How to Launch a Mobile App Successfully | The Complete Guide
Mobile apps have become an essential part of our daily lives. As of 2021, there are over 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. Therefore, launching a mobile app can be a great way to reach a vast audience and potentially generate a significant income. However, with millions of apps available in app stores, launching a successful mobile app can be a challenging task. In this article, we will discuss how to launch a mobile app successfully at Vietnam’s mobile app developemt company.
mobile app is part of your business
For a long time, businesses have benefited from expanding into online spaces. However, in the COVID-19 era, online expansion has become a priority, and many businesses have moved entirely online.
There are numerous business benefits to having an online presence:
- A larger audience
- Brand recognition and reach
- Access to additional marketing channels
- Customer behavior information and analysis
- Interaction with customers
Online marketplaces are also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if orders aren’t processed and delivered around the clock, users can still place orders at any time. Those are the general advantages of having an online presence, but what about launching an app?
The advantages of having a mobile app are numerous as well:
- Each year, the number of mobile users grows steadily, reaching 7.1 billion in 2021.
- In 2021, app downloads will have increased by 7% to 218 billion.
- In 2021, people spent more than four hours per day on mobile apps, a 20% increase from 2020.
- Venture capital invested $73 billion in mobile technology in 2021.
Mobile app use is increasing in all categories, from shopping to food to finance and business. Why? Mobile apps have many advantages over websites for users:
- Offline accessibility
- Mobile access
- Improved user experience
- Access to smartphone features (such as push notifications and Face ID)
Users prefer mobile apps because they are more convenient and secure. This makes having a mobile app beneficial to business. Is it, however, the best option for your company?
Here are some things to think about before diving into mobile app development:
- Building a mobile app is typically more expensive than building a website, with prices beginning around $30,000 per platform (compared to around $8,000 for a website).
- In most cases, two mobile apps are required: one for iOS and one for Android.
- If you intend to sell something through your mobile app, keep in mind that both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store charge a 30% commission on in-app purchases, which may be difficult to avoid.
- Mobile operating systems are frequently updated, and you’ll need to ensure your app’s compatibility, which means communicating with mobile developers and paying them for app updates and maintenance.
However, the fact that mobile apps continue to appear and thrive on the market means that in many (if not most) cases, the benefits of a mobile app outweigh the costs.
We still recommend that you weigh all of the pros and cons, calculate your potential profits, and base your decision on this information. An experienced mobile development company will assist you in gathering and analyzing all data before deciding whether to build a mobile app, a website, or both. A professional team will also know how to begin app development while reducing and spreading costs, so you won’t have to invest tens of thousands of dollars right away.
top 10 tips to a successful mobile app launch
Once you’ve done your research and determined that a mobile app is well worth the investment, it’s time to figure out what kind of mobile app you’ll need to launch it successfully.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mobile app launch strategy; everything you need to do will be determined by research and test results. However, there are some universal steps for launching a mobile app that apply to all apps.
1. Choose the right mobile platform
The first step to launch a mobile app is to choose the right mobile platform. The two most popular platforms are Android and iOS. Android has a larger market share globally, while iOS dominates the high-income markets. Therefore, it is important to research your target audience and choose the platform that suits your business needs.
- Android dominates the global market, accounting for 87% of the market in 2020. However, the specifics are murky.
- In the United States, Apple devices dominate the market, with iPhones accounting for nearly 60% of smartphone users.
- Japan was even more Apple-crazed in 2020, with the iPhone being the preferred platform for more than 60% of users.
- The UK market is almost evenly split between iOS and Android, with Android accounting for slightly more than half of the market.
- In India, where over 90% of smartphone users own an Android device, Android has the largest market share.
- Android has nearly 80% market share in Germany and China.
Of course, you can develop your app for both platforms at the same time, reaching out to all potential users. However, doing so may be prohibitively expensive due to fundamental differences between the Android and iOS tech stacks:
- Programming language: Kotlin, Java
- Development tools: Android Studio, ADT (Android Developer Tools)
- UI frameworks: Android UI, Jetpack Compose
- Programming language: Objective-C, Swift
- Development tools: Xcode, Appcode
- UI frameworks: UI Kit, SwiftUI
Android applications are written in either Kotlin or Java. Google has officially approved these two programming languages. Apps written in Kotlin or Java will not work on iOS devices because iOS apps are written in Objective-C and Swift. Development tools and frameworks differ as well.
- With the cost of developing a mobile app ranging from $30,000 to infinity, the traditional approach is to develop an app for one platform first and then add an app for the other platform once the first app generates revenue.
- There is also a third option: create a cross-platform application. These are apps that are compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
You may wonder why anyone would create two apps when one can be created and run on all devices. We have an answer for that.
- There are limitations to cross-platform apps. They cannot easily access certain hardware-powered functionality on devices, such as cameras or microphones. Cross-platform apps perform slower because additional rendering occurs between the app and the device operating system.
- With the app market as diverse as it is today, app performance expectations are high. According to Mobile App Daily, one of the top reasons users uninstall apps is poor performance. This must be considered when deciding between native and cross-platform apps, as well as later when adding features to your app.
2. Adapt for different devices
Because of the sheer number of Android device models from various companies, this issue is more prevalent for Android apps than for iOS apps. However, the variety of iOS devices has grown significantly, with new models appearing each year (and sometimes twice a year).
To have a successful mobile app launch, you must cater to all categories of platform users. Not all iPhone users can or want to purchase the most recent model when it is released, and different iPhone models (and different versions of the same model) have different screen sizes, so your UI designers will have to create visual prototypes in various proportions. Certain features in one model can be removed or changed in another.
With Android devices, the variety of model-specific or manufacturer-specific nuances is even greater. Your designers and developers will need to adapt the build to a variety of devices depending on the type of app you plan to build, its functionality, and the required permissions.
3. Be mindful of new and trending technologies
If you hire a seasoned development firm to create and launch your app, your developers should be up to date on the latest technologies and trends. Nonetheless, knowing what’s popular around the world and in your target market will only benefit you. And it would be a wise decision to examine trends at the very beginning of development.
These are just a few of the new and old tech solutions that are making headlines and increasing user engagement and loyalty to mobile apps. We recommend that anyone planning to launch a mobile app keep an eye out for trends that may benefit their idea.
- Virtual and augmented reality
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Internet of Things
- Support for wearable devices
- Mobile wallets
- Motion UI
- Hidden navigation
Mobile app development is constantly evolving, and it is essential to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Adopting new features and functionalities can make your app more attractive to users and increase its chances of success. For instance, implementing AI-based features, such as chatbots or personal assistants, can enhance user experience and set your app apart from competitors.
4. Invest in marketing
Every year, as new apps emerge, marketing becomes more important. Some are clones of popular apps, while others take a fresh approach to solving users’ problems. All of these apps compete for users and revenue on the market. Marketing is one of the most important tools for successfully launching an app.
We typically advise starting marketing campaigns before releasing an MVP. You’ll create anticipation and tension in this manner. However, it is critical to select the appropriate time and channels for your marketing campaigns.
If you launch your marketing prematurely promise an excessive amount too soon, and fail to deliver the promised scope on time, you will face reputational issues and, as a result, lose users and revenue.
Another stumbling block in marketing is deciding which channels to use to promote your app. Aside from app store optimization (ASO), there are numerous marketing channels available these days:
- Landing pages
- Advertisements on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and local networks such as WeChat)
- Publications from the industry
- Marketing on social media
- Content promotion
- Other apps may contain video or interactive advertisements.
- Participation in other apps’ offer walls
- Offline marketing (such as billboards)
Certain marketing channels benefit different types of apps more than others. Developing a marketing strategy is also a difficult task. It may take several tries and errors to find the best option. You must be willing to invest in marketing campaigns and marketing professionals.
Marketing is essential to the success of your mobile app. Your app might have great features, but it won’t gain any traction if users are not aware of it. Therefore, investing in marketing is crucial. Use social media, influencers, and app review websites to promote your app. You can also consider paid advertising, such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
5. Give lots of love to backend and UI/UX design
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: mobile app users today have high expectations for apps; additionally, there’s an alternative to nearly every existing app. Simply alleviating a user’s pain is no longer sufficient. Marketing campaigns that are well-planned and skillfully executed will bring users to your app. However, in order to retain these users and attract a new audience through recommendations, your app must be:
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Simple to use and intuitive
- Rapid and high-performance
The UI/UX designers on your team are responsible for making your app intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing. You can usually achieve this goal by following best practices for mobile UX design. Meanwhile, the app’s speed and performance are the result of your backend specialists’ efforts, the servers you chose, and the technologies you implemented (APIs, frameworks, etc.).
The backend of your app is responsible for its functionality and performance. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the backend is stable, secure, and scalable. Moreover, UI/UX design plays a significant role in the success of your app. It determines how easy it is for users to navigate your app and perform tasks. Therefore, investing in professional UI/UX design can greatly enhance user experience.
6. Integrate analytics
App performance analytics is used to collect data on user behavior:
- How many people download your app?
- How long they use it before removing it (user lifetime)
- The average length of a session
- How many users sign up for an account?
- How many users become paying customers and when do they do so?
- How much money do your app’s users spend on average?
- The bounce rate of your app and the stage at which users abandon it
This information will assist you in making changes to the app’s interface and functionality. When you decide to seek funding outside of your immediate circle, this information will be useful to potential investors as well.
Analytics helps you track user behavior, app usage, and user demographics. It provides valuable insights into your app’s performance and helps you make informed decisions. Therefore, integrating analytics into your app is crucial. Tools such as Google Analytics or Mixpanel can provide valuable data on user behavior and app usage.
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7. Release an MLP
A minimum lovable product (MLP) is an improved version of a minimum viable product (MVP). Both are concerned with providing an early release with only core functionality, frequently in a limited area.
The distinction between an MVP and an MLP is that an MLP focuses on establishing an emotional connection between a user and an app. To achieve an emotional connection, launch your app with not only core functionality but also a high-quality UI and UX.
Today’s market provides numerous alternatives to almost any mobile app. Users can choose from a wide range of apps with nearly identical functionality. To entice users to choose your app when it launches, it must either be a solution that is so unique that it cannot be compared to competitors, or it must provide users with an experience that they cannot find anywhere else. You can accomplish the latter by launching an MLP — an app with limited functionality as a work in progress but with a memorable interface design and refined user experience.
An MLP can also help your marketing efforts by increasing brand recognition.
An MLP (Minimum Lovable Product) is a version of your app that has just enough features to attract early users. Releasing an MLP enables you to test your app’s functionality, receive feedback, and make necessary improvements. It is also a good strategy to launch your app gradually, rather than releasing a full-featured app right away.
8. Testing never gets boring
Nothing turns people off new apps like bugs and crashes. When users have been using an app for a long time and something goes wrong after an update, many will give the developers a chance to fix it — it’s one of the benefits of having a large number of loyal users. That will not happen with a newly installed app.
There will be no successful launch if there are bugs from the start, especially if you want to launch an app as a startup with no name recognition. So put everything through its paces as many times as you can.
Testing is crucial to the success of your app. Testing helps you identify bugs, usability issues, and other problems that could affect user experience. Therefore, it is important to test your app thoroughly before releasing it to the public. Consider using beta testers, internal testing, and automated testing tools to ensure that your app is functioning correctly.
9. Stay tuned with your users
In-app analytics provide unbiased data that is essential for your future efforts. However, it is prudent to combine this data with feedback provided willingly and on their terms by users.
To do so, you must be accessible to your users — monitor and respond to their app store queries and comments, set up monitoring of your brand mentions in search engines and social networks, and communicate with users through periodic surveys.
By staying in touch with your users before and during the MVP/MLP release, you’ll gain valuable insight into how to successfully launch an app when the time comes for the full release. Quality communication will also improve the image and reputation of your company.
Once you launch your app, it is essential to be in contact with your users. Respond to their feedback, address their concerns, and provide excellent customer service. This can help you build a loyal user base, increase retention rates, and drive positive reviews.
10. Find reliable partners who understand the mobile market
When launching a new app, whether for a startup or a seasoned business seeking expansion or digital transformation, you can implement recommendations from the list above on your own, delegating only the technical aspects to developers.
A professional mobile app development team, on the other hand, will most likely make launching an app easier for you by leveraging their experience.
When a qualified developer does not have an immediate answer, they will know where to look for reliable sources of information. They’ll also provide data-driven advice when you’re at a crossroads, assist you in identifying and emphasizing your app’s unique value, and prioritize features for development.
Overall, hiring a professional full-stack development team will save you time and money while also providing you with some peace of mind as you prepare to launch your app.
Launching a mobile app successfully can take time, effort, and resources, but the rewards can be significant. With a well-designed, user-friendly app, you can reach a vast audience, generate income, and make a positive impact in the mobile app market. Therefore, it is important to plan carefully and follow these guidelines to ensure the success of your mobile app.
However, launching your app is just the beginning of your journey. Continuous improvements, updates, and enhancements are necessary to keep your app relevant and competitive. Therefore, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, listen to user feedback, and continuously optimize your app for better user experience.
In conclusion, launching a mobile app successfully requires a combination of careful planning, execution, and continuous improvement. Follow these guidelines, stay focused, and be prepared to adapt to changing market trends and user preferences. With the right approach, you can launch a successful mobile app that users will love and enjoy for years to come.
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