The Top 6 Factors that Effect Retention Rates

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Partner Post - Gummicube Big Data Analytics for Mobile & ASO

Posted: March 14, 2018


If an app isn’t opened after 7 days, chances are it will never be. In the mobile app industry, everything developers do is done with the user in mind – or at least that’s how it should be. However, most mainly focus on user acquisition and forget that the users they acquire have little impact if they don’t stick around for the long haul.
The number of active users an app has provides the most insight into how successful the application really is. According to Localytics, an active user spends 10+ sessions on an app per month, and returning users are those that come back within 3 months.
The fact of the matter is that approximately 23% of users abandon an app after only one use. This stat begs the question: how can a developer guarantee that their app will retain the users they acquire? Along with a strong App Store Optimization strategy (ASO), developers can also take preventative measures to increase the likelihood that their users will come back.

App functionality

Having a user-friendly app might be the easiest, yet most overlooked aspect of user retention. If an app isn’t easy to use, why would a user keep it on their phone?
Most apps are intended to either entertain or make users’ lives easier. Failing at that, especially early on, can prove devastating for the app’s success. For example, when an onboarding process is lengthy and time-consuming, users are more likely to abandon the app. Easy onboarding increases a user’s lifetime by an overwhelming 500%. Developers could see a considerable increase in user retention rates just by simply making their app easier to use.

Incentives

Who doesn’t love a good incentive? Incentives allow the developer and user to help each other and benefit at the same time. Take, for example, the Starbucks rewards app. By using the app, customers benefit from purchasing food and drinks from Starbucks and can accumulate reward points to later earn a free beverage or food item. Game apps may provide login bonuses, where players get increasing rewards for each day they open the app and play.
In this way, incentives encourage users to continue enjoying an app so they can later be rewarded for their loyalty.

Local and push notifications 

Location-based events and push notifications are a great way to remind users to use an app. For example, couponing apps might track locations and remind users that the store they are currently in has coupons that are ready to use. All they have to do is open the app and start saving.
However, similar to ads, it is important to not spam the user with too many push notifications. This could possibly irritate them and cause them either abandon the app for good or turn off notifications, which causes them to forget about it. Be cautious with how many notifications are sent out because no one wants to tarnish the user experience.

Ads

While featuring in-app ads is a great way to make revenue, showing too many can be distracting and aggravating. Don’t spam customers if you truly value their loyalty. If the user is warned that they will be shown ads, but they are kept to a minimum, the chances of user retention will be that much higher.

Updates 

Whether it’s a couple of bug fixes or an entirely new app makeover, updates can make or break retention rates. Learn from Snapchat’s recent faux pas – the social media app has been steadily accumulating a band of loyal followers for 6 years since 2011, but a recent change nearly jeopardized that. Their latest update sent users running as negative comments spread across social media, the app stores and more thanks to the exceedingly difficult to use new interface. Even social media giants like Snapchat aren’t invincible.
Updates are inevitable, but developers should ensure that they keep their users in mind before making drastic changes to the interface or features. If users don’t find the app appealing, then they become just another number to uninstall rate.

Reputation management 

Keeping track of user reviews benefits both the developer and the users. By monitoring what users are saying about their app, developers have the opportunity to both engage with them and attempt to resolve any issues within the app that might be driving users away.

If we go back to the update example, situations like that can be avoided or at least managed better by monitoring user reviews. Developers can quickly engage with their audience and let them know the reason behind the change or if there’s a fix coming. Responding to reviews keeps the users happy and make them feel like the developer is taking into consideration what they have to say.

Key Takeaways

User acquisition may be a crucial step in marketing an app, but it’s also essential to carry out ASO best practices to retain users as well. Much like customer service, it is in the developer’s best interest to treat the user experience with the utmost importance when making decisions about their app’s functionality. In order to cultivate strong user retention rates, developers must take preventative measures to ensure that the user is having the easiest and most enjoyable experience possible.
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