How to optimise an app for sustained growth

After successfully strategising, building, and launching your business app, what comes next? The post app launch period for a business is one of the most critical times in establishing presence within a marketplace and laying the groundwork for future success. For small or medium sized businesses with limited budget, staff, and resources, it is critical to be aware of the importance of this stage of the app development process and make decisions that will ensure the app’s long-term growth and success. While also ensuring that they are meeting the overarching business goals.

The most successful apps are those that develop a clear strategy for success and identify what this success looks like. With that in mind, it is important to adapt based on user feedback and remain aligned with the brand’s purpose, always keeping these goals in mind and using them as a ‘north star’ to guide. In February 2024 alone, over 52 thousand new mobile apps were released through the Google Play Store alone. Make sure your business’ app stands out and is best prepared to be in what is a resilient, often unpredictable, market.  

Why a post-launch roadmap is needed

The first version of a business’ app, or its Minimum Viable Product (MVP), should include the essential features needed for operation. This initial stage allows the business to test the app and collect user feedback, which is crucial for guiding future enhancements and refining existing features. A post-launch roadmap is invaluable to help monitor what is working and what needs to be adjusted to ensure that the business’ platform remains competitive long-term.  

An intentional post-launch roadmap and strategy deepens the understanding of user behaviour, revealing how they interact with the app. Insights into user preferences and behaviour patterns are instrumental in deciding which features to adjust or improve after your initial launch. This roadmap can also help calculate the future goals of the app’s growth. For example, what changes need to be made? Or, what are the key milestones that will most appeal to app users? Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for long-term growth and success.  

Additionally, a bespoke post-launch roadmap allows users to direct the future of the business’ digital growth. Today’s digital savvy consumers expect businesses to have a dedicated app, with over three-quarters (76%) of users choosing to shop in a mobile app as opposed to a desktop browser. By empowering users, an organisation can maximise the app’s potential to achieve its business objectives and its evolution. All of the successful apps out there have created a sense of community by listening to users and utilising that data as the foundation for future growth plans. Prior to creating this roadmap, keep a few strategies in mind for post-launch success, analysing new features and staying true to the company’s purpose. 

Defining what success looks like

When creating a post-launch roadmap, it is important to frequently monitor the app’s progress and define what success looks like. Establishing a timeline for evaluations can highlight areas in need of improvement. For a premature app, monthly check-ins allow analysis of feedback and user behaviour, which are essential for adapting to today’s dynamic market effectively. Moreover, it is imperative to set metrics for both success and potential failure. Consider factors such as engagement, retention rate, app crashes, load time, reviews and in-app navigation to ensure performance is meeting, not only today’s increasingly demanding user standards, but the business’ own goals.   

Adjusting and experimenting with new features

Once success is defined, identify what features are resonating well with users and when to change these to improve the overall experience for them. Do not make changes for changes sake. Recognise that while some features may prove to be popular, unnecessary tweaks can result in unsatisfaction and lose engagement. Know when – and more importantly when not to – make changes to meet consumer expectations. Test and experiment improvements through regular releases and beta tests. This will allow teams to collect data that can improve overall experience and allow for personalised solutions. As a business digitally evolves, it is important to establish a process for how it will continue to check-in and make tweaks here and there to ensure that it is developing in line with users’ preferences.  

Being true to the brand and open to feedback

Do not forget that an app is a digital extension of the business, whether it is focused on e-commerce, fitness, or financial services. The guiding light for decision-making should be the company’s vision. Crafting strategies that both embody this vision and serve a specific purpose will be pivotal for sustainable growth. Frequent communication with the app’s community – whether it is through a support form, survey or focus group – will provide invaluable insights to leverage to enhance seamless operation and usability. Users are looking for businesses that they resonate with along with personalised recommendations whether that is a suggested purchase, birthday perk or loyalty incentive. Understanding and diving into users’ preferences can allow the business to build a sense of community that supports and trusts the brand’s vision.

Overall, the post-launch period is crucial for digital business growth and software developers. By offering valuable lessons on how the product or service resonates with users, knowing where and when to make adjustments and staying true to the company’s purpose can result in a fruitful app that fills a real need in the market. A flexible mindset, openness to change, and a commitment to continuous innovation are key ingredients for an app’s long-term success.

Rohan Patel SVP Engineering of Builder ai

Rohan, based in London, is the SVP of Engineering at Builder.ai, a platform that allows people to bring their app idea to life without needing technical expertise. He is passionate about creating scalable solutions and identifying ways to improve how software is built from the ground up. Prior to Buider.ai, Rohan was the VP of Engineering at Shoto, and has spent the last 14 years across multiple startups.

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