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February 17, 2015

High Retention: How to Turn First Time Customers Into Regulars

Image courtesy of (Ambro) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In these times of ever increasing competition in the world of apps, a successful launch of your product followed by an amazing initial run are not enough. Optimizing the rate of retention so that a satisfied consumer remains an unperturbed user in the long run is considered to be the genuine key to success. Following are the insights that will help you to increase the retention ratio of your app, keeping your future cash flows intact.

Measuring retention

The most basic metric to start with is determining the percentage of returning users out of the total set of first-time users. Qualitative attributes such as user reviews and ratings properly mapped to returning users will help you to understand the reasons of return as well as the motives of rejection. Proper use of this wisdom can help an app publisher get to the bottom of things and devise strategies to increase conversion rate.

The duration between two subsequent uses can be used to form a cohort analysis that will help in understanding the frequency of return and will further prompt the publisher to more precisely calculate the net present value of a similar type of a tool set to be launched in future. Apart from the conventional analysis tool packages, cohort analysis can now be found in iTunes connect itself.

A great signing in experience

Attracting a user should start from the very early stage of signing into the app. The process needs to develop so the process is full of surprises that please the customer. These surprises need to be formed in such a way that once someone has started to follow them, they are given no reason to leave thereafter.

This process needs to become a method for the publisher to track various parameters at play while a decision is taken or a choice is made.

Avoid information overflow

A user, whenever signing into an app, generally remains doubtful about his decision unless he has received excellent reviews of the app from his friends. On top of that, the user is constrained by spatial- and data-related limitations as he is operating through a mobile phone. In such a vulnerable time, it’s not at all a good idea to take him through complicated designs and loads of information.

Therefore, take them through only what the user should know and not what you want to tell.

After on boarding

There is no reason to believe that once a user has started using the app, that all work is done. A publisher’s ultimate aim is to increase the overall lifetime value of the app. To retain users for a longer time, the key, therefore, is to engage the user first and keep the content refreshed over the shelf life of the product.

Strategies to engage

There are several ways to keep a customer glued to your content and the most useful of them are as follows:

Coupons

Providing coupons is a very useful tool to compel your users to come back to your app time and again. For example, each time the users visit, they will be provided with a coupon which will give them the opportunity to avail certain percentage of discount on a particular purchase. Establishing backward integration with shops and store chains need to be strategically sketched out to continue with such offers on an ongoing basis. Other than coupons, regular deal alerts in the form of Facebook notifications is also a recommended engagement tool, which does not require proactive deals and investments but, rather, uninterrupted gathering of market-information.

Push notification

The typical tendency to drop an app within the first month of usage is reduced by as much as 25 percent if the users are provided with regular push notifications.

Also, the degree of usage among customers who have opted to stay back gets increased from the use of these notifications.

Visual Analytics

Whereas traditional analytics provide the publisher with metrics such as number of downloads or number of drop outs, the advanced visual analytics app equips the publisher with more intricate user choice studies such as swiping, tapping or pinching. They also provide insights on user interface, UX and quality of design that helps to attain increased retention rate and strengthens the inward stream of cash flows.

Some of the useful aspects of such analytics are as below.

Recording user behavior       

This generates hotspots showing clearly the regions where a customer spends his maximum time thinking about what to do. Such places might appear due to designs which do not communicate well enough and, therefore, result in an enhanced number of false or failed tapping.

The UI of such regions should be reviewed and changed to make it more understanding and comprehensible.

The heat maps generated out of user touches should be used in more detail to get to the bottom of the following critical inquiries:

  • Which are the locations where maximum time is spent?
  • Which are the typical turn offs for the app?
  • What is the typical flow a customer follows while operating the app?
  • What are the steps generally avoided by a user?
  • Which UI features result into maximum user touch?

Studying all of these, with the help of advanced apps such as appsee can prove to be of real use when deciding strategies that lead to the optimization of customer retention ratios.

Using diverse analytics tools to achieve maximum retention depends on the efficient use of following five key action points: Monitor, analyze, optimize, launch and repeat.


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Chirag Leuva is a CEO at Yudiz Solutions. He is a mobile technology expert and has written a lot of articles about the latest buzz in the field of Android game development. He offers consulting services related to the hire of Android developers.

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