Soft Launching vs. Hard Launching Mobile App What is it and What’s the Difference?

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The world of mobile apps is much more complex than you think.

It demands hard work, patience, consistency, and of course, knowledge in your field.

Being aware of concepts and trends in mobile app development can actually help you make better decisions and devise result-driven strategies.

One such decision is about launching your mobile app strategically into the market to drive results and audiences.

Mobile apps are usually either soft-launched or hard launched to get the best of their user’s attention.

So, today, we would talk about what are the two concepts and how these are different from each other.

Also, we would discuss in what are the suitable situations for soft-launching or hard launching your mobile app.

What is Soft Launch vs. What is Hard Launch

To give a brief explanation of the concepts;

A Hard Launch is when the product (mobile apps, in this case) is completely launched in the regional target market or global market.

The process involves adequate planning, marketing, and app maintenance be in place.

On the other hand, A Soft Launch is when a beta version or a Minimum Viable Product of the app is launched.

Soft launching a mobile app is usually to check the performance of the app and evaluate the user response to make relevant updates and improvements in the app.

So one of the major differences between soft launch and hard launch of mobile apps is that the former is a sequential process of releasing app versions, monitoring performance, and making updates.

While the latter is more of an official launch or grand opening of the mobile app in the market.

Benefits of Hard Launch vs. Benefits of Soft Launch

Hard launching a product means it is released in its entirety, as you expected it to be. Although the process includes further maintenance and updates, it is often referred to as completing a process.

The salient benefits of hard launching your mobile app includes;

  • It helps you create an oomph in your target market. Since launching a new product in a market completely brings a lot of attention, it can help build brand credibility.
  • Beta versions, in comparison to the final version, are more prone to be skipped. That’s why it’s safe to say that the final version with effective promotional campaigns can generate revenue quicker.
  • Since businesses are heavily competing with each other, giving a newer edge to your business in the form of mobile apps can help you gain a competitive advantage in the market.
  • App marketing strategies and efforts become more aligned and targeted than dividing them into different stages.

On the other hand, soft-launching or soft opening is when you launch a beta version of your app with a unique value proposition and core features to gather user response and attention. The app is then gradually updated with the incorporation of new features to provide a better user experience.

Benefits of soft launching your mobile app can include;

  • Soft app launching is much more cost-effective than hard launching. It helps you keep your investments targeted on specific features and monitor app performance.
  • It allows you to continuously test and evaluate your app performance by launching it to specific app users. They highlight major aspects that need to improve and minimize reputational risks.
  • Soft launching mobile app can help you get quick user feedback, evaluate your user acquisition and monetization strategies to improve your app performance.
  • In case things go wrong, you can always shut your app project down by saving your investments, time, and efforts.

The benefits mentioned above state other major differences between soft launch and hard launch of mobile apps, helping you make a clear decision.

Hard Launch vs. Soft Launch, Which Model is Better?

The above-given definitions and benefits partially define when to choose which model and how it can help you in generating more revenue.

However, for a clearer idea, here’s what you can do to evaluate which model is more suitable for you as per your given condition.

When to Choose Hard Launch?

Since hard launching is about officially informing your audience about your product and making a grand opening, here’s when you should opt for the model;

  • When you are highly certain about the performance and credibility of your app.
  • Your mobile app is not just a mere product; rather, it is a new update that would certainly give you a competitive advantage.
  • You have a solid marketing strategy in place to market your app well.
  • Your app idea is one of the leading ones and might get copied if you do not launch earlier.

In some cases, it is logical to hard launch your app and makes it big in the competitive market is more profitable. However, it is crucial to make this choice.

When to Choose Soft Launch?

Soft launching mobile app is a rather slow process focused on calculated investments, feature integration, and planned marketing strategies.

Subsequently, the following are the cases when you may go for soft-launching your mobile app;

  • When you are not so certain about the user response and are willing to take a chance with your app idea.
  • If your app idea is already booming in the market, and you do not wish to be left out, soft-launching your app and adding more features gradually can help.
  • When you are new to the market and wish to create a credible and long-lasting user base for your business.
  • In several cases, such as gaming apps, soft launching is the most suitable approach to improve features and performance before making a global release.

Soft launch, indeed, saves up a lot of your time and effort by keeping your strategy entirely user-focused.

However, launching an app that may have several bugs and glitches may impact your business credibility negatively.

Final Thoughts

Soft launching and hard launching mobile apps are commonly used models for their varied pros and cons.

When we talk about their differences, the approach, benefits, procedures, and disadvantages, everything is included.

So, to say that choosing any one of these is more central to your app’s approach and target users won’t be wrong.

Subsequently, as an appreneur, of all the important things that you must know of, having insight into launch models can help you align your development, launch, and marketing strategy effectively, bringing you more revenue and credibility in the long run.






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