Take a peek at the Apple App Store’s top charts and you might dismiss the results as another bunch of kids’ games. However, if you look closely, you’ll see a few carefully curated utility apps that profit from all things, including health & fitness and even photo & video. Whatever the niche, this top grossing content has one thing in common: an effective angle. Want to learn from the best in business? Consider these three “secret” strategies of top grossing apps.
1. Capitalizing on a Cross-Platform Compatibility
With all the popularity of app store games, it’s no surprise that one of the most profitable of the available selections is in fact a game. Number two on the recent charts, the Minecraft – Pocket edition is notable for more than just its ranking. The creators decided to capitalize on the success of the highly lucrative desktop edition. The humble, pixelated game moved to mobile for a complete, cross-platform strategy.
In this case, the secret was in first finding an audience — which Minecraft accomplished through its desktop application development. The creators understood the target market enough to build trust on their home turf: the PC. Ultimately, the app is an afterthought. It takes advantage of the notoriety that the game gained since its main release. The app only serves to make Minecraft more accessible by improving the user experience for a whole new audience without alienating the old one.
Bottom line: these days, mobile may seem like an obvious initial option; however, an end user’s choice device may mean the app should come later rather than sooner.
2. Budgeting for Brevity
You’ll notice a lot of app store favorites consider usability. Apps are meant to make life easier and users collect them with that type of functionality in mind. When it comes to health & fitness apps, you’ll find lots features that focus on quick fixes; for example: the 7-Minute Workout. You’ll see descriptors such as “simple” or “easy-to-use,” as well.
It’s about appealing to a user’s schedule. Think about it: If your app isn’t snappy enough for once-a-day use, then what will keep users coming back? The value of an initial user download cost isn’t adequate for sustainable future earnings. Continued income relies heavily on positive reviews from engaged users. Achieve daily user phone-to-face time by budgeting for brevity or making your app relevant and easy enough for everyday use.
3. Filling the Gaps of Missing Features
Some apps go straight for the “missing features” hard-sell. It’s a risky business plan in that the features you develop today could later be part of the OS (operating system) of tomorrow; however, it’s also a quick way to make a buck. All it takes is finding and filling a need.
Top grossing apps often fill a void in the market — or rather space on a user’s smartphone screen. What do these apps look like? They’re often productivity or functionality builders: apps that know what settings or features are missing from the latest OS, as well as who wants them.