Behind the launch veil: what is after the application release
Crysberry, Management, Marketing, Technology18 October 2019
Let’s imagine you have just developed an app for your business. The date of the launch was the day all your team had been waiting for. But what is after the application release? Was it a successful end of the project? Or was it a big bang moment when the story began? So this post is for those who are curious enough to find out what is hidden beyond the veil of release.
Are we there yet?
To show you where is the end of a project we will use a model of the lean startup in IT:
The lean startup methodology prompts developing products that people showed an interest in. So the launch will create a market by default. This is the opposite method to a traditional one when there is no existing demand and it will possibly emerge after the release.
Here are some key points of the lean startup:
- Developing based on the existing desires of the market.
- Using validated learning, which means a process of assessing consumer interest.
- Mainly focusing on customer-related information such as customer churn rate, lifetime customer value, and product popularity.
- Favoring practices, experimentation more than adherence to a rigid plan.
- Releasing MVP to assess the customer reaction to the product.
Using these principles, the process of the pre-development includes a stage of estimating consumer interest in the product. This helps to determine if the product concept might need to be refined. This stage allows avoiding the unnecessary use of resources in product creation and development. However, this is not the end of the principles’ usage. It’s only a stage for identifying a problem that needs to be solved.
After that, the lean startup method advocates for developing MVP or the smallest form of the product that allows business people to introduce it to the market for feedback. Such testing reduces the risks of developing the final unsuccessful product. Lean startup redefines a startup as an organization that is searching for a scalable business model, not one that has an existing business plan that it is determined to execute.
To sum up, the development process doesn’t end at the date of release. It’s a constant process of receiving customers’ feedback and improving the application according to it. And this stage is called support.
Support stage in the application development lifecycle
Ask yourself: “What comes after I release the application?” Every app will need updates and new features. This is the final part of the development process — Support Stage. It starts as soon as the application is launched.
Get ready to receive complaints about any bugs or teething issues. No matter how many pre-launch testing you completed, there will always be something unexpected that occurs.
The next part of the support that can be planned is when major new devices are announced, or an OS update happens. Such large updates can create issues in the app’s functionality.
Better to be prepared for such obligatory improvements in advance — at the stage of preparing your app development budget.
Another type of support a development team can offer to you is more consultative. This is where app analytics, user feedback and vendor’s years of experience can create recommendations for your app’s potential updates and improvements based on current usage patterns. It can easily result in a product roadmap in case it was not created before the development process.
This document gives a vision of where you want the app to be in a specific period. It’s a great guide to help the evolution of your app. However, timely analytics must influence and amend these plans.
Read also: How Much It Costs to Develop an App
The role of the constant research
So talking about the analytics, the following metrics are the major ones to track:
- Usage & Engagement Metrics — This category of metrics helps to understand how people engage with an app and what makes them continue to use it. More details you can find in the following post.
- Profitability Metrics — This category allows to evaluate how much money you make with your mobile app. Pay attention to:
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) — It tells you the overall value a single user brings to your app.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) — This metric allows knowing how much acquiring new users costs as well.
- Return On Investment (ROI) — This one evaluates the money you make (return) on the money you spend building and marketing, developing and promoting the app.
- Lifetime Value (LTV) — This one identifies how much money each customer brings to your app.
- The Golden Metric — The app star rating is by far the most important and clear one. It helps to improve your app and make it more user-oriented.
The following tools can be useful for tracking the mentioned metrics after the application release:
- Apple Analytics (App-Analytics).
- Facebook Analytics.
To sum up, the date of the application release is just a beginning. There is still much work to make your app and business successful.l.sidorenko