So, your business is considering the development of a mobile application for the consumer market. You have visions of generating ample revenue and of beating your competition at their game. By some estimates, the Mobile app development services market has exceeded our wildest expectations reaping a total revenue of nearly $700 billion in 2021 and estimated to exceed that total by at least $100 billion in the coming year. Surveys reveal that nearly 90% of the time consumers spend on devices is spent on mobile apps. That translates to nearly four and a half hours a day.
And, you want a piece of that market! You imagine attracting all those new customers and building a whole new sales channel (or expanding existing channels). At this stage, you may not be thinking of all the thorny issues, challenges and factors you will have to consider in order to succeed. It is important to understand that, with the appropriate planning, the right resources and a realistic set of goals, your business can and will achieve its objectives.
This article focuses on four things your business will need to analyze, understand and include in its planning process.
The Market (and the Competition)
Understanding your market and your market positioning is everything! Your product must be suitable for a particular target market. Whether you are creating a mobile application for education, media, gaming, retail, healthcare, technology, finance or any other segment, it is important to know a) what is in the market now, b) what your target demographic and customers want and expect, and c) the trends for the near and not-so-near future that will affect your product.
Understanding the market means understanding what tools and features your prospective customers need. Will your app need translation to compete in the international market? Will your app need to align with a cross-platform environment so that customers can use it in Android, iOS and web environs? How tech savvy are your clients?
Do you need more or less online assistance for customers to help them navigate your app or find solutions? What is the average age, gender, and/or special interest group you are targeting? What pain points or problems will your app solve that your competitors do not address? Is there, in fact, a product on the market that adequately addresses these needs and, if so, will your price point, technology and solution be unique enough to compete? Does your mobile application need additional security, online payments, online chat support, GPS, etc.? If you launch your product, what is the likely competitive response? Does your competition have enough money and sway in the market to beat back your new offering?
Will your app be free with advertising to help generate revenue, or will it have in-app purchases or a subscription plan? All of these considerations will drive the app in a different direction, and require different features and navigation decisions. So, it is important to understand what your competitors or doing and what you can do in a comparable market, as well as including these considerations in your requirements so that developers can choose the right platform and tools to design the app (see Technology, Tools and Platforms below).
These are just a few of the market and competitive factors you will need to address.
The Technology, Tools and Platforms
Most businesses have an IT function but that staff probably doesn’t know the mobile application development market in enough detail to be able to actually design and deploy an app. Moreover, if the app is going out into the market, you will need a team that understands the difference between application development and software product development, what documentation and testing that requires and how to launch and support a scalable, high-performance product and maintain that product with upgrades and bug fixes.
Whether your product is based on MEAN or MERN, Angular, Node, Flutter, Ionic or any other development environment, the choice will always be based on your requirements and what best suits your needs. Is your app complex or simple? Does it entail the use of existing operating system features like GPS, email, calendars, video, or other features? A detailed set of requirements is worth its weight in gold. If you don’t know what you need, what you expect your app to do and what your customers want, you aren’t likely to be successful.
The Team, Resources and Support
Engaging an IT consultant with expertise in cross-platform, hybrid mobile application development, and a knowledge of the Android and iOS application market, testing and toolkits, development platforms etc., is crucial. If you need brain surgery, you engage an expert. If you need mobile application development, you should engage an expert in that domain – one that has the experience, skill and knowledge to work in any industry, for any function and with any type of technology. You’ll want an expert that can provide a proof of concept, one that can work with you to complete testing, including user acceptance testing (UAT), so that your user experience meets expectations.
Marketing, Advertising and Closing the Deal
How will you create buzz for your product? What marketing channels will you use? Will you partner with another technology business or create a bundled or partnered product opportunity to piggy back on other software or apps?
Can you leverage product experts in a particular industry to gain visibility and create buzz? Can you launch a beta program and ask the first users to post reviews? How about leveraging YouTube or other video or social media opportunities to interview users about their experience or to demonstrate the app and talk about its unique features and characteristics? Capitalizing on social media and existing partnerships, offering to bundle your app with others as temporary discounted subscription or $X of free in-app purchases is also a method you might consider. Whatever you have in mind, be sure you compare this to what your competitors are doing and to what the target demographic might expect out of an app like yours.
These are just a few of the considerations you will need to analyze and document in your project and action plan in order to cover all the bases. There are many more! The best way to guarantee success, and to be sure you have factored in all the crucial aspects of design, development and launch, is to engage the experts.
Find out how the right mobile application development partner can help your business achieve its goals and explore the opportunities offered by an IT consultant with software product development and consumer market experience. For more information visit our Blog.