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 The growing number of mobile apps on app stores means heavy competition for new apps. The competition to attract more users, to generate higher revenues, to have a higher number of app downloads and so on. However, increased competition, on one hand, lures young appreneurs & mobile startups. On the other hand, it also means higher chances of app failures. But most of them fall victim to the “stay positive trap” without giving any consideration to the idea of app failure.

Defining a successful app

The definition of the successful app can be put as an app that gets downloaded & regularly used by the maximum number of target customers while yielding high ROI through different revenue channels like paid downloads, in-app purchases etc. The download and usage statistics of a successful app will vary from business to business and the nature of the app.

Factors like the number of downloads, usage stats & target customers are only indicative. There are numerous other factors that play a crucial role in any app’s success. The sure shot way to the successful mobile apps is the due care of all the factors taken by the mobile app developers while developing mobile apps.

From concept to delivery, there is so much that goes into mobile app development. Mobile app development is a strategic ideation process. Therefore, performing a critical analysis of other similar apps; like reasons of their failure. Learning from them and ensuring not to repeat the same mistakes. This will increase the chances of mobile apps being successful.

Top reasons for mobile app failure

Learning from the competition, we have listed top reasons that lead to a failed mobile app.

No.1. Why does mobile app fail? Neglecting Market Research

Great ideas executed in a wrong manner leads to their failure. Similarly, in mobile app development, carrying out the market study is the foremost step and lack of:

  • sufficient market research
  • understanding of the needs of the end users
  • knowledge of existing competition

i.e. lack of thorough market analysis is a perfect recipe to failed mobile apps.

How to avoid! Simple – carry out research-driven development. Study the market to see:

  • how your product will make people’s lives easy by solving a certain problem.
  • whether there is a potential market for your product.
  • if similar products exist and analyze their usage patterns.
  • why similar apps failed for other developers.

Along with the above, gather enough data to demonstrate that your idea is worth your time & money. Release a minimum viable product with enough capabilities that resolve the core issue. Release this to a limited number of users before going into full-fledged development.

No.2 Why do mobile apps fail? Ineffective & Frustrating UX

When we see the Review or Feedback sections of the mobile apps which failed to deliver the expected results, users complain mostly about:

  • complicate UI design
  • performance issues like slow or crashing apps
  • poor workflow design leading to long registration processes
  • poor responsiveness

Along with the above, long loading times & hard access core features etc. This essentially results in frustrating UX & poor usability. Therefore apps get rejected leading to its failure.

How to avoid thisRefrain from adopting design practices which results in a mediocre & unsatisfying UX where users struggle to carry out even core functions with ease. This can be done by implementing the platform-specific designing of UI & UX. In addition, keep the UI design simple & intuitive while paying close attention to app’s core functionality. Carry out UX specific testing and ensure that the design is easy, engaging & attractive.

No. 3 Another reason for mobile app failure! Improper Testing of the App




Having an app full of bugs and glitches is neither beneficial to app stores nor to app owners nor the developers and definitely not beneficial to the end users. For the same reason, all the leading app stores have very strict app submission guidelines in place. It is acceptable to have a few minor bugs in the final software. However, any app that’s loaded with bugs is set to leave a harmful impact leading to its failure.

According to a recent study, the end users of the app find up to 44% bugs which went undetected during testing phase:

  • 24% reported their issues through direct feedback
  • the other 20% is learned through app reviews on app stores

It is evident from the above stats that the lack of quality is yet another top reason as to why mobile apps fail. Moreover, a poorly tested app is bound to spoil user experience. This adds to the reason that we listed earlier.

How to mitigate this factor! It would be true to say that having an app that is 100% bug-free is nearly impossible. However, there are ways to mitigate the impact of this reason. Ensure that the app goes through various automated & manual testing.

A thorough and a well-documented testing across all platforms will ensure that only the high quality and glitch-free app gets released.

No.4 Why mobile applications fail? Ineffective Marketing Strategy

Without a sound marketing strategy, even the best of the best products & services fail. The same applies to the mobile apps world. Having no or ineffective mobile app strategy is a sure shot route to its failure. Without a good marketing plan, the potential users will almost never know if your app existed let alone reaching a wider audience.

How to avoid ineffective marketing!

Chalk out the mobile app marketing strategy that highlights the ideal solution (to a core problem) to the target audience. There are over 7.1 million apps on all the leading app stores combined. Therefore, it becomes even more vital to successfully implement the branding campaign.

There are various channels to target the larger user base, which can be done through:

  • social media sites like Facebook, Google+ etc.
  • promotion through print & TV media
  • blogging & Vlogging on Youtube

There are various other ways this can be done. Just get in touch with a leading mobile app development company. They can guide you on many hidden marketing strategies.

Just ensure that you don’t stop the marketing efforts at app launch. Marketing efforts must go on well after the launch to make the most of your mobile application.



No. 5 Why mobile applications fail? Lack of Monetization Strategy

Apart from designing, developing & marketing, an important part of any mobile app development is to have a strong app monetization strategy. Mobile apps monetization strategy is nothing but generating a steady and decent flow of cash.

A study conducted by Gartner, says that by 2018 only about 0.01% of the mobile apps will be financially successful. We have seen other reasons for app failures. However, this one reason seems to be the most frequent reason for mobile app failures financially.

How to monetize app smartly!

Having an appropriate app monetization strategy is a key to commercially successful mobile apps. The strategy must be a combination of several monetization methods as per the budget. A few popular methods are listed below.


  • Paid Downloads
  • In-app Purchases
  • In-app Advertisement
  • Premium versions of Basic Apps
  • Subscription Services
  • Feature Unlocks or in-app currency

Another way to increase the ROI is to develop an app that’s highly scalable in nature. This will allow mobile app developers to release your app on multiple platforms. Having a multiple-platform app will generate additional cash-flow. This will improve its overall financial success.

Closing Notes

The reasons listed above may seem too obvious. However, overlooking these factors can lead to a chaotic development strategy resulting in mobile apps failure. Therefore, it’s quintessential that you make carefully planned moves. Focus on market research, best UX design practices and thorough testing backed by strong marketing & app monetization strategies. This can make a huge difference between the failure and success of your app.

However, if you still find yourself unsure or undecided about mobile apps development and need experts to assist you, do get in touch with us. At Surmount Softech, we have years of hands-on experience in engineering some highly successful mobile applications. We are always open to take on new challenges.