An App Encore- Engaging & Retaining Mobile Apps
Imagine the utility of the 'resume where you left from' option when you play media files? It might have taken 5-10 seconds more for a user to reach the point he/she was at while watching a movie, but those seconds are extremely crucial
Total no. of apps available on Apple--850,000. Downloads-50 billion.
Total no. of apps available on Google-800,000. Downloads-48 billion.
The astounding figures speak for themselves. There was a time (not too far back) when app marketers and developers went all guns blazing on user acquisition, spending tons of money on marketing and advertising, while the quality and innovativeness of the app generally took a backseat. But as Dylan said, the times they are a changing'. Apps overcrowd the space on smartphones, and users freely dispose them off their storage after just having a glance. In these times of oversaturation, the key to retaining a user base and growing it is constant engagement.
According to a recent survey by app analytics firm Localytics, 23% of users abandon an app after a single use, and 58% of them churn or quit the app completely after only 30 days of usage. The prime reason is obviously, the limited amount of space on a device which is not enough to save even a fraction of the apps being produced globally. As a result, the only way apps can hope to survive and remain relevant is by continuously creating value for the user. This will only happen through customizing it as per the user’s tastes and preferences. Personalization and enhanced engagement are the main drivers for apps to enhance retention.
Big Data for that Big Space on the Home Screen
Imagine the utility of the 'resume where you left from' option when you play media files? It might have taken 5-10 seconds more for a user to reach the point he/she was at while watching a movie, but those seconds are extremely crucial. Why? This is because they bring in a break in the media-viewing experience which is not desirable. Similarly, an app that reads and interprets the behaviour and then tries to simplify the process of future actions gets to score that prime real estate on the home screen of a user.
Analytics also help to quickly identify potential at risk or near-churn users and then direct specifically tailored marketing efforts towards them. Location and web search driven push messages, if sent in a non-invasive manner and in periodic intervals, will create better chances of user retention rather than driving them away. Analytics also help to identify which users react positively to different rewards programs. For instance, some users might remain loyal if they are provided with a minimum discount while others might not want daily discounts but want to make a big transaction, and hence claim a higher discount or other valuable offers. A classic case is of the sports engagement apps who find themselves in the thick of action and the focus of everyone's attention during a series or tournament, but the challenge for them is to remain relevant even after that. It has also been noted that developing countries which are rapidly digitizing, such as India and China, see decreased user retention. As different apps become available to users, they are more likely to sift through them before settling down on the ones preferred.
Thus, the three stages of acquisition, engagement and retention need to be individually focused upon by app developers to come out with an ideal strategy. Analytics such as viewing session duration, in-app impressions and user engagement through push messages and email and in-app messaging etc. can help app developers retain users in this increasingly 'app-ifying' world.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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