Mobile App Development Guide: Up to Date for 2021
Technology is an integral part of our every-day lives. When you think about how you engage with technology, do you picture yourself in front of a computer screen? Or do you think about scrolling through information on your handheld device?
These days, most users interact with technology by using mobile apps. As a mobile app development agency, we have years of experience in creating interesting, unique, and useful mobile apps. We’d like to help you develop your mobile app and believe that this guide is Let us share with you this guide can be your key to mobile app development.
Why Create an App
In 2020, there are a reported 14.02 billion mobile devices in the world. As our world’s population continues to increase, the number of devices in the hands of this population will increase. If you would like to increase your customer base and reach more people with your products or services, you need to create a mobile app.
But why should you create a mobile app? There are many reasons and we’ve collected some of them below.
1. Generate Additional Sales
Our world requires increased flexibility. You may have experienced this when dealing with the pandemic from COVID-19. With a lot of business owners facing adversity and changing situations, you deserve a way to rise to the occasion.
One of the ways that many companies have adapted to changes in their situations has been to embrace mobile apps as a way to remain connected with their customers. Some businesses have taken the tactic of offering rewards or digital coupons for downloading their mobile apps. Others use push notifications to encourage repeat orders.
Whatever tactic you decide to take, mobile apps are an excellent tool that you can use to bring in additional sales. However, all of this depends on the purpose of your app. Some apps are free for download and serve a marketing purpose, while others are used to generate revenue either through payments or through advertising.
According to Statista, mobile apps are expected to rake in $693 Billion in 2021 for mobile app companies. While much of this money comes from in-app purchases, with so much money to be made from mobile app usage, there are many ways that you can increase revenue with an app.
2. Reduce Marketing Costs
If you decide to build a mobile app for your business, you can save money on marketing. For instance, when you have an app, instead of emailing or mailing out coupons to get customers into your store, you can simply place them in the app. This helps to reduce your costs on traditional marketing.
When it comes to marketing your business digitally, you can use mobile app development to include precise targeting to your customers. One way you can do this is by sending out push notifications when your customer is near your store or you can send push notifications as a way of retargeting customers who’ve left an item in their cart.
With over 40 percent of all online transactions happening on a mobile device, you can market your services and products easily all in one place, reducing the headache of having to manage multiple marketing strategies.
3. Improve Customer Experience
Customers expect to have smooth experiences when it comes to spending their time and money. You can have the easiest in-store experience and the smoothest website but there’s so much more you can do to improve the customer experience.
With a mobile app, you can further improve the customer experience by offering them a thumb-friendly way to purchase your products and services. The easier you make it for your customer to interact with you the more likely they are to spend their hard-earned money with you.
Another way that you can improve the customer experience with a mobile app is by offering in-app customer service. 37 percent of customers will use a chatbot or online customer service application on their smartphone. Having a mobile app for your business can help you to better interact with these customers.
4. Increase Your Customer Base
In 2004, Facebook started with a handful of classmates. In that first year, it grew to have over 1 million registered users. By 2021, most users will prefer to access the platform using the mobile app.
Or look to TikTok, the app landed on the market in 2016 and since then has been installed over 1.9 billion times as of 2019. If your App meets a need, your customer base will increase by default.
Creating an app can increase your customer base. With 96 percent of Americans owning a smartphone, having a mobile app can help you to reach new customers in new markets easier than traditional marketing ever could.
5. Improve Customer Loyalty
25 percent of users check apps 11-20 times a day, while 51 percent check an app on their phone between one and 10 times a day. If you have a mobile app for your business, you can easily increase the loyalty of your customers.
With a constant reminder of your company on their phone, your customers will go to you instead of someone else to meet all their needs. If you couple this with improved customer service options within the app, you can increase your customer retention rate significantly allowing the app to pay for itself through increased sales and reduced customer service cost.
6. Enhance Customer Relationships
When you work with a mobile app development agency to build your company a mobile app, you can enhance customer relationships. But what exactly does this mean? Enhancing customer relationships is a way that you can improve upon the way that your company interacts with its customer base.
Increased data collection options are how you improve your customer base. One example of data collection is the customer loyalty cards that many supermarkets use to give customers deals. These cards help them gather improved data about their frequent customers to better serve them.
Data collection allows you to personalize messages to your customers. In a recent study, it was found that 52 percent of customers were likely to switch brands due to a lack of personalization in their marketing.
Customers don’t mind marketing they want to be marketed to they just want those marketing messages to be relevant to them. You can improve the relevancy and personalization of your marketing messages through the use of a mobile app.
7. Create Memorability
You can create memorability for your customers with an app. When you have a great mobile app, loyal customers, and succinct branding, you will have a lasting impact on your customer base. All you have to do is create an app with focused branding.
You may be creating an app that is an extension of your physical location, your only storefront, or an app that solves a problem (even a game app solves the problem of boredom), whatever kind of app you create, the amount of work that you put into your app helps create memorability.
When you create an impressive app for your customer base, you can find new customers. The more memorable the app, the more likely they are to share it with their friends. Helping your business go viral in the interim.
89 percent of people who experience a positive interaction with a brand on mobile will recommend that brand to their friends and family. By creating a memorable, positive interaction for your mobile customers, you increase the likelihood that your brand will find new customers.
4 Reasons Why Many Mobile Apps Fail (and How to Avoid It!)
There are several reasons that mobile apps often fail, mostly stemming from a lack of understanding regarding their role and purpose. Thankfully, with some understanding, these can be avoided.
1. Using the Wrong Idea
Sometimes you have what seems like an excellent idea for a mobile app. You might even immediately dive into the development process. This is often where people become stuck, realize they’re remaking another app, or are building an app that has limited customer interest.
There are three things that you can do to avoid these situations:
- Always do market research on your app ideas
- Check to see if you have any competitors on the various mobile app stores
- Map out and wireframe your app before you begin the expensive development process
Market research is essential because it helps you avoid creating an app for a niche community of people that is too small to ever make money off of your app. Creating apps for niche communities is a good idea, but if your target audience is too small or uninterested in apps, you might be spending your time and money on something that will never get you any returns.
Researching competitors in all the app stores is vital because it helps you to see if your app has already been created. While building an app that better accomplishes what one app does is a smart business plan, building a replica of another app is not. Make sure you understand your competitors to avoid creating an app that already exists.
Mapping out your app is key to building a successful, money-making mobile app. When you map out your app before investing time and money in the development of your app, you create a formula for success. A written map or a wireframe can help you see what your app needs to be able to do to adequately meet the needs of your end-user.
2. Executing Your Idea Improperly
It is difficult to see the forest through the trees. Especially for less experienced app developers, it is easy to get caught up in the small details of app design which will hinder success with customers. If your app has interface design issues (like difficult to locate icons, poor color choices, or unresolved bugs that cause it to constantly crash) users will not want to engage with your product.
One of the easiest ways to avoid this pitfall is to contract a mobile app development agency. Working with a mobile app development agency means that you get all the insight and experience that they have accumulated in their years of experience. You can allow them to guide you to the right choices for your app.
Should you choose to develop your app yourself, it would be wise to read up on things like graphic design and common development problems to be better equipped to deal with these problems as they arise.
3. Lacking a Monetization Strategy
If you’re reading this guide, you may be considering building an app for revenue-generating purposes; however, this pitfall is also relevant to those who see their app as a marketing vehicle. You need to have a monetization strategy in mind (even when you aren’t monetizing your app).
Believe it or not, having a solid monetization strategy directly impacts the design of your mobile app. Often people don’t fully think their strategy through which causes a few standard problems.
This often becomes a problem for those developing an app with a single monetization source that is primarily based on ad revenue. These developers will often overuse ads, and their users may quickly become inundated with ads and this will disrupt user experiences.
Offering users a bad experience with too many ads can at its best cause them to use the app less and its worst cause them to uninstall the app and leave a bad review of it in the app store. You don’t want that, you’ll never make any money on your app because people won’t use it and won’t see the ads that are the lifeblood of your monetization strategy.
Lacking a Monetization Strategy
Another pitfall that many people who are looking into mobile app development is creating an app without even considering how they will make money. This is often a problem for those creating an app for marketing purposes.
While you may be creating an app to better market your business to new and current clients, you need to think about how this app will impact your business’ bottom line.
Will you offer coupons in the mobile app to get users to guide users into making a purchase? Will you allow them to shop your site with the app? Or are you trying to reduce refunds with improved customer service through the app? The goal you choose isn’t important but you must have a goal that can be tied to a metric.
4. Forgetting to Iterate Your App
Stagnant apps cannot compete in the marketplace. While no one ever likes the changes that Facebook makes to its app, they do this to improve the user experience incrementally, over time. It is vital to the continued success of your App that you use analytics to continue to make improvements to the user experience.
If your app is not further developed after the initial release, it will quickly become forgotten and take up space on your user’s screen. Updates to the user experience not only create excitement but also help users have a positive experience they wish to share with others.
Furthermore, by improving the app over time, you can add new features that other competitors are adding to keep your app relevant. You don’t want your user to switch to a new app just because they’re doing something slightly better than you. Keep them in your app by adding new and relevant features regularly.
If you avoid these four pitfalls, we believe your app will have its greatest chance of success.
Web Apps vs Native Apps
So when you think of mobile apps, do you think of the differences between them? There are two types of Apps: Web apps which offer a mobile experience of a website, and native apps which are self-contained experiences (think of meditation apps or mobile games).
Building a Web App
A web app allows users to access the content from a website on their mobile devices. Web apps are a good way to enhance the user experience in a way that’s comparable to a native mobile app but doesn’t require nearly as much development time or cost.
Some reasons to choose a web app over a mobile app are:
- Increased familiarity with the website
- Desire to recreate the website user experience for mobile users
- Allows the same content to be accessible on a computer or mobile device
Choosing a web app can also help companies that have a website that is slow to load on mobile devices. For SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, you need a fast loading website. When you build a web app to replace your website on mobile devices, this is called a progressive web app.
However, you may want increased functionality and the ability to use the app offline. If this is the case (amongst others), you will likely need a native app.
Building a Native App
A native app is an app typically downloaded through an app store like the Google Play or Apple App Store. Native apps have more functionality than a web app. With a native app, you can use the full features of the device that the app is installed on, including cameras and GPS.
Native apps are often developed for one platform; however, often in the case of many big-name apps, apps are developed for both Android and iOS devices. Mobile apps developed for both types of devices are typically called cross-platform apps.
When developing your app you need to decide if you want an Android app developed or an iOS app developed or both. Choosing cross-platform app development can help you reach both sets of users which increases your customer base.
Reasons why people often choose to develop a native app are:
- Accessibility in design
- Increased user base
- Flexible update ability
- Decreased maintenance costs
Things to Consider When Building a Mobile App
There are many things that you need to consider when you decide to develop a mobile app. Some things that you need to think about when developing a mobile app are:
- Do you want to develop a native or web app?
- Do you want to develop an app for android devices or iOS (Apple) devices? Or do you want to target both platforms?
- What kind of monetization method are you going to use?
- What marketing plan is best for your app?
- How quickly do you need to get your app to market?
- Do you want to work with a mobile app developer?
How to Decide Between a Native and Web App
Choosing what type of mobile application you want to develop is easy. All you have to do is think about what kind of features your app needs to include.
If your app needs to include photo-taking abilities, access the user’s contacts, GPS, or other smartphone functions, you need to create a native app. If; however, you just want to give users access to information more easily, you should create a web app.
One thing that you might want to consider when you build your app, before choosing a web app is if you might want to, later on, add on any features that would require access to the user’s phone’s features. If you might want to add these features later on in the life of the app, it may be worth the effort of building a native app.
How to Decide Between Android, iOS, and Cross-Platform
You may be struggling to decide which platform you want to target with your app. From a purely financial standpoint, choosing to develop your app only for iOS or Android will limit your consumer base but it is often more cost-effective than choosing cross-platform app development.
Another factor to consider is if your app will meet the rules and regulations of the app stores that you are trying to list your app in. Many first-time app developers will create an app only to realize that their app does not meet the guideline provided by one or both app stores. However, when you work with a mobile app development company they have extensive experience with this so they can guide you through the process to avoid this problem.
Some things you can do to help you decide on what platform, if not both platforms, you should develop your app for are:
- Conducting market research into your target audience to determine which platform is most popular
- Checking out user statistics and picking a platform based on the larger user base
- Sitting down with an app development expert and deciding based on the features you need
How to Choose a Monetization Method
If you’re building an app to make money off of and it’s not a marketing platform for your business, you need to choose one or more of the following monetization methods.
- Selling merchandise
- In-app purchases
- Referral marketing
- Freemium upselling
- Physical purchases
- Collecting and selling data
- Transaction fees
While each option has its benefits and merits, it can be important to dive in and decide which option is best for your app. If you’re creating a gaming app, it might be best to do a combination of in-app purchases and ads; while a company that is using the app as a marketing mechanism might choose physical purchases.
The choice is yours, just do research and talk with an app developer to decide which is best for you.
How to Develop a Marketing Plan for Your App
There are a few different ways that you can market your mobile app. Some of the many ways that you can advertise your app are:
- Running ads on social media
- Advertising on other apps
- Using content marketing through your own website and blog
- Creating video intros
- Promoting your reviews
While there are many more ways that you can advertise your app, these five different ways are some of the most popular ways to market your app.
Social media marketing is a very successful way to market your app because the person looking at the ad is almost always on their smartphone. Additionally, social media marketing is very effective. For example, ads on Facebook are seen by over half of the social media giants 2.5 billion monthly users.
Understanding the Mobile App Development Process
Part of deciding how quickly you want to get your app to the market will be to understand the app development process. While you can certainly undertake the development process yourself, it’s best to work with a knowledgeable and experienced app development agency.
When you work with a mobile app developer, they undertake certain steps. The first step they take is that they sit down with you and discuss your particular needs for your app.
After understanding your needs they create a basic design of your app, this is called a wireframe. A wireframe is like a blueprint of an app that you can navigate. It gives you an example of how your app will work once it is programmed.
The next step, which often happens concurrently with the programming, is to design the layout of your app graphically. Most app development agencies have graphic designers on staff to help you build a beautifully designed mobile app.
Once you are satisfied with your mobile app’s design, the rest of the programming will be completed. Coding is done in a number of different programming languages some of the most popular are Swift, Objective C, React Native, Java, and C#.
As your app nears completion your app development agency will beta test the app. Beta testing is performed to ensure that when your app hits the market it works just as you and your users expect.
Once your app has been beta tested it is then time to launch your app. But the development process doesn’t end with the launch, remember as we stated before that you should always remember to improve your app, you can continue to work with your app development agency to further improve upon your app to keep your customers happy.
Hiring a Mobile App Development Company
If you are concerned about missing out on vital mobile app development steps, your best bet is to hire a mobile app development agency. Working with a mobile app development agency will help you to receive the following benefits:
- A team of experts to help you bring your project from concept to reality
- Someone to help you avoid the pitfalls of mobile app development
- A ready supply of beta testers
- A guide to app store policies
- And much, much more.
What to Expect When Working With a Mobile App Development Agency
Working with a mobile app development agency will provide you with the following:
- Fixed Processes: The team will have a set and well-established plan of action for each phase in the development process, ensuring that for each phase each team member knows their role and requirements.
- User-Focused Development: Expect to be asked a variety of questions regarding the core requirements of your app, the nature of your business, and the expected clientele. This will allow the app to be focused specifically on your unique business requirements.
- Regular consultation During the design phase, expect to consult with your point of contact on both the initial requirements and on design iterations before the app is coded. This procedure is vitally important to ensuring that the final product meets your requirements as closely as possible.
- Experts in their fields The design team will be experienced in application development and the strengths and limitations of the platform. Consequently, they will be able to advise you on possible unconsidered options as well as situations in which your initial requests may be unfeasible or risky.
After understanding mobile app development, you should be ready to embark upon your next big journey to mobile app success. For the greatest success in building a mobile app, just click the link to contact Orange County mobile app development agency, Idea Maker today.