The global mobile apps market size is projected to hit $407.31 billion by 2026 and with the African continent having one of the fastest rates of adoption of digital services in the world, the African app market is primed for successful app adoption.
For many app developers, there is often a heavy focus on acquiring new users but that is often only the beginning.
Once you have acquired your users, it’s essential to maximize their experience to ensure they remain on your app.
Following the acquisition, user engagement and retention are prime drivers to an app’s success and longevity.
While the African app market is ripe for growth, recent studies have suggested that apps often lose over 77% of users in their first three days of usage.
That is a sizable loss of users, many of which would’ve been acquired at a cost. So how does an app developer ensure their users remain on their apps?
Whilst there is no foolproof guide to guaranteed app success, there are certain best practices app creators can follow in order to achieve long-term success.
An Optimised Onboarding Process
In order to ensure your users are engaged, it’s important to have an effective and efficient onboarding process.
App users in Africa are more sensitive to data costs, so a simple, relatively quick onboarding process can be a good way of reassuring the new user that this app won’t eat too much of their data.
The key to this is limiting non-essential steps and instead of placing an emphasis on ease of use.
At the very first post, it’s critical to strike a balance between essential app functionalities and data capture.
Overloading your users with too much information at the download stage can become just as much of a barrier to retention as having a bad app.
Provide your users with value
In an African app market where the mobile phone is a key platform for businesses to connect with users, the value an app provides for users can be really important in whether or not they keep or delete it.
When considering whether or not to continue using an app, research shows that users are more than likely to continue using the apps that they get the most value from.
An app designed to make accessing critical services like payments, shopping, travel, entertainment or health facilities can represent a sizable incentive for users to continue using your app.
Apps that add value can provide benefits, elicit emotions, or solve specific problems better than their competition.
Users respond positively to apps that appear to give visible value and are far more likely to continue using such apps.
The power of optimized analytics
In the super-competitive mobile app space in Africa, it is important for developers to be adaptable and open to evolving their apps to meet their users’ needs to stay ahead of competitors.
Learning from insights on exactly how users are actually using your app can give you a competitive edge in building app experiences that are set apart from your competitors.
The key to understanding how to retain your app’s new users lies in post-install measurement, which will give you the whole picture on the customer journey and maximize your revenue potential.
This means measuring all the key moments in the cycle from download through to adoption, identifying any gaps and optimizing accordingly.
The data gathered from post-install measurement can yield extensive insights and can help maximize user lifetime value by informing smarter acquisition and re-engagement decisions.
Another crucial part of app engagement is personalization. Creating or allowing users to adapt an app to suit their preferences adds a personal touch that makes it easier to engage with the app, in turn creating an attachment that influences them to remain on the app.
This can be achieved in many ways, including something as simple as using the user’s name and addressing them personally when they use the app.
Utilizing user data such as location and behavior for push notifications is also another way personalization can be achieved.
Studies have shown that when the notification is tailored to the user, push notification engagement increases eightfold.
An effective way of combating churn and keeping users on your app is by remarketing to them.
Research shows that remarketing can be a surefire way to improve engagement and boost revenue (by around 63% across verticals).
Using deep linking, app developers can create effective and smooth remarketing journeys in which they will be able to remarket existing app users and send them to specific experiences within the app without being directed to the app store or app home page first. This, as the data shows, can be very useful for keeping users engaged.
Poor user retention is still very common among mobile apps. In Africa in particular, understanding and adapting your app to accommodate your market’s context is essential for keeping users on your app.
Getting users to download an app is undoubtedly an important part of the process but the long-term goal must be getting users to engage with an app over time and retain the app.
By applying the strategies above, app developers in Africa can give themselves a great chance to achieve success in today’s highly competitive app landscape.
About the Author
Daniel Junowicz is the Managing Director of LATAM & Africa at AppsFlyer, the global leader in mobile attribution. Prior to joining AppsFlyer Daniel worked in the manufacturing sector in China for over six years. In 2014, Daniel brought his passion to AppsFlyer as the first employee on the Chinese team.
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild.africa weekly digest for updates.