

General App Success Rate

While apps are the way of the future and our industry consistently promotes the development of mobile applications, the truth is that success is often elusive. This frequently leaves those wanting to launch an app confused and grappling with the uncertainties of the market. Therefore, understanding the general success rate of apps is crucial for setting realistic expectations. 

According to industry reports, a significant percentage of apps fail to gain traction, emphasizing the need for a strategic approach in development and launch.

According to Admiral Media:

  • 99.5% of consumer apps ultimately fail.
  • 25% of users abandon an app after using it for the first time.
  • 71% of users uninstall an app after approximately three months of use.

Additionally, it is said that only 13% of B2B mobile apps succeed

While it might seem like creating an app is the worst idea ever, there are ways to increase the chances of an app succeeding. 

For example, it is important to note that successful app development involves a combination of innovation, usability, and a seamless user experience. Creating a successful app requires more than just coding skills; it demands a comprehensive understanding of user needs, market trends, and effective problem-solving. 

How to Develop a Successful App

Developing a successful app is a multifaceted process that involves several key steps. From conceptualization to design, coding, testing, and launch, each stage plays a vital role in determining the app’s success. 

It is crucial to begin with a clear understanding of the target audience and their needs. Conducting thorough market research helps in identifying gaps in the market, potential competitors, and the unique value proposition your app brings.

Once this has been identified, quality software development is paramount in ensuring the app’s functionality and reliability. A well-designed user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) contribute to positive user interactions, fostering user retention. Furthermore, regular testing, both in the development phase and before launch, is essential to iron out any bugs or glitches. 

It is also important to implement consistent improvements based on user feedback to further refine the app’s features and enhance its overall performance.

Product Development vs Software Development

In the realm of app creation, distinguishing between product development and software development is pivotal. While software development focuses on the technical aspects of coding, product development consists of market research, user feedback, and iterative improvements.

However, while one must understand the difference between the two, it is also important to recognize that a successful app is a combination between product development and software development. 

Good software development serves as the bedrock upon which the quality of an app is built. It encompasses a set of principles, practices, and methodologies that are crucial for creating a robust, efficient, and user-friendly application. Here are key ways in which good software development underpins the quality of an app:

  • Reliability and Stability: A solid foundation for any application lies in well-structured and maintainable code. By adhering to coding standards and implementing design patterns, one can significantly enhance the reliability and stability of the software. Effective error handling is crucial, ensuring the application gracefully responds to unforeseen situations, preventing crashes and elevating overall reliability.
  • Performance Optimization: A key aspect of good software development is the use of efficient algorithms, minimizing resource utilization to ensure optimal performance. Optimized code not only boosts the app's speed and responsiveness but also contributes to a positive user experience.
  • Scalability: Breaking down the application into modular components facilitates easier scalability. This approach allows for the addition of new features as the app grows, without disrupting existing functionality. Efficient handling of data and database queries ensures seamless scalability as the user base expands.
  • Security: Integral to app protection is the implementation of secure coding practices. This involves input validation, secure authentication, and defense against common security threats. Regular code reviews and security audits are crucial for identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities in good software development.
  • Maintainability and Extensibility: Emphasizing clean and maintainable code is central to good software development. This approach streamlines bug fixing, updates, and modifications. Thorough documentation of code and processes ensures efficient collaboration among developers, even as the team evolves.
  • User Experience (UX): Developing the application with a focus on responsive design guarantees a consistent and enjoyable user experience across various devices and screen sizes. Fine-tuning user interactions and animations adds to a smoother and more intuitive user interface.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: Integrating automated testing practices prevents the introduction of regressions during changes and updates, fostering a more stable and error-free application. Embracing Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) practices facilitates frequent testing and deployment, minimizing the risk of introducing bugs into the production environment.
  • Adaptability to Technological Changes: Opting for a versatile and well-supported technology stack enables the application to adapt to evolving industry trends and technological advancements. Ultimately using versatile technology, will ensure that an app can easily adapt to new features and stay relevant in the ever-changing tech landscape.

The Relationship Between Market Research and Product Development

Market research is the linchpin connecting product development with market demand. Understanding the target audience, identifying competitors, and gauging market trends are integral to creating an app that fulfills a genuine need. The success of an app is intricately tied to how well it aligns with the demands and preferences of its intended users.

Therefore, it is important to initiate a thorough market analysis that provides insights into user demographics, preferences, and behaviors. This information guides the development team in making informed decisions about the app’s features, design, and functionality. Regularly updating market research throughout the development process ensures that the app remains relevant and competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

How to Conduct Market Research for an App

Effectively conducting market research requires a strategic approach. Begin by pinpointing your target audience and delving into their pain points. Analyze competitors to unearth market gaps that your app can address. Employ various tools like online surveys, interviews, and feedback sessions to collect valuable insights.

Furthermore, defining the objectives of your market research is crucial. What specific information are you aiming to uncover? Whether it’s understanding user needs, assessing interest in your app idea, or identifying potential competitors, tailor your research methods to align with these objectives.

It is a good idea to employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative research techniques to gather comprehensive data.

Market Research Questions for New Product Development

To develop a successful app, asking the right questions during the market research phase is crucial. Some pertinent questions include:

  • What are the pain points of the target audience?
  • How does your app address these pain points uniquely?
  • Who are your main competitors, and what distinguishes your app from theirs?
  • What features are essential for your target users?
  • How likely are users to pay for your app or engage with in-app purchases?

Answering these questions provides a solid foundation for shaping the direction of your app development. The insights gained from market research help in making informed decisions at every stage, from design and development to marketing and post-launch support.

Validating the Product Before Launching

One of the common concerns among those aspiring to develop an app, is the fear that their capital investment in building a product may go to waste. Validating the product before launching it into the market is an essential step in mitigating this risk. Conducting thorough testing, obtaining user feedback, and making necessary adjustments based on this feedback are crucial measures to ensure the product's viability.

Before launching an app, it is advisable to release a beta version to a select group of users. This soft launch allows developers to gather valuable insights into how real users interact with the app. Analyzing user behavior, identifying frustrations, and addressing any issues contribute to a more refined and polished final product.

How to Launch an App Successfully

A successful app launch is more than just a mere introduction; it's a strategic orchestration of defined objectives, an optimized app store presence, a captivating launch event, effective marketing strategies, and sustained post-launch engagement. As aspiring developers navigate the complexities of the digital marketplace, each facet plays a crucial role in ensuring not only the initial visibility of the app but also its enduring success.

Define Clear Objectives

Setting clear objectives is the cornerstone of a successful app launch. Begin by defining specific, measurable goals such as download targets, revenue expectations, and user engagement metrics. Understanding your target audience is crucial in shaping these objectives, ensuring they align with the needs and preferences of potential users. By clearly outlining your goals, you create a road map that guides your efforts and provides a measurable framework for success.

Optimize App Store Presence

Optimizing your app store presence is a critical step in attracting users and standing out in a competitive market. This is because a well-optimized app store presence enhances visibility, increasing the likelihood of downloads.

Here are some ways to optimize your presence:

  • Craft a compelling app description that concisely communicates your app’s purpose and unique value proposition. 
  • Utilize eye-catching visuals, including screenshots and an engaging app icon, to entice potential users. 
  • Encourage positive reviews by providing a seamless user experience and actively responding to feedback. 

Host a Launch Event

Hosting a launch event is an effective strategy to generate buzz and connect with your audience. Building anticipation through teasers, countdowns, and email campaigns can significantly impact event attendance. 

During the event, conduct live demos to showcase your app’s features, engage with your audience through Q&A sessions, and offer giveaways or incentives to create a memorable experience. A successful launch event not only introduces your app to the public but also establishes a connection with potential users.

Marketing Strategies for App Launch

Implementing a robust marketing strategy is essential for driving initial downloads and creating sustained interest in your app. 

Consider that once thorough market research has been done, you’ll be able to easily define your marketing strategy as you are addressing specific pain points. This targeted approach ensures that your marketing efforts resonate with your audience, increasing the chances of user acquisition and retention.

Marketing your app is not just about creating awareness; it's about communicating the value your app brings to users. Highlight how your app solves their problems or enhances their lives. Utilize various channels such as social media, influencer partnerships, and content marketing to create a buzz around your app.

In the marketing strategy, emphasize the unique selling points (USPs) of your app. Showcase these USPs in your promotional materials, app store listings, and advertising campaigns. Clearly communicate how your app stands out from the competition and why users should choose it over alternatives.

Post-Launch Engagement Strategies

Post-launch engagement is crucial for maintaining user interest and ensuring long-term success. Here are some ideas on how to maintain user interest:

  • Establish user communities within the app, forums, or social media groups. This fosters a sense of belonging and encourages user interaction. 
  • Provide prompt customer support, including detailed FAQs and tutorials, as this enhances the overall user experience. 
  • Regularly update your app with new features and effectively communicate these updates to users. This will keep your audience engaged and invested in your product.

Last Thoughts on What Makes an App Successful

Navigating the intricate landscape of app development requires a strategic blend of software expertise and market insight. While the fear of capital investment going to waste and the uncertainty of feasibility can be daunting, a well-researched and carefully executed plan significantly mitigates these concerns. 

At AppIt we understand the hurdles encountered by companies wanting to develop an app, and our passion lies in using our expertise to help companies launch successful apps despite any challenges that may arise along the way.

It's crucial to emphasize that while AppIt provides guidance throughout the development journey, the onus of conducting market research lies with the client. This approach ensures a holistic and customized strategy, acknowledging and addressing the distinctive challenges that each app may encounter.

If you think you are ready to develop your next app, feel free to give us a call to discuss your options. This initial consultation comes at no cost, reflecting our goodwill and eagerness to foster a potential future partnership.

Talk to our team to scope your next project.