Why Mobile Apps Fail: Reasons And Tips To Fix It

Dyachenko Anastasia
Dyachenko Anastasia
CEO at Cadabra Studio. UX expert and business consultant

We use various mobile apps daily, but do you know that there is a large number of apps that failed? And there are more of them you can even imagine. Each app owner needs to make their app popular and demanded. But some entrepreneurs make mistakes and it leads to app failure. 

As Leanplum states, 79% of users abandon the app after the first day. It means your app should be awesome and meet the expectations of future customers. Why do apps fail? The answer to this pressing issue you will find below. We would like to describe the main reasons for app failures, and how you can avoid them. 

Reasons For Mobile App Failure

First, it is necessary to figure out the reasons why apps fail. The matter is that almost all reasons are not new and they remain repetitive. And we want you to get acquainted with each of them not to keep making the same mistakes. 

Your App Isn’t Problem-Solving

If your app is a clone of another popular app and it doesn’t have any originality, don’t be surprised that nobody needs your app. An app should solve a specific problem (or a few), and provide users with something they couldn’t find in other apps. 

Even when you intend to compete with big players on the market, you need to make sure your app will have major advantages over competitors. And remember that gaining a profit cannot be your final goal, otherwise you will fail undoubtedly. 

You Don’t Know Your Target Audience 

“Why nobody needs my app?” — you ask yourself. Cause you don’t even realize what audience you built an app for. For example, you created a social media app. And you are waiting till the user base grows and your app becomes popular. But time has passed, and nothing has changed. Because you don’t know what potential target audience of your social media app has to be. 

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

Before you start, you need to conduct research, analyze your ideas, and find out more about the target audience for your app, depending on the type of app. Reach the right audience — and the success of an app is in your pocket. 

Improperly Chosen Platform

Of course, it is up to you what app platform you will choose. But your choice cannot depend only on your preferences. You need to do market research considering an app type, and figure out what platform would be more appropriate. But if you have enough budget to make an app for both iOS and Android, it is a win-win scenario. 

App Is Too Complex 

Your app is used by people like you. So imagine that you are a regular user. You open an app, look for some specific features, but it takes too much time, and finally, you don’t find what you expected. What is your reaction? Anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment. The same users of your app feel in case it is too complex. 

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

Your app must be easy-to-understand, have simple navigation, clear list of features. The user experience should be as simple as possible but crowd-pleasing at the same time. So complexity is another reason why apps fail. 

Abundance Of Features (Or Lack Of Them)

Those apps that are abandoned after the first day of use have no golden middle in the number of features. That is, when you strive to add as many features as possible, it is not a good option. Once users see an abundance of features, they will unlikely be happy. They will probably be confused and search for another app. 

Lack of features also plays against you. If app has too few features, it won’t show any value. 

At the same time, when there are too many features in your app, it may seem awkward and users will abandon it. You need to study in detail how many features your app may include adequately. 

Poor UX

This aspect includes many important issues. Apart from clear and intuitive navigation that must be available by default. Poor quality of an app implies its long load time, long registration process, etc. Ensure your app has high performance, add a splash screen if the load time takes more than 5 seconds, make it valuable. The secret is simple. 

Ignoring Customers

Your customers’ opinion is the most critical for you. Listening to them, you can improve your product, make all the necessary changes, and give your customers a new wonderful experience. But some app owners consider customer feedback unnecessary, and it is their major mistake. 

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

You need to collect feedback from customers and respond to them. When customers know they are appreciated, you will gain more users, app popularity will grow as well as customer loyalty. 

How An App Can Be Helpful: Tips To Avoid App Failures

Useless apps speak for themselves. Nobody wants to use them. So it is recommended to keep up with three simple steps that will prevent your app from failures and let you succeed and grow. 

Do A Detailed Research 

From the very beginning, you need to analyze the market and get acquainted with existing competitors, before you start to make an app for your business. When you analyze other apps, discover their features and list them. It will help you make your app stand out and gain the lead in the market. 

You must keep in mind that haste makes waste. Any mobile app requires a solid approach to build it efficiently. And you will be rewarded — there would be no question “why nobody needs my app?”

You may also like another article: How to Do User Research

Comprehensive Testing Is Required

To make sure your app works properly and without failures, thorough testing comes to the rescue. Comprehensive testing includes all types of testing like usability, functionality, unit, security, smoke testing, and others. Besides, mind to perform quality assurance during each update of your app. 

Regular Updates Improve Customer Experience

As we noted above, one of the reasons why apps fail is the total ignoring of customers. You need to improve your app due to customer preferences and fix all bugs on time. It will be the best proof of your respect for customers, and they will have more trust in your product. 

Also, if you already have a website and its metrics results leave something to be desired, maybe it is the right time to make a website redesign. Our recent article gives you a hint when a website redesign is necessary. 

Key Metrics To Monitor When You Launch Mobile App

Continuing our discussion on tips to avoid failures, it is necessary to mention important metrics you should monitor. These metrics will help you stay tuned and always be ready to fix something promptly. Check them out!

  • DAU and MAU. These abbreviations mean daily active users and monthly active users. You need to track how many active users in your app every day and every month. It gives you an understanding of how useful and popular your app. Then, you can track specific users who use your app on an ongoing basis.

  • A number of downloads. Why is nobody downloading my app? If this question arose, you need to take urgent action. Not to miss it, you should monitor a number of downloads. You can measure user engagement and see how your app gains or loses popularity. Your marketing strategy directly affects the downloads level as well.  

  • Retention rate. This metric is critical for app success since it helps you monitor how many users were retained during a day, week, month, etc. The higher the retention rate is, the better it is for you. Sudden loss of users may be a signal for you to make immediate updates.

  • Churn rate. It is a polar opposite of the retention rate. Mind to monitor how many users abandon the app, remove it, give a poor star rating, etc. It should be as lower as possible. Otherwise, it means your app has no value. 

  • Lifetime value. Another critical metric that allows you to check when each customer is more valuable during their customer lifetime. It means when exactly this customer generates more profit for your app (purchases, ad clicking). And it should be not lower than your CPA metric (read more below).

  • CPA. Cost per acquisition (CPA) is a metric that lets you know how expensive each customer is. To attract each customer, you spend a specific amount of money, and you need to know this amount precisely. If this rate is higher than the lifetime value rate, you lose your money, zero profit. So pay attention to it. 

  • Session interval/session length. Here everything is simple. A session interval rate means the time between sessions. It means how often users launch your app again. Session length shows how long people surf your app. Both rates are important for the measurement of user engagement level. 

  • Conversion rate. You track how many actions were taken in your app. So conversion rate is a percentage of users who performed specific actions. And your task is to find out whether users achieved their goal or not. You will be able to improve customer experience and identify your weak sides.

  • App load time. If your app loads more than 5 seconds, it may be a failure, remember? Thus, you should always check app load time, and ensure a high-quality interaction between app and customers. A splash screen may be a good option to achieve it. 


It is much easier to fail than to succeed. It is an established truth. So when you want to learn more about software development and how to make an app for your business, you need to understand the expediency of this process. Analyze the market, your potential target audience, existing competitors, etc. 

Our goal is to help you create a first-rate mobile app. If you are looking for software developers you may entrust the idea to, get in touch with us. Our experience includes the development and design of web and mobile products, so our team is always at your disposal! 

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