If you open your phone and scroll through the app section, how many of them do you actually use? For many of us, our phone’s app list looks more like a graveyard. In fact, only one out of every 10,000 apps will become financially stable — only one-hundredth of one percent.

So why do so many apps crash and burn? There are several reasons.

  1. Cost is a huge factor. It can cost upwards of $25,000 to create an app, and since most apps are free, it can be difficult to break even, let alone turn a profit — why would someone pay for something when they can get it for free? Many apps will use the premium model, but that requires a dedicated user base in place, which often takes years.
  2. Another reason is the lack of market research. According to Nielsen, 70% of all US mobile app usage comes from the top 200 apps in the marketplace, and a whopping 42 percent of new apps that failed did so due to a lack of proper market research.

According to the same study, the second leading cause of failure among apps was a weak product or one that failed to bring a unique value proposition to the table.

  1. However, even if developers do their research and provide a quality product, their app may still fail because of a lack of user-friendliness. An un-intuitive UI can sink an app quicker than the Titanic. Some other examples of poor user experience include:
    • Long load times
    • An overlong or clumsy registration processes
    • Lag and other performance issues
    • Difficult to access features
  2. And finally, many apps fail because they can’t (or don’t) adapt to the competition. With the massive number of apps available, it’s difficult to create something entirely new, and even if a developer does come up with a completely original idea, there will inevitably be copycats that pop up (think of how many ridesharing apps there are now). Developers must be able to adapt to the competition to stay competitive.

To see a full accounting of the top 6 reasons why apps fail visit one of many insightful developers trying to ensure that their clients’ apps are engaging and successful.

But how do we measure this type of app success? The first step is research. Developers must understand their desired market; which geographical region are they targeting — will the app be available on Android or iOS or both, and how do those two markets differ?

Are there similar apps already available? What will this new app offer that existing apps don’t? All of this must be addressed from the beginning.

Next is choosing a developer. As previously stated, the second leading cause of an app’s failure is poor quality, so choosing the right developer is vital. Successful apps are simple-to-use, customer-centric, and intuitive, they should be able to perform across multiple devices (imagine if you had an app on your iPhone that didn’t work on your iPad). They must also be rigorously tested to ensure they are bug-free on launch. Finding a developer who can achieve this could be the difference between success and failure.

Finally, creators must ensure they have a marketing strategy to promote their product. You can have the best app in the world, but if no one knows about it, it’s not going to be profitable. Launch parties, press releases, reviews from influencers, and social media contests/promotions are all ways in which creators can generate buzz about their product, and ensure consumers see and have access to it.