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With technology in South Africa growing at such a rapid speed, it’s difficult to keep up with new apps being developed on a daily basis.
With technology in South Africa growing at such a rapid speed, it’s difficult to keep up with new apps being developed on a daily basis.

What makes an app successful in today's connected world?


By Shannon Ash, Rogerwilco - Aug 16th 2018, 09:46

With technology in South Africa growing at such a rapid speed, it’s difficult to keep up with new apps being developed on a daily basis. Business owners are constantly having to educate themselves about the latest trends in order to align their business’ objectives with their customers’ changing needs.

The struggle, however, with applications is that consumers only download the popular apps that they know and love unless encouraged otherwise. And this type of mindset is a challenging one for startup app developers to overcome. Sure, there will always be ideas that people are drawn to but it’s the companies that go out of their way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the businesses out there that matter.

Because of the disruptive mobile marketing approach in recent years, app developers need to think carefully about the type of mobile experience that they want to offer their customers. It needs to be seamless, operate across multiple operating systems and meet their customers’ needs in real-time.

Here are some tips to consider when developing successful mobile applications:

● Create a product with purpose

While it might sound straightforward, it’s important that you build an application that has a purpose. It’s all good and well coming up with something that sparks an interest for you as the business owner, but it’s another trying to satisfy your customers’ needs. If you want to create a product that is successful, you need to create a product or service that will serve a purpose, either by solving a problem or entertaining the customer similar to augmented reality apps. You also need to make the very best out of it. Make sure your idea is original and that it is well designed. The user experience (UX) should be your primary focus.

● Consider a viral app approach

Think about a way in which you can use your app to connect your users with their friends. Take Instagram or WhatsApp for example, these apps enable users to send and share things with their peers and keep up to date with information that matters to them. This type of concept will potentially be able to adjust to a massive network of users because it will appeal to most consumer groups. If your idea doesn’t cover this type of interaction or connection, make sure it solves a problem or it is used for entertainment purposes.

● Don’t forget Android. EVER.

As much as iPhone users assume everyone is running on Apple, they’re not. Android is just as important as Apple, if not more important because of Google’s wide range of service offerings. In the beginning, you might start with one operating system, but over time, make sure that the app you develop works perfectly on several operating systems. You need to have a roadmap of ideas to appeal to every market.

● Marketing is key to getting your app known

You are going to have to market your application, which you will need to budget for. Much like any business, if you want to grow and succeed, you need to create brand awareness. You will need to be willing to go above and beyond with your marketing effort before continuing with more systematic campaigns. Test the market with what you have, and then adjust your marketing strategy and budget according to the response that you get. Remember that you are a startup business, so don’t shoot too high with your marketing efforts. You need to keep it healthy and affordable for your business.

● Track and measure what your users are viewing

On the back of the previous marketing point, you will need to do the same with your product. Test your product and see what people like. You probably have a niche market, but you still don’t know what their specific needs are, therefore you will need to invest in the various tracking tools to measure what is happening inside the application at all times. Monitor and track what people are clicking on and using, as well as your tracking sources. If you don’t test your product, you won’t be able to improve it.

● Make the app free

At the end of the day, you want people to download your application. People tend to steer away from paid apps, simply because of the commitment and because they might not enjoy the app they’ve paid for. If users know that the application is free from the beginning, the likelihood of someone downloading your application is far higher. Which is already a successful starting point for a potential customer.

Final words

Customers are spending nearly all their time on applications. Be it for transport or reservation purposes, these applications have significantly impacted their lives. Whatever idea you choose to go ahead with, make sure you’ve touched on the above-mentioned tips and you’re building your app according to what your customers want. They’re the ones who are going to support your business, so treat them well.


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