Creating a successful mobile app can be difficult. The market is very competitive. The supply far outweighs the demand. Most smartphone users have a handful of apps on their phone and only use a few of them on a regular basis.

So, how can your app thrive in this market? Here are 8 things that successful mobile apps have in common:

1) They Solve a Problem

This is the single most important requirement if you want to have a successful app. Your app needs to meet a need that has otherwise not been met or has not been met sufficiently.

If you can solve a problem for your target audience, it will not only garner attention, but it will create a dependence on your app that will keep users coming back. As the Nextweb puts it, “building an app is about solving problems not chasing ideas.”

With thousands and thousands of apps on the market, you need to find a way to make your mobile app stand out. You can’t do exactly what everyone else is doing and expect your new app to take over the business of an already established, successful app.

So, do your research. Find out what your target audience likes about the mobile apps that are available. More importantly, find out what they don’t like or what they are missing out on. Use this research to fuel your development decisions.

Building a mobile app startup is about solving problems, not chasing ideas

2) They are Innovative

Just because your mobile app is successful doesn’t mean that it’s time to call it a day and kick your feet up. In order to maintain popularity, your app needs to continue to change with new technology and innovative features.

If you don’t continually improve your app and your user experience, it will not take long for a new mobile app to sneak up and take your traffic. There are new apps created every day. You need to be competitive with up-and-comers just as much as you need to be competitive with already existing apps.

3) They are Easy to Use

According to Entrepreneur, a successful app has to be user-friendly and intuitive. If your app is too hard to use, the difficult navigation will outweigh any value that you have brought to the user. People don’t want to have to go through lengthy tutorials just to be able to use the basic features.

Make sure that your app is easy to use and follows the conventions that people are used to. Don’t get too crazy with design or layout. Save your creativity for your features.

4) There’s a Free Version

You don’t need to offer all of your features for free, but offering a free version with limited features will give your target audience a peek into the features that they are missing out on.

If your audience is not willing to pay for your app outright, they will still be able to take advantage of the free version. You can use ads for these accounts so that you still make an income. After finding the value in your app, users may be more willing to upgrade to a paid premium account with more features.

5) They Collect Data

Collecting user data through your app will benefit your business in a couple of different ways. By collecting their data, you better understand what users are interested in. You can use this data to inform your data-driven marketingstrategy.

You can also use this information to direct your creative process when you consider which new features or products to offer. If you know what is selling well, why it is selling well, and who it is selling well to, you can make better estimations about which future decisions will be successful.

6) They Have Good Customer Support

Nothing tanks your public image like bad customer support. When users reach out to you, they are typically already upset or confused about something. If they have a bad experience with customer support on top of that,  you can bet that they’re going to go to the forums with it.

Bad customer support stories travel quickly. Offering good customer support is less of a bonus and more of an expectation. You will have a hard time being successful if you can’t meet that expectation. A person may be willing to use a competitor’s app (even if it’s lower quality) if they believe that there will be better customer support.

7) They Take Criticism

Listen to what your users are saying and act on it. Not only will this help you to constantly fine-tune and improve your app, but it shows your users that their opinion matters. This will encourage users to be more loyal to your brand.

If they feel like their complaints are not being heard, someone new may come along and realize that there is an unmet need and meet that need for them. You risk losing your traffic to someone who is more responsive.

8) They Have Regular Updates

Behind any successful app is a team of hard-working people. These people create updates that increase security, improve features, fix bugs, and more. They are constantly working to make their app better, inch by inch, update by update.

If your app is not updated frequently, you will fall behind. In order to be successful, you have to stay competitive. And in order to stay competitive, you have to be constantly changing, growing, and moving forward.


Developing a mobile app is hard work, and that hard work does not end once the app is released. It needs to be constantly improved. It needs regular maintenance. It needs innovative features. Successful apps are not built and released in a day. So, invest the proper time and energy into making sure that your app has what it takes to be successful.

This post is contributed by Codrin Arsene from Digital Authority Partners

Louise Author