When you own a mobile app it is crucial to attract users but, even more important it’s to make them stay and to use your app as often as possible. That is the reason of this post, to highlight the importance of watching the engaging efforts as an ongoing process which will reward you with a huge number of loyal users. Google sees things in the same way. This is why a team from Google together with Ipsos conducted a survey called How people discover, use, and stay engaged with apps which covers the main reasons of app abandonment. In the same study it is revealed the average number of apps installed on phone devices:
There are many reasons for abandonment and you can discover them by following your users’ point of view in app store. But how can you do that and to manage the development changes that need to be made constantly to your app? It is very hard to split yourself between development tasks and listening what people have to say about your app, but you need to handle the both sides of the entire procedure if you want to own a successful app. We already covered 10 Reasons Why Users Uninstall Your Mobile App and we will detail further some important solutions to avoid these events.
There are many motives that make people stop using your app, like memory problems or bad user experience. Maybe you uploaded your app on the market and you never opened it for adding new changes or, users just forgot they downloaded it and how useful it can be. But how can you know? The real answer is coming from your users. Take a break and look for responses by reading their messages. If you get a clue on their opinions then you will find in what way you can change your direction for improving your app. Always negative feedback must be the red flag for you to start doing something for changing the way your app is acting in relation with its users.
As we discussed earlier there are 5 vital modifications that need to be made in order to be sure that everything is working well with your app and your users are pleased.
Start by improving your app. As you can see in the study from Google and Ipsos the first problem that makes users abandon your app is memory leaking. To solve this, you need to follow some important steps.
It is very hard to create a balance between app performances and memory problems. During the development process, if you compile a huge amount of code you will discover that your app crushes due to a lot of methods and variables and you receive an OutOfMemoryException in the messages section. Other times an IllegalStateException appears and you are clueless about what produced that. But, this is developer’s life. Spending hours and sometime days in discovering what caused a problem with resources or other millions of issues and to find a solution for it. Luckily, the official development platforms provide solutions for both Android and iOS apps.
Memory Management is a grand domain which can make you see the huge universe of good practices when it comes to app development. For Android apps you can check Overview Of Android Memory Management and for iOS you can refer to Advanced Memory Management Programming Guide.
To identify problems regarding memory leaks and to manage them better in order to avoid crashes and errors caused by incorrect data usage there are tools built in programming environments. For Android you can use Memory Monitor incorporated in Android Studio, and for iOS there is Clang Static Analyzer from Xcode. If you don’t want to suffer for the bugs created by memory usage take advantage of this help offered by Google and Apple and create a clean and efficient app for you and your users.
Another section of the above mentioned study is saying that app’s appearance and the overall experience has a lot of weight in users’ decision to keep opening the app.
User experience says all about the quality of the app. You need to invest a lot of effort in this stage because if you impress people in the specific moment they use the app, they definitely will remember next time when they need it and they will go back to it. Everything matters and keep an eye on details. If you don’t know exactly what to choose a good solution is A/B testing. After you receive the results you will know the best answer on how to apply the modifications to your app.
Be careful with the onboarding flow to create the best possible first impression. Make your app intuitive, so even a child could use it without instructions. Moreover, a big amount of time spent by a user inside your app is not necessarily a good thing. Maybe he is stuck inside an activity with no idea on how to get to the desired screen. If he never comes back to your app again, then it is a problem with that activity. Investigate better and try to figure out the real problem.
It is not acceptable for users to encounter any kind of error inside your app or your app store page. Either a language error or a development bug will make them uninstall your app immediately, no matter how useful and amazing it is. If you localize your app be careful with the entire translation process and check your app many times before uploading it on the market.
This is an entire chapter for designing your app, but everybody knows that very bright red that makes you blind is never a good solution. Another bad choice is to use the same color with different nuances for text and for background. This is another situation to test your ideas in order to see how they will be received by your users.
If we go back to the research we mentioned at the beginning we discover that there is still hope, because 91% of respondents admitted that they would try the app again only if they see improvements which demonstrate your interest in helping them through your app.
Let’s make it clear! You need to update your app but it is not enough to do small changes and to announce your users that you improved it. A recent study made by University College London states that just 31% of free apps updated saw an increase in app ratings, while for the paid apps the changes were visible for 40% of them.Take a look to app store page and read the reviews as we said before. If there are multiple requests that can impact the activity of your app then you must listen to them. Now that you know what features you have to add to your app in order to please your users you should start your work. After that, you can brag about your amazing app and receive all the credits.
Another time when your app urge to be updated is when Google or Apple announces some changes in their operating systems. Every developer receives email regularly with new releases in development area. You need to read them carefully and to observe in what manner these changes can be applied to your app. You need to keep up with the new trends in terms of development and design to keep your users engaged.
It would be great if users keep coming back to your app by themselves, but some bonuses or offers will make them even more devoted. Who can refuse some relevant incentives or some special characters in a game? If users discover that your app offers something different from other ones in its category there is no reason not to love it.
Maybe your app doesn’t have any of the problems above, but your user is so caught up in his daily routine that he forgot the reason why he downloaded your app. Here come very handy push notifications, which can do miracles if they are used in a smart way. Their name is relevant because they can be intrusive sometimes, but if you find the right timing and very useful information for sending to your users then this can be the only thing that needs to be done in order to regain them. The solution is to track everything in order to send powerful push notifications.
We listed above the key points that can be done in order to avoid the main problems that almost all people have when it comes to retain users. If you struggle with retaining your users and you can’t help them observe the value of your app, it is probably because you keep making the same mistake over and over again. Be careful with every step you do and keep your eyes on users’ opinions to understand what changes you need to make in your approach.