Getting a mobile application developed is common place these days with a wide range of options available. One of the key issues facing app developers and businesses around the globe right now is user engagement; essentially, how to get users to not just download your app, but getting them to use it on a regular basis.
Even if your app is getting hundreds of thousands of downloads each month, it does not mean that people are using it. Many downloaded apps are used only once and then uninstalled or abandoned. It is easy to look at your own experience with apps to see why people stop using apps. Perhaps it was confusing to use, didn’t have the functionality you were looking for or did not offer useful and relevant content. These apps did not engage you as a consumer.
Keeping your customers engaged and interested in your application’s content and features can require some planning and effort on your part beyond simply releasing an application. Often people become bored with an app after the first interaction. Remember installed but unused applications offer no channel for continuing conversations about your business or brand.
Old PC style software did not face this issue of abandonment to nearly the degree that mobile applications do.Mobile apps are generally inexpensive or free and operate on a small screen that exaggerates the need for a good user interface. If you don’t make a great first impression your app might be deleted and the user move on to the next option in the app store.
Repeat engagement is the main success factor. Mobile application developers need to design their applications with the goal of creating a user experience that keeps users coming back to the application.
When your app increases its retention and engagement, it will help the overall user base grow. Engaged app users are more likely to share your app with their friends, give better ratings and write positive reviews in the app store.
Understand Your Customers
It is easy to know how many times your app has been downloaded but it is much more difficult, and important, to understand out how people are actively utilizing your app. A loyal user will open your app at least three times a week. By understanding the behavior of your customers and why they are using or not using your app, you can improve their experience, thereby increasing user engagement levels.
Develop your App with the User Experience in Mind
The fact that a huge percentage of apps get used only once or twice means that something is seriously wrong with the first use experience with these apps. Let’s face it, first use experience is one of the most misunderstood topics among app development experts, but it basically boils down to this fact: The user’s first time experience with the app is different from his or her fifth experience, which is different from their tenth experience and so on.
Every interaction with the application offers a learning experience for the user and as with any learning experience; it must be well-organized or structured. The app interface needs to progressively get used to the user’s current level of expertise. An app should treat new users in the same way a good teacher would teach a student, helping him/her to gradually increase their subject knowledge.
Create a Great Interface Design
If you ever wondered what is the most overlooked feature of mobile application development is take a look at the user interface. User interfaces – good or bad – are everywhere – on mobile phones, websites, televisions, toasters and even automobiles.
Whenever there is a frustrated app user, there is usually a poor user interface. The role of mobile application design experts is to make something that is actually easy to use. In other words, you need to think how your customers are actually going to use your apps and make an effort to make their life easier. Keep in mind that for mobile applications, it is both an art and science.
Keep Users Coming Back for More with Push Notifications
Mobile push notifications can engage your customers, especially when the app is not in an active state.
The forms of user engagement through push notifications are numerous. Here are a few ways a good push notification marketing techniques that can enhance your app’s engagement.
Reminders – One way to bring customers back is to send them a reminder message that pulls them back. Push notifications give your app a voice to deliver relevant information to your customers whenever and wherever they may be.
Offers – Everyone is hunting for a good deal these days and appreciates a bargain. You can create offers, marketing campaigns, promotions and product updates to alert your customers about at the most appropriate times. You can also use push messages to promote special products.
Another similar challenge facing online retailers is dealing with customers who have a tendency of abandoning their shopping carts after placing items in it. You can use push messages to remind them about items they may have abandoned in their shopping cart.
When you give your customers the option to personalize the messaging it gives customers control: With push messages, users can retain control of how and at what times they receive messages. That makes it a more effective channel for dialogue between your brand and your customers. Your customers give you permission to communicate with them and will even tell you what they want to hear from you about. However, be sure not to misuse that right by bombarding them with irrelevant, unwanted messages.
Make Your App Social
Apps that are naturally social are usually far more likely to engage users than their peers. A truly social mobile application will leverage a friend-connected experience to enhance the positive user experience. Facebook Connect is arguably the most powerful login mechanism available for most mobile apps. Facebook authentication process is often considered as the most secure and trusted login tool. Users are more likely to extensively use, share and promote your content if they are logged in through Facebook as an example.
Having a great mobile application with engaging, compelling and informative features is a great way to retain users to your app. However, the competition is tough so you need to go the extra mile in order to stand out from the rest. Efforts made to improving user engagement with your app will result in increased brand loyalty and improved app engagement.
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