The Challenges of Start-up Apps

multitaskingShopping while babysitting, signing off documents while traveling, completing bank transactions while enjoying your pina colada by the beach shore–you can do everything as long as you have the immeasurable power of the Internet. But then again, gone are the days when you have to find a desktop, or a power outlet for your laptop. Today, everyone has gone mobile, as this gives them unlimited, fast, and hassle-free access to almost everything they need.

Mobile app marketing strategy.

The mobile platform has signaled a demand for the development of mobile apps. The creation of mobile apps is now deemed as a significant marketing strategy among entrepreneurs who wish to penetrate a bigger consumer base and for entrepreneurs who aim to tap their target audience and make themselves and their products known and visible in the market. If you are any of these entrepreneurs, you will have a common goal, and that is to create an app that will stand out in the sea of mobile apps, an app that will engage your audience, an app that will generate significant income for your business, and an app that can be the next big thing.

An equal playing field.

equal playing fieldJust like how every industry has big and small players, the mobile app industry also has big and small players. A striking difference though is in the app industry, your app, no matter how small you start, has every chance to be a popular app. Think of Facebook and how it started as a small scale app and how it has become so big today, some people cannot live without it! However, apart from getting inspiration from these successful apps, you should also consider them as your competition. If you are building a small app, you can create your own niche or find your own consumers.

Finding loyal users.

As the number of mobile app downloads increases across the mobile platforms, the cost of ensuring  that your app will get a good and strong consumer base has also increased.  The cost for app developers to gain loyal customers has risen to its highest level in two years. Acquiring new and loyal users of your app is now equivalent to $1.80 per customer, which is a dramatic increase of 20% since June two years ago.

A user is tagged loyal when he uses and open the app more than three times. You can only achieve a wider reach and engagement from your audience if you are investing in advertisements. Advertising is a major investment and will require you a huge amount of money and resources. This may not be a big issue for big name brands, but this poses a great challenge for start-up apps that do not have huge marketing funds yet.

More businesses creating mobile apps.

mobile app growthHousehold brands have seen the significance of using mobile apps as an effective business strategy. Based on Fiksu‘s App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the volume of downloads per day in the top 200 ranked free iPhone apps, there is an evident 4% rise, coming from 5.6 million daily downloads in June to 5.8 million in July. Last year, that number was just 4.37 million.  These attractive statistics has been encouraging more and more businesses to invest on mobile apps, thus spending on this investment is also adding up to their costs.

This is good news for the mobile app industry but a really alarming news for smaller app developers. There are even developers who create free, since their strategy is to rely on their customer base to make in-app purchases. While established brands have bigger budgets that can keep up as marketing costs rise, start-ups have to take on larger risks to capture those loyal users.

The challenge for start-ups.

The industry’s marketing costs will take a toll on small apps as they enter the market as there is a pressure on user acquisition costs.  Apple’s new App Store ranking algorithm forces low-ranked app creators to spend more money to enhance their rating as a new strategy.  Second, larger companies are flocking to Facebook’s mobile app advertising platform, which came out late June, which has significantly driven up the price of ads.

Looking for more info to make sure you don’t make a costly mistake?  Checkout our Mobile App Development Guide.

The competition is increasing.

mobile app competitionIt can be a healthy competition out there in the mobile app market, but the more the app market becomes bigger, the more tight the competition gets. Thus, every player needs to spend more on advertising and marketing. While the big brand names can keep up with this game and ensure that they are still on top, start-up apps will have a hard time competing on penetrating the market or at least in capturing a share of this market.  It will be more difficult for them to get funds for their marketing and advertising plans, thus, they need to be more creative on how they can excel and rise above all other apps that have already created buzz.

These challenges may impose big risks for start-up apps but this David VS. Goliath scenario can actually inspire other budding developers to take on the less traditional route of creativity, ingenuity, and originality and compete against the big guns.

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