Why Isn’t My App Selling?

So you took the plunge and developed an app. It’s been reviewed, tweeted about and posted on Facebook. Heck, it might have even landed on Apple’s New and Noteworthy Section. It’s time to pull up the sales report and your face hits the floor. It has zero sales or hardly any at all. What went wrong? Why isn’t your app selling? There’s plenty of reasons why it isn’t selling and we’re here to examine them. Some may be obvious while others maybe not so much.


1) The app already exists. You may have took a lot of time to develop an idea, but you probably forgot to research it. If an app or game is a rip-off of an existing or more popular title, chances are that people aren’t going to buy it unless there are improvements that make it better. The app must be innovative to get noticed, and users are likely to pass if they’ve seen it before.

2) You don’t have a market. I can’t say this enough in our tips and advice section. If you don’t know who you are selling an app to, then chances are neither do users. Before creating an app, ask yourself who your market is. Once you have a target market in mind, only then should you create an app. This allows you to seek out the competition and know what users desire.

3) There’s not enough exposure. Sure. You sent the app to a couple of review websites and even mentioned it in a tweet or two. This isn’t enough marketing to get the app out there so people know it exists. Continue to send requests to every review site possible, post videos on YouTube, create a blog, comment on other blogs with a backlink to your app, or even wear a t-shirt with your app plastered across the chest. You have to push it out there and market the heck out of it.

4) The iTune’s description is confusing. When people go to the App Store, they touch on an app to read more about it. That iTune’s description is often the first thing that users read about apps. It needs to state exactly what the app is and it shouldn’t be misleading. The description should then state what makes it so great and why consumers should download it. If you fail to take advantage of the description and don’t capture the attention of consumer’s within 10 to 15 seconds, they are likely to move on to the next app.

5) The artwork sucks. Not to sound blunt, but sometimes apps just don’t have the best graphics. You may think it looks awesome and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but many users will beg to differ. If the screenshots and app icon look horrible, users aren’t going to take their time to check it out. Clipart graphics are a thing of the past and they should remain there. People expect pure awesomeness from apps and nothing less– especially when they pay for them. The graphics better look great and polished or your app will quickly start collecting dust.

6) There are too many bugs. When people download your app and realize it’s almost unusable then they will be a little upset. Chances are that they’ll probably leave reviews in the App Store or tell their friends. Read these reviews and figure out what’s wrong with your app. Does it have known bugs and programming issues? Are users complaining that it crashes a lot? These needs to be addressed quickly so an update can be issued before users start passing up on the chance to check it out due to its low rating score.

This is just scraping the surface on the topic, but these are six points that all developers should look over carefully. It’s difficult to get your foot in the door when it comes to succeeding as a developer so don’t lose hope. Make apps and games that you are passionate about. Have any other items to add to the list? Leave a comment or suggestion below.

4 Responses to “Why Isn’t My App Selling?”

  1. Too many bugs cannot possibly be the reason if no sales, simply because you buy and download the app to even learn if there are bugs.

    (Negative) reviews, on the other hand, DO affect your sales.

    Great article anyway, keep it up!

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  2. Angie says:

    Ah, yes this is what I was going for. When there’s a lot of things wrong with an app, it will affect the app store rating. I guess that should really be the main point, but nonetheless thanks for reading and commenting! Do you have any suggestions of your own? I’d love to hear them.



  3. About description, need to take latest changes in new App Store into account. Personally I focused on description, but looks like with new App Store interface users are not actually reading descriptions, just looking screenshots.

    • Angie says:

      Great point. I wouldn’t completely dismiss the App Store description though. The first few lines still show, which makes it crucial. I’d put more weight on great screenshots with the new App Store update, but there are still consumers who will want to read more– especially if it’s a paid app.

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