First we’d like to establish that mobile app usage varies starkly between different industries. Game apps are bound to be used more frequently in a day whereas travel apps may be used once in few weeks on average. So when we talk about consumers using your app more often, the quantitative value of the word ‘often’ will be based on what your industry determines as the frequency of general usage.
Of course, the first step is to employ devices to convert web surfers into loyal mobile app customers! But once that’s done, you need to retain them.
Based on app usage behaviour, personal attitudes and buyer’s mentality, generally speaking there are a few things that influence the engagement levels of customers with an app:
- Fulfilment of a tangible need
- Either the first or the best app to fulfil that need
- The functionality it affords
- Ease and simplicity of navigation
- Entertaining elements along the way
Think of an app that you personally enjoy using, and think of why you enjoy it, and you will find that it serves all the bulleted points mentioned above.
To explain with an example, let’s look at a mobile app from a company that provides mobile telephony. Having used good and bad apps from this industry it’s easy to point out what makes a person continue to use an app.
- Fulfilled the need: The good app used information from the smartphone to read data and talk-time balances. So the moment the app was opened it displayed the most pertinent information – account credit balances, and quick actions to top those up instantly. The top-up options were stated with a simple description below informing you about the benefit of that action. If you wished to look at some other options – let’s say boosters – then it led you to a different page with visually clean and straightforward information about packs, values and their costs.
- Seamlessly fulfilled the need: If card details have been previously saved in the app, the entire transaction would get done in a minute. No exaggerations here. The flow
- The design was functional: Without any frills or extraneous fancies it got the task done. The procedure goes like clockwork, logically and fluid, without any confusion.
- Afforded simple, quick and easy navigation: The elements were strategically and logically placed, CTAs were succinct and not confused, and the navigation was intuitive. With little attention and not having to search the screen for options, a user could quickly get the task done.
- Unobtrusively furnished exciting baits and offers: Without retracting from the main purpose and content, relevant information was displayed based on user behaviour – special offers, ads for additional tasks that can be performed using the app, a link leading to a page to personalise one’s telephonic needs etc.
So naturally anybody will stop thinking of other ways to complete such telephonic tasks. This app become homey, comfortable and reliable for users. That in turn founds the basis of their loyalty to you. Which means they aren’t going to budge from it in a hurry. Once this is establish, even if they are faced with some issues that could potentially arise, instead of immediate looking at a second option, they will take the effort to get in touch with your customer service and give you a second chance without much fuss or bad reviewing! So mission accomplished!
Of course there are many other tangentially related manoeuvres required to keep customers coming back, like customer retention strategies, fee based membership programs, and improvement of customer/brand loyalty. But remember these first and fundamental requirements before you progress to the bigger guns!