This is a Guest Post by Steve Chopper. Steve is a marketing grad who reviews business apps for a number of small biz blogs.
Success-driven entrepreneurs are led to believe that developing a mobile app will generate high profits and new streams of revenue. In actuality, apps lose 76 percent of users within the first three months, reports Entrepreneur. Gartner also predicts that only 0.01 percent of all mobile apps will be financially successful by 2018.
Mobile applications aren’t necessarily profit generators as much as branding and product awareness tools, explains Ken Dulaney, Gartner VP and distinguished analyst. Of course, there are a boatload of measurement and tracking tools for budding and established brands as well. For example, Chargify offers online recurring revenue management for businesses, as well as a free iPhone app that provides the user with a metrics overview. The app complements the company’s product and brands the mobile recurring revenue management experience.
Free apps and monetization challenges also block opportunities for profit gains, yet the the app market is certainly not in despair. In 2013, mobile app usage grew by 115 percent, and social apps for messaging grew by 203 percent, according to a report by Flurry Analytics.
Here’s a glance at three app success stories that have managed to surpass the test and launch into app victory:
CheckPoints: Lessons Learned
Free shopping and retail discounts app CheckPoints, created by inMarket, was launched in 2010. It also has a sequel app, List Bliss, following in its footsteps, as Entrepreneur points out. List Bliss simplifies grocery shopping by creating lists, tracking ingredients in pantries, offering sharing options, and reviewing coupons and products. For the second time around in app development, inMarket learned lessons, such as the value of attention to detail, which helped them earn more than 20 million users. Steer clear of a buggy, dead product with these inMarket tips:
- Make registration simple and fast; impatient users will have no problem ditching your app’s sign up process
- Make it minimally functional and purposeful; eliminate unnecessary items
- Offer exclusive features to acquire devotion; focus on flexibility and an intuitive design
- Pay attention to every detail and test every minor function
- Continue to make tweaks, anticipate problems and implement customer service responses
Summly: Mobile App Millionaire
Nick D’Aloisio, a 17-year-old from London, created an app called Summly that turned him into an Internet millionaire after selling it to Yahoo. The app simplifies information and provides quick content summaries from thousands of sources.
The Guardian spotlights the ‘app-preneur’ and offers the following tips on how to make a fortune with your next big idea:
- Ask yourself whether your app is appealing or if it solves a problem. Does it already exist, who will use it, and is it useful?
- Find mentorship from an experienced app builder
- Start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for your app vision
- Check out General Assembly, Steer or Code Academy to learn how to build the app independently
- Promote the app with media attention, teaser videos and sign-up incentives
QuizUp: Surpassing Expectations
QuizUp went live in early November of 2013, and about a month after its launch, the app had more than three million users and 130,000 new downloads every day. QuizUp is a trivia app that connects users to friends or strangers. Users play against one another in a match of seven rounds and questions spanning a wide range of topics. In only seven days, QuizUp had one million users registered.
Forbes staff writer Prerna Shinha spoke with QuizUp founder and CEO Thor Fridriksson about how the app achieved outstanding immediate success. He shared that his app does the following:
- Serves as an interactive platform; users can even create their own content for new and existing topics
- Offers social features and micro communities; players can chat and participate in discussion boards
- Provides educational opportunities, along with competitive and fun gaming
- Appeals to passionate fanatics by creating topics that are niche and specific