With apps becoming important tools for customer acquisition and retention, developers are now focusing on building business apps that not only have higher download rates, but also retention rates.
However, creating loyal app users is not an easy task. A study by Localytics analyzed mobile users over a nine-month period (July 2011 to March 2012) and stated that 69% of users open apps 10 times or less. It also says that over 25% of the mobile users used the downloaded app just once. This shows that businesses need to look beyond number of downloads of their apps and concentrate on customer engagement.
Here are 10 reasons, why your business apps fail to create good first impressions on the customers, which in turn lead to poor retention rates of the apps.
Reason 1: Fail to define the business objectives properly
Many businesses start building an app without giving a thought to the purpose that is to be served by the app. What do you want your users to do? How can you make it easier for them to do it? What is your goal? New registration? Purchase (of what)? Content sharing? Keep this information in mind while you determine navigation, UI, content and graphics.
Reason 2: Neglect the needs of the targeted audience
Designing an app to comply only with your corporate needs can be of minimum use, if the users are unable to connect with it. The functionality of your app should be a combination of your business goals as well as your end-users needs. Hence, it is necessary to define your target audience, understand their mind-set and the type of environment they are in. Think from the user’s point of view, know what they are expecting from your app and then get started with the design.
Reason 3: Poor functionality and user interface
Good user interface is a key feature of a successful app as it leads to better user experience. An easy to use interface increases the likelihood that users will use the app longer and then come back for more. A user interface that is functional, visually appealing, and that requires minimum inputs from the user provides the optimal experience.
Reason 4: Overload the app with unnecessary features
Incorporating a good number of features, solely focused on the call-to-action can be a big turn-off for the user. This is not what end-users want; these apps leave a bad impression on the user and s/he is more likely to delete it sooner. More, overloaded apps not only lead to extended download times, but also confuse the user with unnecessary features. Keep it clear and simple.
Reason 5: Poor security
Security is the critical issue when it comes to business apps. Consider from the beginning, how much security is necessary to protect your users and their data. If the app pings your database, this is a must.
Reason 6: The app is stale
Loading your app with every feature in your very first release is unrealistic and unnecessary. App development is a continuous process and your content and functionality should improve with time. After releasing your app with the minimum/basic features, listen to the feedback from the users. Check what are all the features, the user appreciates, dislikes and wants. Based on the feedback, build your new versions/fix problems in your older versions.
Reason 7: No personalization
Though it is not possible for every app, app designers are advised to create apps that can be personalized (if possible), as it is one of the best ways to engage the user. Enabling personalization helps the users not only to personalize the content but also to control stored data, shared files or images, etc. For instance, integrating with a phone’s GPS capability, and providing relevant images dramatically improves the value of your app for location-based functionality. Businesses like retail stores and restaurants can take advantage of this feature by giving alerts to the user, when he enters their locality.
Reason 8: Slow app performance
Slow app performance is the fastest way to ensure that users delete your app. So, it is necessary to conduct pre-release and post-release tests of your app. While pre-release testing on various platforms help you in identifying problems with the app, post-release testing will help you understand the users actual experience. Sustained testing throughout the app development process and integrating it with the quality assurance methods will help you stay away from costly problems.
Reason 9: Concentrate on downloads, than on engagement of apps
While measuring the success of your app, don’t get carried away by the download rates, as they lead to incomplete conclusions. Measure the app retention rates and the loyalty of the customer to get a more accurate picture of the success of your app.
Reason 10: Poor app promotion
Building a great app is not enough; you need to let your customers know about it by promoting it through marketing channels like your website, direct email, and social media. Try different campaigns. For example, reward existing users for using the app or offer incentives such as discounts on products and services that are exclusive to app users.