Tactics That Can Help Early Stage Startups Improve Their App Retention Rates

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In the past decade, mobile applications have become an unavoidable part of our life. From ordering food to booking tickets, we have apps for everything. AppAnnie says, last year, consumers downloaded more than 218 billion apps worldwide in 2020, a 7% rise from 2019The numbers appear exciting, but in fact, 1 out of every 4 users will abandon an app within the first use. Today, mobile users want apps to be stable, occupy less storage, load quickly. Seeing how it is cheaper to retain users than acquiring new ones, product leaders should prioritize user engagement and establish App retention rate as a key metric.

What is the App retention rate?

‘Retention rate’ is the percentage of app users that return to the application within three months of their first install. We can calculate an average retention rate over 30 days from when the application gets installed. If many users abandon your product within this period, it would mean that your app does not match their expectations. Reasons to focus on retention rate: 

  • Mobile users are quick to install a new application, but what matters the most to the users is if the apps match their requirements, and provide it in a convenient way. Retention rate can help you measure this aspect.
  • There are over 5 million+ mobile apps vying for user attention, and it does not take more than 5 seconds to identify a similar one like that of your product.
  • User acquisition is expensive, and only a quarter of users come again to the app, and the rest lose interest. It’s known as the “churn rate,” meaning a percentage of users leaving the app during a period.

5 Reasons why your retention rates are Crashing

Users uninstall apps when they are not satisfied with the app, and they do not want to waste their time and money on under-quality products. We must now explore some of the factors that will finally lead your customers to say ‘Hasta la vista’ to your applications.

  1. Huge Size: If your product takes up too much storage space, it is more likely that your customers will uninstall it. Due to this reason, many companies generally don’t focus on making products that are too large. Your customers may find your product interesting in the initial stage. But once they realize that it is hogging a large amount of space on their mobile device, they will start looking for a smaller and better alternative.
  2. Loading speed and complicated UI: Users like to see the app opening within 2-3 seconds of tapping the icon. A simple app that is quick in loading, with simple instructions, is easy to use contributes to the application’s success.
  3. Privacy Deficient: Hackers pose a significant threat to apps of any type and popularity. Users expect apps to be secure with high-quality protection. So, apps that make them feel insecure will refrain from making in-app purchases and give out negative reviews on the app store.
  4. Finding a better alternative: Every app developer claims their app to be the best in the market, but it is the view of the end-users that matters. Close to 29% of app uninstallations happen because the user finds a better app with more enhanced features. The older app will get deleted to save space and the threat of losing data.
  5. Misleading buttons and tap objects: In some apps, we see button-like images that are misleading. And in some instances, the actual call-to-action is not visible or accessible enough. It irritates users more than we expect and results in uninstalling the app.

How can QA help in Retaining Users?

The above-discussed problems occur when you are in a hurry to launch an app before your rival can. It might give you a quick fix and success to your business, but quality cannot concede in the longer run. For better user engagement, testing the app for device compatibility, security, accessibility, and high performance is a must for any app development team.

Test the app for promises: Before launching an app, we must test if it can do what they promise to perform. This action makes it possible for the customer to have any disappointment and enhances your business’s integrity.

Bug-free experience: A thorough QA testing gives you the confidence to push for a bold product launch. You can feel assured that the QA process will have flushed out most technical glitches. While at production, we cannot make any significant changes to the system. So, proactive QA testing will give you a confident implementation.

Increases User Engagement:  A smooth, bug-free application attract users, improves engagement and increases positive reviews on the app store. Likewise, experiencing frequent crashes and freezes is unpleasant to users. According to a survey by Techbeacon, 53% of the users uninstalled or deleted an app because of it. QA helps to reduce the risk of glitches and boost an optimistic experience.

Better Security: Every app asks for some user data. So, the information stored is prone to online hackers who are waiting to steal it. Online security is a hot topic, and users insist on keeping their data safe. They do not wish to provide it to any external bodies without their permission. Before launching the app, conduct QA testing to fix security loopholes. And avert potential PR disasters that will impact your brand image.

Saves Money: Rushing to Launch the app without testing can cost you in many ways. Any uncovered bugs will cause app penalization, bad reviews, and a poor user retention rate. Moreover, it is expensive to fix defects in apps that are in production.

Organic Referrals: Organic leads are the best referrals. When the existing users invite their friends to use the app, they come with an open mindset. They will be aware of the benefits and value proposition of the app. Business know-how says 54 % of chief executives opined that customer referrals as their most valuable source of leads. When you have a bug-free, safe and smooth app, customers will gladly bring their friends to your app and fuel continuous growth.

2020 User Engagement Benchmarks

For years, retention is a pain point for marketers, and 2020 is not an exception. The average retention rate decreased this year by 12%. The pandemic has caused a swell in app downloads, but the app retention rate slumped because of the intense competition.

Key findings:

  1. The quality of apps in Apple’s IOS stands out 42% higher than Android’s.
  2. App remarketing can boost revenue and save costs in the long run. Apps that run remarketing campaigns proved to perform better than apps that do not.
  3. Developed markets deliver higher quality apps for users with 80% higher retention rates.

(Source credits: Appsflyer)

Final words

Laying down everything on the table, I recommend you hire a QA outsourcing agency. It is best to see your app with an unbiased pair of eyes before launching and check it in a critical mindset.

Automated testing with the help of QA testing tools will save a lot of your time and energy. You can focus on your core competence and leave the hassle of QA software testing to us. We at QAoncloud, follow Quality assurance best practices to fix bugs, giving your users an exceptional experience, and ensuring data security. These vital points help to enhance your user engagement and improve retention rates.

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