Successful Mobile App Engagement: This App Understands Me!

by Roger Woods

posted on 08-16-2016

Apps provide you with unprecedented opportunities for engaging with your customers in ways that have never before been available. Done right, you can increase business and create evangelists for your brand. Customers not only demand personalized and contextually relevant experiences, but also prefer that those experiences take place through apps.

So, Why Are Most Mobile Apps Destined for Deletion?
Yet, of the approximately 2 million apps that are available in the Apple App Store, why is it that as many as 60 percent — over 400,000 — of them have never been downloaded even once?

In a study of data from over 125 million mobile phones downloading apps from the Google Play Store, the average app loses 77 percent of its users within three days of being installed; 90 percent of users stop using an app after a month; only five users continue using any given app; and 26 percent of apps are used only once.

Mobile apps open new opportunities and new workflows for customer engagement — but only if customers are using them! Factors that contribute to your app being left behind or uninstalled include:

  1. Insignificant value above and beyond the web experiences
  2. Irrelevant and out-of-context messaging and experiences that are not on point; and
  3. Instability of the app itself, resulting in crashes and general misbehavior.

Value that is unavailable anywhere else can be delivered through mobile apps, but the old saying applies now more than ever — you only get one chance to make a first impression.

It is worthwhile to get your app in shape because, with today’s sophisticated user, mobile can capture those sought-after mobile moments — engaging users at the right time and place with the right message or offer.

The app store gives your business new injection points into other markets as well, moving people from free trials to subscriptions and then renewals. Mobile can expand your marketing opportunities as well as your opportunities to enhance the customer experience. Based on how someone uses your app, you can do cross-app promotion and even connect the experience back to the desktop.

Why Is It So Vital for Your App to Be Engaging and Useful?
For your business, a good app can provide deeper contextual insights into your consumers, generate new sales and engagement opportunities, and be a stronger conduit to your customers.

Here at Adobe, we have transformed from a traditional box-software business to a subscription model and then to mobile apps. Creating new and exciting versions of our software for mobile environments has opened new ways to generate great customer experiences, increase revenue, and establish feedback channels with customers.

Build Your Mobile App on a Foundation of Best Practices.
Many companies are taking advantage of the benefits mobile apps have to offer. One is Saint-Gobain Distribution in Denmark — a major distributor of construction materials around the world — which has created robust apps that serve their customers well. Their experience reveals a number of best practices.

  1. Examine Your Customer Journey From End to End.
    Without a complete understanding of your customers’ needs and individual experiences at every touchpoint and on every channel, you can’t create a great app experience.
  2. Remind Customers of Important Details About Your App.
    As soon as they download the app, customers need to know details like how to log in and set it up, how to access additional capabilities, and any other pertinent information that will enable them to make the most of it.
  3. Warm the Customer Up to the Idea of Push Notifications.
    Show your customers the value in receiving push notifications before you ask them to sign up to receive them.
  4. Understand Your Mobile Platforms.
    For example, if a push-notification request comes from an app on the iOS system, the user will see a pop-up message requesting permission. If the user says “no,” that will permanently prevent future notifications. The experts at Saint-Gobain designed their app to first ask customers whether they would accept push notifications. For those who said “yes,” the operating system was alerted, and the iOS notice popped up. However, users who said “no” were taken down a different pathway without involving the operating system, allowing another chance to ask later.
  5. Use In-App Messaging.
    In-app messaging can teach your customers that their phones can be used for more than just research and messaging.
  6. Take Advantage of the Sensors in Many Mobile Devices.
    Leverage the sensors that are now commonplace in many mobile devices — especially in phones.
  7. Incorporate Innovative Beacon Technology.
    Beacon technology offers both you and your customers almost limitless possibilities and potential benefits. And — increasing their potential value further — few companies have yet to jump on the beacon bandwagon, meaning you still have plenty of time to put your company ahead of the competition!

Your App Should Prove That You Truly Understand Your Users.
Mobile applications can transform customers’ perceptions of your brand, delivering powerful, personal, and relevant experiences at the right time and in the right place. Do a critical self-assessment of your own apps. You still have some work to do if, after using your apps, your customers aren’t saying, “Wow, this app really understands me!”

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Experience Manager