In this tech-savvy era, businesses have understood that digital transformation is the only way to establish a strong brand identity. Thus, many startups and new ventures start their journey by building a digital product to represent their brand in the market and gain a competitive advantage. But, do you know the success rate of these modern-day digital products?
Surprisingly, a study conducted by Harvard business school revealed that 75% of overall digital products fail within the first year.
That’s a big bummer! According to Statista, several factors can cause a digital product to fail – however – poor documentation is at the top of the list.
With the success rate of digital products being extremely low, many entrepreneurs look for development approaches that could help them avoid failure. One such methodology is MVP development. In the recent few years, MVP development has become a popular terminology among tech-geeks.
So, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll dig deeper into the overall process of MVP development, its necessity, and how entrepreneurs could benefit from MVP development to build successful and customer-centric digital solutions.
What is MVP Development?
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. The term was first coined by Frank Robinson in 2001, but it first came to the limelight in the tech world through Eric Ries’ book – Lean Startup. According to the original definition – in Eric’s words – MVP could be defined as
‘The version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.’
In layman’s terms, MVP is an initial version of a digital product with enough features to attract early customers and validate the idea to design a user-centric product at the end. Instead of devising a product around assumptions, the primary emphasis of MVP development is on the build-measure-learn development approach.
It means as you receive feedback from the early customers, your development team makes the required changes to enhance the product’s functionality and give it the necessary engagement factor.
Since MVP development completely eliminates assumption-based development, it reduces the product’s failure rate by a huge margin.
Consequently, you can build a successful digital solution that would help you unlock new growth opportunities and engage customers. Not to mention, you’ll be able to increase the ROI significantly, thanks to the validated data you would collect with the MVP solution.
5 Potential Benefits of Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
When it comes to launching a digital solution, speed is undoubtedly the most important factor to win customers.
The earlier you enter the market with your product, the easier it’ll be to gain the desired exposure. However, being early-to-market may not always work, especially if your product doesn’t deliver a user-centric experience. This is where MVP development will prove to be beneficial. It’ll help you bridge the gap between faster deployment and product quality.
Let’s explore some of the additional benefits of MVP development.
1. Focus on Core Functionalities
Stacking your app with advanced features may seem beneficial at first, but it’s worth understanding that an unnecessarily feature-stacked app is bound to fail. Why? Because the majority of its features will be useless and users may not use them at all.
MVP gives you the liberty to integrate only core features into your app and validate its performance among users. This way you’ll be able to decide your customers’ preferences more conveniently and build a customer-centric solution easily.
2. Clear and Navigable User Interface
Since you don’t have to integrate unnecessary features into your app with MVP development, its UI will not get cluttered with too many visual elements.
The early adopters will be able to navigate their way through different modules of the app and access features more effectively. A clear interface will also make your app less complicated. Consequently, even users who are not technically inclined will find it easier to access your app easily.
3. Nurture Strong Customer Relationships
People love talking about products they enjoy using in their daily lives. The same goes for digital software. With MVP development, your early users will spread the word about your product and make your marketing team’s job less hectic during the final deployment. Moreover, these early adopters will automatically convert into long-term loyal customers.
4. Faster Time-to-Market
Though it may sound a bit surprising, MVP development can indeed help you launch your product more rapidly.
After releasing the initial version of your product, you can validate its performance, test key USPs, and implement essential changes through an iterative process. Conventional development does not offer this liberty and that’s why the product is only tested once it’s fully developed.
5. Release Constant Updates
When it comes to software development, it’s crucial to release regular updates to stay on top of the market and keep the customers engaged. However, releasing regular updates in conventional development models can get a bit tricky due to a larger code base.
With MVP development, however, you can easily release new software updates by integrating APIs or adding new features. This will keep your product ahead of the competition and you’ll be able to gain a strong customer base without any hassle.
6. Choose the Best Monetization Model
Every business wants its digital solution to generate revenue. Profitability is the eventual goal of stepping into the digital landscape.
But, many startups and even large enterprises fail to choose the best revenue model for their app and end up losing customers as well as revenue. With MVP development, you can easily test different monetization models with the early users and choose the one that drives the highest engagement.
Click here to get a deep insight into the importance of MVP development.
The Difference between MVP and MMP (Minimum Marketable Product)
Apart from MVP, MMP is another term that many industry experts toss around across different platforms on the Internet. But, as opposed to the conventional belief, both MVP and MMP are shores apart from one another.
MMP – Minimum Marketable Product – is the next version of the product after you’ve built a successful MVP by acting upon customer feedback. However, MMP is still not the final product due to several limitations.
For instance, the MMP still has a limited set of features (although more than the MVP), which are enough to deliver value to the customers. The key difference that separates MMP from MVP is the integration of brand USPs. The primary objective of building an MMP is integrating features that give your product a unique brand identity and sets it apart from the competition.
Unlike MVP, you don’t really test your ideas and assumptions. Instead, this is the development phase when you start adding value to the product to maximize user engagement. Of course, based on the customer response and changing market dynamics, you can still customize the MMP without any restrictions.
Understanding MVP Development in 6 Easy Steps
As we mentioned earlier, MVP development follows the BML (Build, Measure, Learn) iterative model. It’s a top-down hierarchy where the development team comes back to the first stage after gathering users’ feedback. This allows them to avoid unexpected failures at the final deployment and launch a user-centric product.
While each development organization devises its own version of the MVP model, a general MVP approach contains 6 basic stages. These stages include:
1. Market Research
Like conventional development, building an MVP solution also starts with comprehensive market research. There’s no doubt your idea will appear extraordinary inside your head. But, does the world need it? Will it be able to resolve real customer issues? Does it have a market need?
These are the questions you must answer before embarking on the development process. To do this, start by studying the market and looking for similar products and their engagement.
You may also want to conduct real-time customer surveys to decide whether people indeed need your product or not. Keep in mind that thorough market research will save you from unexpected failures. So, make sure to dig deeper while studying the market.
2. Study Your Customer Base
In addition to evaluating your potential market and the competitors, you must also evaluate user dynamics to find out customer preferences.
Understanding your customer requirements right in the beginning will help you sail in the right direction more conveniently. During this phase, you must evaluate the USPs of your product that’ll encourage customers to choose your product over other available options.
3. Hire an MVP Development Partner
If you don’t already have an in-house development team, it would be crucial to hire a dedicated MVP development company.
A professional development agency will control the reigns and build a user-centric MVP to maximize user engagement right from the beginning. Moreover, a professional development firm like RV Technologies has expert MVP developers who utilize the latest development technologies to keep clients’ products market-centric.
4. Evaluate Features of Your MVP Solution
As we mentioned earlier, the primary objective of MVP development is to develop a digital solution with the most essential features.
But, it’s also worth mentioning that choosing the right features for your MVP is not an easy task. Startup owners often struggle to compare the importance of different features and make the right decisions. This is where your development partner’s expertise will prove to be beneficial.
Let your development team analyze your app objectives and choose the most suitable MVP features accordingly.
5. Deploy Your MVP
After you’ve finalized the necessary features for your MVP solution, the next step would be to deploy it among the initial consumers.
Now, even though MVP isn’t the final version of the product, it’s necessary to maintain the required quality to engage potential customers. Your development partner will assist you with the entire deployment process and help you launch the app across various platforms.
6. Follow the Iterative Process – Build. Measure. Learn
Based on your customers’ feedback, you can go back to the development phase to implement the essential changes and follow the Build-Measure-Learn model.
Now, even if the initial feedback is negative, don’t get discouraged as you can still go back to the initial stage and act upon customers’ feedback. When it’ll come to the final deployment, you’ll have a high-quality app that would cater to users’ customer requirements.
How Much Does MVP Development Cost?
At this point, you already know that MVP development is a more affordable option than a conventional development cycle. However, it’s still crucial for entrepreneurs to know the exact development cost before embarking on this journey.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that could depict the development cost of an MVP solution. The reason being each software or mobile app has different requirements and business objectives. Based on these factors, the cost to build your MVP can range from $5,000 to $20,000.
Let’s dive deeper into these factors to evaluate how they influence the final cost to build an MVP.
1. Freelancers vs Dedicated Development Partner
Before you get started with MVP development, you’ll need to make a crucial decision. You can follow one of the two approaches to build your MVP, either hire a bunch of freelancers or partner with a dedicated development agency to get the job done.
Of course, both these approaches come with their own pros and cons. For instance, managing a team of freelancers is not easy as every individual will operate from a different location.
Not to mention, you cannot always expect the highest quality from freelancers due to a lack of industry experience. On the flip side, freelancers charge comparatively lower development rates so you can get your MVP solution built without burning a hole in your wallet.
On the other hand, hiring a dedicated development partner will ensure a less hectic experience. A development agency will have dedicated teams with a manager to overlook the entire project. It means you can stay assured that you’ll get the highest quality assistance with your MVP solution.
2. Design Complexity
Design complexity is another factor that influences the development cost of an MVP application. You cannot build all MVP solutions with a simple design.
In some cases, the UI requirements may also become more complex to deliver the best user experience. The easiest way to evaluate how the design will influence the final development cost is to design an initial wireframe and compare it with existing digital solutions.
3. Features and Product Complexity
Finally, the features you choose during MP development will also impact the development cost.
As explained earlier, choosing the most appropriate features is extremely important for an MVP solution.
Apart from engaging users, the features you choose will also decide the cost of your app, including the initial MVP. That’s why it’s extremely crucial to integrate the most suitable features to keep the initial MVP development cost within your budget.
4. Preferred Technology Stack.
Another factor that influences the cost of an MVP solution is the development technologies you’ll use.
Of course, choosing the right tech stack will mainly depend on your project requirements. But, make sure to choose front-end and back-end development technologies that complement each other. It’ll make the entire development process less hectic, resulting in faster MVP deployment.
Transitioning from MVP to a Final Product
So, how to move from MVP to the final full-scale software? Well, as an expert MVP development team, we would suggest that business owners must avoid moving to the final deployment without a solid product in their hands.
Follow the build-measure-learn model to improve your app’s performance gradually and then, enter the market with a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) for a higher success rate. Every time you receive feedback from the customers, implement the required changes and stick to this loop until you get the right product.
Here is a complete list of tactics that’ll help you transition from the MVP solution to the final product.
1. Value Customer Feedback
The basic idea behind collecting customer feedback is to evaluate whether your initial assumptions about the product idea were accurate or not. So, value customer feedback and make sure to act upon it after every MVP deployment. This will allow you to avoid unexpected failures and launch a customer-centric solution.
2. Choose the Best Pricing Model
At the beginning of this guide, we talked about monetization. Since you have multiple iterations to validate your product, you can experiment with different monetization models and choose the one that best suits your customer preferences.
Identify whether your end-users are fine with advertisements or whether you will have to use a premium model to generate revenue from premium users.
3. Get Your Marketing Right
For many business owners, it’s a bit challenging to find the initial group of customers who’ll validate their app’s performance. This is where your marketing team’s expertise will come into play.
Have a solid marketing plan to promote your MVP and acquire an initial set of users. Moreover, your marketing plan should also include final deployment strategies to gain the desired exposure from the target audience.
Here are some basic marketing strategies to gain a solid customer base to validate your MVP’s functionality.
- Design a dedicated landing page and add relevant information about your MVP along with its real-life applications to engage the right customers. You must also optimize the landing page with appropriate SEO practices to gain better exposure.
- Video marketing has become the most reliable tactic to promote a new product. You can also leverage video marketing to promote your MVP by creating a dedicated explainer video that highlights your product’s USPs.
- Run ad campaigns and utilize tools such as Facebook advertising & Google Ads to run paid ads to promote your MVP and reach the right audience.
- You can also use social media to reach your potential customers while staying within specified budget constraints.
4. Don’t Rush into Deployment
Yes! It’s not necessary to deploy your product after the first MVP success. Instead, continue with the iterative development approach and step into the market with a full-scale software. The more time you take with revamping the product, the easier it will get to engage your potential customers.
The conventional waterfall and agile development models may not keep up with today’s ever-evolving digital landscape. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, a more flexible development approach such as MVP will be a reliable option.
With the MVP development approach, your team will have enough time to build a high-quality solution by gathering as much customer feedback as possible. Consequently, instead of entering the market without any idea of how to reach customers, you’ll have a solution that people will indeed enjoy using.
If you’re also planning to get started with MVP development, get in touch with our MVP development experts. They’ll conduct comprehensive market research to validate your idea and design an MVP solution that caters to your business requirements.