How to Increase Your Mobile App User Retention and Engagement?

Mobile application market has been witnessing an explosive growth from the past few years with no signs of slowing down. Fast internet access combined with highly intuitive user interfaces on today’s smartphones have contributed towards the astronomical rise in the number of mobile app downloads and revenues. Mobile apps have become a powerful tool for businesses to engage with the consumers. In the second quarter of 2019, users downloaded 21.3 billion apps from Google Play Store and 7.4 billion apps from Apple App store (Statista). While these statistics may seem encouraging for Xamarin hybrid app developers and businesses, it is important to consider the user engagement and app retention rates that goes along. According to a new study on mobile app usage by Localytics, it was found that 25% of users abandon apps after one use. App abandonment rate is climbing, whereas user retention rate is plummeting.

Most businesses focus on generating a fair amount of downloads after the initial app launch. However, if you fail to retain these users, then it’s going to be game over in a couple of months. 80% of a business’s future profits comes from just 20% of its existing customers, reports a study by Customer Thermometer. And, the average value of a lost customer is $243 (KISSmetrics). Enterprises spend so much money on user acquisition strategies, while the budget for user retention can sometimes fall by the wayside. Mobile app retention is one the most crucial, yet overlooked aspect. In fact, increasing your customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Hence, your main goal should be towards maximising your mobile app retention rate by delivering the best user experience and value. Let us find out how to avoid app abandonment and retain fickle-minded app users.

Optimize the Onboarding Process

First impressions always matter and app onboarding is no exception. If your mobile app is difficult to navigate or have too many complex features, then users are more likely to abandon it. App onboarding is the most critical phase that serves as the first point of contact with users by guiding them through the app’s interface and functionalities. Therefore, it is integral to make this process simple and seamless as possible. Keep it short, engaging and informative. Showing the users a few straight-to-the-point, actionable screens is a case in point.

Ensure Positive User Experience

Negative user feedback and testimonials would be the last thing you would want from your app. User experience plays a key role in making mobile apps successful. Poor user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designs, cumbersome loading times and ad clutter can fill users with frustration and could be the reason why users abandon your app. Make it a point to develop a mobile app with an effective UI/UX structure, reasonable load times and smooth-as-butter navigation gestures for creating an engaging experience.

Communicate With Your Customers

Interacting and engaging with your customers is crucial for user retention. However, plaguing the application with push notifications and in-app messages will frustrate them. And this strategy will drive users towards the dreaded uninstall. Push notifications can be the most effective method to connect with your app users, provided you use them wisely. Ecommerce mobile apps can use push notifications to inform the users about discounts or promotional offers thereby providing a compelling reason to use the application. Do consider personalization and relevancy in your push notification strategy so that it can capture the user's attention at just the right moment. Delivering relevant, personalized and contextual information through push notifications and in-app messages can boost your app engagement. Creating a high value, personalized notification will attract your user’s attention and get them back into the application.

Your communication strategy doesn't have to stop with push notifications or in-app messages. Make sure to come up with a multichannel strategy to connect and engage with users across various platforms. Integrating your mobile app with all your other marketing channels will create a seamless set of touch points to move users down the funnel. If a user chose to opt out of push notifications, then a multichannel strategy can prove highly beneficial. Do employ a combination of direct and indirect communication channels to create consistent customer experiences across all channels.

Make Your App Bug-free

A crashing app clearly paves way to app abandonment. App lags, crashes and slow load times ruin the user experience thus forcing users to delete the application. Thankfully, many app errors and bugs can be easily avoided by implementing a well-defined testing and quality assurance process. Many businesses rush through the testing phase to launch mobile application at the earliest. However, cutting down the testing efforts and time to minimize time-to-market may result in having an application with multiple issues and bugs at release. Not only this backfires your app success, but also adversely affects your brand reputation. Hence, make it a point to execute the testing phase of cross platform app development rigorously. Check whether the app performs well against stringent constraints, across all platforms and devices.

A/B testing is a simple and efficient way to test every aspect of your mobile app and make careful changes to user experiences while collecting data on the actual results. Running A/B testing helps to figure out what’s working and what’s not so that you can make necessary tweaks to increase the user retention. At the same time, penetration testing is an ideal security test to determine whether unauthorized access or other malicious activity is possible. Focusing on client-side security, file systems, hardware and network security, penetration testing addresses the risks identified throughout the environment. Your application needs consistent updates to keep it relevant and engaging. Depending on qualitative user feedback and quantitative data, make sure to roll out app updates with new features, performance improvements and bug fixes.

Track Your App Analytics

Enterprises need to know how users are using their app, and what actions they take within the app. Moreover, you also need to know why users are leaving your application. It won't be feasible to collect feedback from every app user. That is why it is essential to track your app analytics data and crash logs. A marketing strategy without a sound analytics system will result in losses. With mobile analytics data, companies can avail data-driven insights into issues concerning churn and retention. Valuable user data and insights derived from analytics system can be used to figure out what works best, what doesn’t, and what needs to be optimized. Analyzing and interpreting your app engagement metrics and data is key to building an effective strategy for user acquisition and user retention. Mobile strategists can rely on app insights to devise an action plan to upgrade the application with new features and fixes.

Integrating analytics into your mobile app will help you avail a whole new set of customer data to learn from. Gathering accurate data helps in launching personalized, customer-focused marketing and driving better ROI.

To sum up

Seek the expertise and services of experienced Xamarin application developers to build an app with quality. Mobile app abandonment can be evaded by introducing effective re-engagement techniques and re-targeting strategies based on user data. Companies need to understand what the user wants and give them what they demand. Develop a smart marketing strategy that invests in both acquisition and retention to drive more growth for your app.

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