Why No One’s Buying Your Mobile App


Last May, I did a two-part series on how to get yourself set up with an iPhone app developer. Well, that's only half of the equation: What good is an iPhone app if no one's buying it?

It's no good at all, but merely knowing no one is buying it is half of another equation altogether. You have to get people buying it, and to do that, you need to understand why no one's scooping it up on the iTunes or Android app store. Pablo Ruiz, a full-time mobile software developer and entrepreneur, wrote up a list of five reasons why no one is buying your app, and I was surprised at what's on there. Every little thing matters when you're selling an app, and Ruiz says uninteresting screenshots, a boring icon and a poorly chosen name can make all the difference. Of course, lack of extra information or an abundance of lousy reviews don't help, either.

Of course, there's always the possibility you're just a nobody on the app store.

"Nobody cares," says Shawn Smith, creative director and president of local handmade stuffed creatures company Shawnimals. "We have the advantage of having a following for Ninjatown as a brand, and while Trees of Doom! continues to do well, it fell from the top 25 long ago. What if you don't have any following? It's not that what you made is bad, it's just that there's a lot of static out there, so it's incredibly hard to stand out."

So, figure out what it takes to stand out. Just making an app isn't enough to do so anymore. 

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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