Apps should focus on doing less better, not more and mediocre

Following my recent article about websites vs apps, I decided to do a follow up article talking more about this subject. In the previous article, we discussed why apps should be used for customer retention rather than for acquisition purposes (for typical small and medium sized businesses), and in this article I’ll elaborate further on what else I believe apps should focus on.

One mistake I frequently see apps make is that they try to achieve too much. Whether it’s adding unnecessary “community” features, or shoehorning a “premium” feature to try and further monetise the app’s users; there’s a multitude of things we consistently see apps add which realistically don’t benefit the end user, despite potentially being promising on paper.

For example, whilst adding community features may seem like a great way to encourage people to return to the app, it’s probably going to get ignored and potentially make the app’s users think that nobody else is really using it (especially if you only have hundreds or a few thousand users).

Ultimately, the app should just focus on one specific function that could benefit customers (which also ties into whatever your product/services are). If you can offer something that makes their life easier and also encourages them to not use your competitors, the app will likely boost customer retention and revenue as a result.

Let’s say I own a joinery for architects and construction developers, for instance. I could create an app that allows clients to upload their designs to a cloud based server that would then be shared with my manufacturing team. They would then be able to see project updates in real time and easily communicate with the staff within my joinery.

The reason why this would be beneficial as an app as opposed to just a website “portal” is because the client could upload information easily whilst onsite, rather than having to take notes to then email once they’re back in the office.

No need to have the app advertise the joinery’s services or products; this is exclusively for customer retention, so the primary focus should be improving the clients’ experience. Otherwise, if I compromise and attempt to use the app to upsell, the clients may stop using it.

By the time clients begin using the app for their projects, they’ll probably prefer this method of communication as it’s more time-effective than back and forth emails or phonecalls. This is just one example of what you could achieve.

I hope you enjoyed this article or found it useful. If you’re interested in seeing more articles like this one, please subscribe! If you have a question or an article suggestion, please let me know!

No real progress to report with the new book unfortunately. Me and my girlfriend are currently buying a new home, and that’s been eating a lot of my energy (which is annoying as I like to be doing my creative projects in the evening).

Hopefully I’ll have some updates soon, but for the time being please stay tuned and purchase my last book if you haven’t already!

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