Why do some mobile apps fail?

by Administrator 8. May 2013 00:27

The Mobile applications are becoming a must for various reasons as the mobile devices market is growing. The rampant adoption of mobility is forcing the brands to go mobile. Most brands are proactive while some are complacent on the mobility front for reasons unknown. The mobility strategies of the brands that are going mobile either by means of a mobile website or a mobile app are turning out to be ineffective in most cases, and are failing to ensure reuse of the app. This is supported by statistics that reveal that more than 70% of the apps die down after initial usage. The reasons can be attributed to various factors which seem simple in thoughts but complex in implementation.


Reasons for the failure of the app

Purpose of Existence: Releasing an App into the market is not the end of the story but beginning of it. An app should have its own purpose of existence. Before an app is developed the brands need to think over the output they are expecting. The common notion is to leverage mobility but without a clear thought process going into app development, it will backfire with no desirable results. An app should have a defined purpose considering the target users and the outcome expected by app usage.

Specific Functionalities: The mobile app is not an alternative to mobile web. Each has its own specific functionality. An app has to be very specific to what the brands expect from the users rather than an alternative to mobile website. In order to determine what is to be expected, as a brand, due diligence has to be made during the strategy formulation before the development of the app.

Content is the key: The app cannot have or rather need not have all the content a website or a mobile website has. The purpose of a website, arguably, is to announce the presence of a brand while that of a mobile website is its counterpart on mobile devices. The app on the other hand is something that should define an action or facilitate a set of actions from the users to meet the purpose of developing the app.    

User Experience: One of the key reasons why the users are not inclined to an app after the initial usage is the lack of smooth user experience. As it is said attaining simplicity is the most complex task, it is very important to see that the users can get on with the usage of app while making the navigation and functionalities easy to use. This should be in line with the cognitive recognition of a brand. Typically, an average user uses 4-8 apps per month and the aim should be to develop an app that fits within that time frame. The app users’ psychographic analyses say that the users expect a rich experience combined with least complexities to understand the functionalities of the app.

App Marketing: With thousands of apps available in the market, marketing of the app pre and post launch yields definite quantifiable results. In cases where the competitors have the apps already, uniqueness of the app becomes your USP. Once the app is downloaded and the users start using the app, then the engagement metrics come into picture to redirect the app users to customer base. As mentioned earlier, specific functionalities and content relevant to the actions users are expected to do, will drive this redirection.


The challenge for the marketers is to draw attention, to ensure that the consumers stick around and engage with their brands by means of the mobile devices which will give more scope of increasing the sales revenues. So it is of utmost importance to see that the users spend more time on the mobile device interacting with their brand. Statistically, users spend about 2 hours on their mobile devices on an average. This is the time the marketers need to capitalize on in order to market their brand. But without any defined metrics this process becomes a wild goose chase.


Undoubtedly, developing an app is a part of Mobile App Strategy, intended to achieve the desired outcome. When there is a properly formulated strategy and implementation acumen in place, the blend will yield desired results for a brand.


How to devise a strategy and how can the engagement metrics be driven? This requires experience and expertise. 'Is Mobile App must or not?' the brands have to decide for themselves after introspection.


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