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Is your app unprofitable! Here are 3 reasons why some apps fail?

Apps Fail. And it happens often.

In fact, the success ratio of apps is 1:9. This means only 1 out of 10 apps manage to get the top slot.

And the Rest, well they don’t even earn the initial invested amount.

If you think we are talking about some mediocre apps which flopped, then you are wrong!

Quite surprisingly, even the coolest and most epic app ideas fail to take off.

Is this the case with you?

You cannot understand your app failed, even when it had a killer idea + excellent UX + good engineering.

The question is: Why some apps fail?

Well, there is no definite answer.  The reasons are many. And they vary greatly.

However, we have tried to make things easier for you.

Working for more than 150 mobile app development projects, we have realized that it all narrows down to 3 common reasons:

#1 When you don’t understand your users

Okay, the rule of thumb:  Build an app for users and not for the app store! But, often the reverse happens. Most of the time, an app is build keeping in mind the app stores and not the users.

And this is where you step on the potential minefield!


Okay, let us explain you with an example:

Peter launched his app! He was sure to hit the jackpot, well because according to him: his idea was Awesome and Unique. He believed that even the users will love it.   But, his app nosedived within a few weeks on the app store.  Reason? – Because he didn’t build the app for the Users.  He didn’t focus on providing any kind of solution or satisfy any real needs of the users.

Okay, Peter is just a fictional character. But, the story is not some work of fiction. This is the case with most appreneurs.

Remember: (Often) Even the brightest and most interesting idea go Kaput if it does not resonate with the users.

Time for a Pro Tip!

Identify your target users. Learn what they want and tweak your idea accordingly. In short, Create the App for Users.

Focus on problem-solving. Make sure your app idea provides a quick and feasible solution to a real-life problem faced by the users. This will help you build a specific app. And more specific the app, the higher possibilities of it hitting the right chords with the users.   Result – More downloads and low churn rate.

This is your first step to success!

Now, the question is: How to identify the target users?

Simple – Do thorough market research! 

Market research will throw light on:

  • who are your (target) users
  • their geographical location
  • what exactly they want.

With this data, you can determine whether your app will fit into their requirements.

In fact, market research gives you a clear picture of the prevailing market trends.  You will learn whether the users are ready to accept your app.  In short, you can validate your idea against current market trends.

The Bottom-line: Keep the originality of idea intact. Focus on UX. But, don’t forget to keep users in mind. And most importantly, address their real needs.

#2 When you don’t have a proper marketing strategy

You just launched a killer app on the app store.


But, we have a question.

Do your (targeted) users know about it?

They need to know, or else how will you SELL your App!

Remember – Bad marketing is a potential app killer!  No app sells on its own. People need to know about it.  And that’s why you need to form an extensive and effective app marketing strategy.

Well, it is not that appreneurs do not invest any time in marketing their app.

Still, they fail!


Because app marketing is a completely different ball-game. Here, traditional marketing methods and approach simply does not work.  You cannot just advertise on TV or on billboards. It won’t help!

So, what will help you make a solid marketing strategy?

For a well-informed marketing decision, you need to analyze various metrics like the local culture, demography, average income of the users and other psychographics factors.

Now, the question is: How to market your app?

It’s Simple! You can use:

  • Use Social Media and tell people about your app. Plan teaser campaigns, create a page and let the world know that you are about to release an app soon! It will give quite a mileage to your app and increase your social media outreach.
  • Often good apps are not well-optimized. Result? – Your under-optimized app gets buried under a pile of apps. In short, optimize your apps for the app store with ASO. It makes your app more visible and discoverable even in the crowded app store.

App marketing is not just limited to new user acquisition. It is about a lot of other activities to engage the existing users and keep a check on the app churn rates.

Clever use of push notifications serves the purpose of user engagement and ensuring the users stick to your app.

The Bottom-line: Put 100% efforts in app development, but for app marketing put 200% efforts. Unless the users are not aware of your app, you will never be able to create any fortune.

#3 When you don’t have a proper monetization plan

Launch the app and revenues automatically start pouring in.

If you believe this thought, you are making a fool of yourself! Unless it is not a paid app, there is no way your app can generate direct revenues.

In fact, according to Gartner, only 0.01% apps will be financially successful by 2018.

That’s the reason why you need to build an effective app monetization strategy.

To monetize your app first, you need to understand an app with a ‘price tag’ comes with high expectations attached to it.

Users will only spend money, even if it is as low as $0.99 when they get some high value, reliable and secure features from your app. A low quality paid app is sure to take nose-dive.  Also, people will not pay for your app if they find an app with almost similar features for free.

So, if you want to go live on the store with a paid app, your monetization strategy needs to be built around providing high-value features and best UX.

What about free apps, do free apps earn $?

Yes, a Zero tag does not necessarily mean that app will earn nothing. Most free apps generate their revenues via:

  • Freemium
  • In-app Ads
  • Subscription

Learn more about App monetization strategy for Free Apps. Click Here!

And you know, these models require thorough research. You just cannot make a wild guess or follow your guts and pick up monetization method.

Download some similar apps, analyze the features, think for which features you will readily shed out some dollars. This exercise will help you get into the user’s psyche and understand where to set a paywall.

Also, when you are planning to include in-app ads to generate revenues remember to analyze and track the correlation between ads revenue and user engage metrics. This will help you iterate ad placement. In short, you will just save some users from running away due to ads.

These are some of the reasons we observed that have resulted into a failed app business. However, it may vary with each case.

The Bottom-line: Just keep your eyes open. Think out-of-the-box, but provide users a feasible solution. And yes, don’t forget – never compromise on the UX.

Still, have questions about why your app failed? Or Want consultation to ensure that your (first) app becomes a hit?

Our App consultants will help you find solutions to your questions. Just drop a mail on hello@upsquaretech.com