Pre-Launch and Post-Launch Mobile App Development Pitfalls

Android App Development, iOS App Development, Mobile App Development

Mobile apps have been one of the biggest IT trends in recent history. In the last ten years, we have seen a rapid increase in the popularity of smartphones and smartphone apps. From allowing the customers to video chat with their doctors or book a massage, to helping enterprises in tracking employee productivity and providing them with critical business insights, mobile apps are everywhere and are changing our lives for the better.

According to buildfire.com, mobile apps are expected to generate $189 billion in revenue in 2020. Today, major app stores are full of apps of all shapes, colors, and sizes, catering to our every need. According to Statista, at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019, there were 2,570,000 apps on Google Play Store and 1,840,000 apps on Apple App Store.  

These numbers clearly indicate that there is a vast market for mobile apps with plenty of room for new players to come in and leave their mark. But it is easier said than done. Making an app isn’t as easy as some people would have you believe. There is much more to it than sound coding skills. If you really want your app to be successful, then you will have to think of everything, from marketing to customer service. 

Now, a newbie in this competitive market can feel overwhelmed and make a lot of mistakes, and that’s okay. That is the only way you will learn. But some pitfalls, however, can very easily be avoided. And today, we will talk about some pre-launch and post-launch pitfalls that you need to avoid.

Pre-Launch Pitfalls

Pre-Launch-PitfallsLaunching your app is an exciting moment. Countless hours of hard work, planning, bug fixing and bickering with your developers over designs and ideas, and not to mention the agony of watching those dollar bills slip away from your wallet, all of it has led to this. The big moment. The moment, when your app goes out into the world.

The air is heavy with exhilaration and you want to go ahead, with each passing day, you are growing more impatient. You want to release your app, now! But, hold your horses, because you may not be ready just yet. Before you launch your app, you need to ask yourself, is your app really ready? And even if it is, have you done all you can to make sure that once it lands on app stores, it will receive love from the users? If you don’t ask yourself all these questions, chances are your app will never reach its true potential. A lot of times it happens that in the excitement of the launch, makers skip some of the most crucial steps in the app development cycle, and given below is a list of some of those steps:

1. Beta-Testing
2. Lackluster App Store Optimization
3. Pre-Launch Marketing
4. Chasing Perfection
5. Over Cluttering
6. Diving in Head First

1. Beta-Testing

Every app that leaves a production line, before heading out into the world, is thoroughly tested by QA engineers. It is their job to find out every single flaw and bug in the app to make sure that a quality app is being delivered to the user. 

But, QA engineers are humans, too, and they are, like all of us, prone to making mistakes. So every now and then, a bug or two manages to slither between the cracks. And that is where Beta Testing comes in handy.

Beta testing is a phase in software testing in which an end-user is allowed to use the application for some time and is asked to provide his inputs. A Beta Tester gives his review of the product; he talks about its functionality, its UI/UX, he tells you what can be improved and what needs to be removed. To sum it up, Beta Testing allows you to have a customer review, before showing it to any real customers. 

It is your chance to fine-tune your app according to your prospective users. In the end, you need to keep in mind that your app is intended for your users. So no matter how awesome you think your app is, if your users don’t agree with you, they will uninstall your app and will leave a scathing review on your app store page, which will scare away other prospective customers. 

Some of the biggest reasons for an app to be uninstalled are app crashes, poor UI/UX design, and slow response time. And all these things can be fixed with the help of Beta Testing. So make sure that before you roll out your app, you give it to a couple of Beta Testers for a test drive and take their inputs very seriously.

2. Lackluster App Store Optimization

You may have read something about App Store Optimization online at one point of time, it is hard not to because anyone who claims to know something about mobile app development knows just how important ASO is for an app’s success. 

Much like SEO, ASO is the art of making sure that your app ranks better than the rest in your category. With the help of keywords and well-worded app descriptions, apps can rank at the top on any app store. Most app store users won’t give much heed to any app that ranks below 5, mostly because ranking low means your app is not as good as the ones that are ranking higher than you. 

This will cost you downloads. So in order to reach a larger customer base, you need to take ASO very seriously. It will draw in more customers and revenue.

3. Pre-Launch Marketing

You cannot wait to market your app till after it is launched, that will be too late. For your app to get the boost it deserves, you need to create a ramp; you need people looking out for your app’s launch. Only then will you be able to get a good start. Or else, if you wait for your app to be launched before you even lift one finger to market it, then the growth will be sluggish. Your app will not get discovered and that will hurt your revenues and downloads. 

So a sound pre-launch marketing plan is necessary to ensure your app’s success. It will give your app that initial boost that will make it a sensation.

There are many ways you can market your app. You can take the help of mobile ads, you can go for billboards, you can give radio and television ads. You can even market your app on social media platforms. Apps like Instagram and Facebook offer powerful marketing and business tools at very reasonable prices.   

4. Chasing Perfection 

While putting your best foot forward makes sense, overdoing it can be a dangerous thing. When you release an app, you want it to be perfect. You want to pick out every single mistake there is, you want it to be bug-free, you want it to look pretty and run smoothly, you want for its response time to be optimal.

Basically, you want your app to be perfect. But deep in your heart, you know that it never will be.

Waiting for your app to be perfect will only make you more miserable and paranoid. You will unnecessarily dump in a lot of money, overclutter it with features that you don’t need and in the end, the app will be completely rejected by the market. Customers can always tell when you are trying too hard to please them. So take a deep breath and tell yourself that it is okay if my app is not perfect, it doesn’t have to be.

5. Over Cluttering 

It is very common for app makers to get over-excited about all the possibilities and how their app can help their customers that they stuff all types of unnecessary features in their app in the very beginning. This overwhelms an average user; they don’t want a plethora of features thrown in their face the moment they open a new app. You need to entice them with your core features first. And once you have started to gain users, you can start releasing new features to your app. This way, your app’s feature list will grow, but gradually. This will also keep people excited about your app. If you release regular updates after the launch and with every update, you roll out a handful of new features, customers will stick around. 

6. Diving in Head First

An idea is a powerful thing. It can inspire great inventions and it can orchestrate astounding blunders. What most people don’t get is that getting an idea is the first step in any direction. It is essential, but at the same time, it is utterly insufficient. It cannot hold up the load of all the expectations that you are putting on it, not unless you reinforce it with a sound plan to make it a reality. An idea alone will not take your far, but couple it with in-depth market research and a well-thought-out game plan, and you are ready to take over the world. 

The App development spectrum is vast. Customers come in various flavors with different requirements. Different age groups seek different things in an app. And until and unless you conduct market research, you won’t find out which age group is likely to be interested in your offering and what more you can do to reel them in. Market research usually consists of interviewing prospective customers, learning about your competition, seeing what they are doing right and what they can improve upon.

Market research gives way to a sound plan, which is equally important for an app’s success. 

Post-Launch Pitfalls

Post-LaunchSo you did everything right and your app is now out the door and you are seeing downloads on app store pages, kudos! But if you think that this is it and that you can now kick back with a couple of drinks and watch the money flow in, then you’ve got another thing coming your way because launching an is just one half of the picture. Once an app is out in the market, you need to keep the buzz from fading, you need to keep your customers hooked and you have to constantly try to get more in. So here are some of the post-launch pitfalls that people often fall into.

1. Poor Customer Support
2. Not Releasing Frequent Updates
3. Not Fixing Bugs
4. Ignoring Customer Reviews
5. Ignoring the Stats
6. Not Bulking up Your Security

1. Poor Customer Support

Once you have managed to get customers, you need to keep them. Customer retention and loyalty is the key to success and one way to do it is by providing them good customer support.

Customers can run into all sorts of problems. They may be unable to log into their accounts, the app could be crashing, or, if it is an eCommerce app, their order could be stuck. So you need to find an effective and quick way to receive customer queries and try your best to fix them as soon as you can. This will ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty and you will enjoy their repeated business. 

2. Not Releasing Frequent Updates  

Talking of customer retention, it is very easy for customers to grow bored with an app that doesn’t do anything new. Updates are vital for customer retention. This keeps them excited and gives them new things to do. All the biggest players on major apps stores roll out updates on a regular basis. Even app stores keep an eye on how many updates you release and what is the frequency of those releases and treat you accordingly. An app that doesn’t get regular updates gives off the vibe that the makers are no longer interested in the app and that makes customers disinterested in the app too.

Updates are also a great way to release the features that you wanted to in the beginning but didn’t due to budget constraints or time shortage. So rolling out updates regularly and giving your customers something to be excited about will do wonders for your app.

3. Not Fixing Bugs

As we said earlier, a perfect app doesn’t exist. So if you try to release a perfect app, chances are that its never coming out. But being a stickler about details and rolling out a buggy app are two different things. Even after extended testing runs, it is possible that some bugs might slip through. Some bugs don’t even show up until the app is working in a real-world environment. 

Don’t panic!

It’s not the end of the world. You can fix those bugs now. But refusing to do that can spell doom for your app. Users won’t forgive you if you let a bug stay, a security or a UI/UX. So make sure that if some bugs surface after the app’s been launched, you fix them. If you don’t do that, then the customers will start questioning the quality of your product and pretty soon, you will start losing them.

4. Ignoring Customer Reviews

Customers like to be heard; they want their opinions to matter and to be taken seriously and they choose app store comments section to share them. So you need to keep a firm gaze on your app’s app store pages because customers can sometimes drop some vital suggestions or point out some critical bugs. 

And even if they are not giving you any information that you can use, still you have to make them feel like they have been heard. So apologizing for their inconvenience in a reply and telling them to send you a detailed description of the issue is a good way to calm them down.

If you ignore customer reviews and comments and don’t drop replies on a regular basis, then your customers will feel like their opinions don’t matter to you and they will start abandoning your app.

5. Ignoring the Stats

Your marketing doesn’t end with your app launch. Once the app is up and running, you need to constantly work on bringing in new customers. At the same time, you need to keep an eye on how your app is doing. How many downloads have you had so far? What is our user retention rate? How many daily users do you have? How many monthly users do you have? And how much revenue are you earning per customer? 

You need to keep an eye on these stats because they will help you in tweaking your marketing plan and find a way to boost your revenue. 

6. Not Bulking up Your Security

Some security threats only show up when the app is operating in the real world. So when you identify them, a bug, a backdoor to your customer database you didn’t know you had, you need to fix them. Data theft, identity theft, and swiping money from your customer’s account, all these things can and will happen if you are not careful. So make sure that you don’t overlook any security-related issues. 

At the same time, the integrity of your app is very important too. You need to make sure that no third party is leeching off data from your database. You need to provide your customers with a secure environment to work in. 

This is not a one-time thing either, you will have to bulk up your security over the course of time. New threats come every day, so you cannot have the same security measures you did six months ago. Outdated security can lead to a massive data breach and cost you revenue and customers. So make sure that even after your app is live, you keep working hard to provide top-notch security to your customers. 

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Conclusion

Mobile app development is a tricky and risky business, especially for first-timers. There is a minefield of pre-launch and post-launch mistakes that you need to venture across, making sure that you don’t step on one and blow up your whole operation. And with the help of this guide, you can make sure that you don’t become a cautionary tale. 

Another thing that can help you on this journey is the correct development partner. So make sure that whoever you choose to build your app, understands and respects your vision and is willing to deliver on his promises. Matellio has years of experience in developing top of the line mobile apps using the latest technologies.