10 Key Ingredients For Successful Mobile App Development

What makes an application a groundbreaking app like Uber or TikTok? Can anyone ever predict whether an app will succeed or sink into oblivion like 99% of all mobile applications? Even though the success of a software solution is determined by a wide variety of aspects, including economic and social situations, we believe that learning the following ingredients will drastically enhance your chances of creating a booming app with a high retention rate.

We have collected the top ten characteristics that can predetermine a successful mobile app. Please read our guide to learn about the most useful prerequisits for mobile app development that increase the chances for landing a fruitful and lucrative mobile solution?

Anatomy of a Mobile App

10 Key Ingredients for Successful Mobile App Development

How to organize a mobile app development process that can lead to a successful application? Learn ten key aspects of a successful app from our top software development experts.

Product-Market Fit

This aspect is threefold:

  • Investigate your competition and research the mobile app development market.
  • Identify your target audience and learn their needs, desires, and pain points.
  • Determine your unique selling proposition (USP), something that helps you stand out from the competition - and the crowd.

No matter how innovative and superior your product might be, it is crucial to fit into the current market. Demand for different types of mobile services often fluctuates, and it is vital to observe mobile app development trends.

The Right Team

Depending on your budget and preferences, you may choose among different strategies:

  • Hiring an in-house team;
  • Looking for freelancers;
  • Outsourcing the entire project or some parts of it to a third-party mobile application development service;
  • Utilizing staff augmentation or dedicated development teams.

All of the above have pros and cons: in-house hiring is lengthy and expensive, while freelancers can sometimes be unreliable and unprofessional. Companies that outsource tend to lose control over the project. However, they do usually keep the budget in line. Staff augmentation refers to hiring one or several mobile app development professionals to temporarily fill in missing knowledge and skill gaps without going through a cumbersome in-house hiring process, and at the same time, preserving control.

Latest Technologies and Trending Functionality

Plan for the future and assume that you will be successful and require scalability to grow and expand. Using the latest mobile app development technologies allows you to have resources for growth and development. If possible, include the most appealing technologies, such as AI and AR/VR, to attract more users. Research shows that these technologies tend to increase user interest and thus increase revenue or monetization options.

Personalization of the App

88% of marketers from the US claim that their revenue has increased after they added personalization features to their software solutions. App personalization addresses the customizability of the interface, color schemes, fonts, notifications, etc. Additionally,  mobile application development services with personalization refer to analyzing customer behavior, tracking purchase, and search history to come up with personalized suggestions. 

High Performance

App performance plays a significant role: 62% of users uninstall apps after experiencing crashes and freezes. Present-day users are accustomed to a certain level of performance and stability and will not be forgiving of errors. The most successful apps in 2021 have one thing in common: excellent performance, with zero to minimal bugs. Create an MVP, collect feedback, and release a new error-free version of the product.

Cross-Platform App Development

How to create a successful mobile application without going over budget? The answer is simple: by choosing cross-platform technologies. You will significantly reduce mobile app development costs if you decide to build an app that runs across platforms. With React Native and Flutter technologies, you can create a high-performance solution with an excellent interface and advanced features while keeping your mobile app development costs within budget.

User engagement

How to make a successful app in no time? By actively engaging users into taking action and interacting with your custom mobile application. Make sure to add a notification feature into your app and send alerts about discounts, special offers, new additions, etc. However, do not bombard your users with notifications, and only send them when they can be of use to your customers. Other popular user engagement strategies involve offering a free trial so that users can try your app without obligation and reward or loyalty programs to entice customers to be more active with your brand.

Bug-free app

How to ensure an error-free application? By conducting a rigorous testing process. Ensure to employ custom mobile development services that test your application and then fix the uncovered bugs. There are various strategies of testing, such as canary and blue/green testing, and different tools to automate these processes. To be sure that you choose the correct one, use services from a trustworthy mobile app development company.

Offline functionality

This aspect is not mandatory but extremely useful. Especially for certain types of apps like maps, being able to perform without an internet connection is a crucial skill that determines the product’s success. However, building in the offline features might be pretty tricky.

App monetization

One of the critical features of a successful mobile app is a well-developed monetization strategy. Monetization strategy will decide whether or not your app will be financially successful and create a stream of income. There are several options:

  • In-app advertising
    Easy to implement but in-app ads often deteriorate the UX
  • Subscription & Freemium model
    Stable income but enormous investments are required
  • Data monetization
    It’s easy to obtain revenue from customer data, but adherence to data privacy laws is required
  • In-app purchases 
    Generate a steady income, but Apple and Google take 30% commissions.
  • Virtual currency
    Easy to implement, but virtual currency needs to be worth buying (e.g., in a game)
  • Transaction fees
    Scalable method, but this only works for marketplace apps.


Sometimes knowing which app will boom and become the next Instagram, and which one will miserably fail is almost impossible. Very often, it is determined by unexpected factors and pure luck. However, there are some common patterns in the mobile app development process that all successful apps follow. Hopefully, after reading our guide, you will have a better idea of building a fruitful application that will generate stable income and attract a broad user base.


What percentage of apps are successful?

According to Gartner, less than 1 percent of all apps fail to become successful. Other sources say that users abandon 80% to 90% of apps after a single use.

What are the critical ingredients for successful mobile app development?

There are a few key ingredients: using the proper advanced technologies, hiring the right team, high performance and personalization, lack of errors, and a fantastic monetization strategy.

What makes an app successful?

Doing thorough research and creating a truly needed product in the marketplace—besides creating a solution with great performance, using the latest technologies.


Kris Terziev

Kris is the Head of Research and Development at CodeCoda and, as he himself says, is constantly seeking better methods of developing and implementing software solutions.
In his previous experience as a software engineer, he has experienced everything from plain assembly code through the optimization of the process of business and functional analysis and the development of Fintech Applications.
During his school years, he won several medals in international competitions in mathematics and computer science. Concerning his professional interests, he pays special attention to algorithms and software development methodologies.