In today’s rapidly-evolving mobile world, any company with a mobile app will have its own a growth strategy, whether it’s to acquire new users or to ensure those users acquired convert to “super users”. A “super user” is a user who is generating revenue for the app, whether that be through in-app purchases or ad impressions/clicks.
A mobile growth strategy usually has 4 stages, each stage as important as the other, with the ultimate goal to turn users into “super users”. The 4 stages are Acquire, Engage, Grow and Retain.
Let’s discuss each of the 4 stages, and how mobile app acceleration plays an important part.
A report by Venture Beat showed that nearly 7% of all acquisitions made on mobile are via an Organic/ASO channel, which means that a user has either searched directly for the app or an associated keyword.
Although the App/Play Store algorithms for ranking criteria is not publicly known, there are certain factors that have been proved to help with the rank an app is given when an associated keyword is search for.
There are 2 factors that a much quicker app with less errors (timeouts, missing images etc.) can help with to ensure an app owner maximizing app store rankings.
- MAU/DAU – The algorithms consider the number of MAU (monthly active users) and DAU (daily active users) when ranking an app. The higher the retention rate of existing users, the better ranking received within the app store. We’ll discuss the effect that acceleration and error reduction has on retention within the other stages below.
- User Reviews – As of November 2016, according to Moburst, Apple updated their algorithms to consider the actual reviews users leave on an app. This means that app store reviews are now more important than ever, and will directly affect where an app appears within an app store search.
The “Engage” stage within a user’s lifecycle covers the first 1-2 sessions. A study by Localytics found that 23% of users will abandon the app after only one session. Mobile today is more competitive than ever before, and whether you’ve got a media, e-commerce or financial app, there will likely be at least a dozen other apps offering a very similar service to those provided by your app. First impressions are crucial to ensure that 1 in 4 of those users you’ve worked so hard to acquire don’t abandon the app after just one meager session.
According to Econsultancy, “One of the biggest reasons for mobile app churn is poor user experience”. You only have once chance to make a first impression to those new users, so that first sessions should be full of helpful information, a slick onboarding interface and – importantly – a quick and error-free experience.
The first two parts above are completely within your control. You’ll decide exactly how much information to give your users, and how that onboarding interface is tailored. Ultimately, though, the speed and reliability of the app is almost completely out of your control. Your onboarding plans may not consider if a user is using a 2G connection instead of a WIFI connection, nor if your user is traveling and using multiple mobile networks throughout their journey. What user experience do you want your customers to receive?
“On mobile, the stakes are higher. On the go and on smaller screens, everything seems slower and it’s harder to wait. A delay of as little as 500 milliseconds increases frustration (by 26%) and zaps engagement (by 8%).” – “9 Common Causes of Mobile Cart Abandonment”, an ebook by Mobify
The “Grow” or “Growth” stage of the user lifecycle is when you convert those users you’ve worked hard to acquire into paying users. Nearly all apps available on the App Store or in the Google Play Store are developed to generate revenue, whether that be through in-app purchases or via 3rd-party advertisements.
For a mobile app that monetizes through in-app purchases, the “conversion”, or point where a user purchases, is the key focus of the organization. This might be a mobile gaming company looking for users to purchase in-app credits, or a retail company looking for users to complete a purchase of physical items.
The “conversion” funnel will be tracked and analyzed daily to understand exactly when a user is most likely to drop off, and to understand what improvements can be made to decrease the drop-off rate at each stage.
According to “9 Common Causes of Mobile Cart Abandonment”, the aforementioned eBook by Mobify, the second most common reason for users to abandon a mobile purchase is due to the site taking too long to load, “…and it is also the reason why nearly half of the customers (46%) say they won’t return to a site(/app)”
Let that sink in a little. Across WiFi and mobile networks, 46% of users aren’t completing a purchase because of a slow app experience. Expect to see this increase well beyond 60% when looking at users who are connected through the app only via 2G or 3G networks.
“Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one?” – invespcro.com
The first rule of any business is to retain customers, and to ensure those customers remain loyal, which in turn helps to reduce acquisition costs. Today consumers have more choice than ever, making it even harder to retain a loyal customer base. Very few mobile apps today are particularly unique; for every Uber there is a Lyft, and for every Tinder there is a Happn or a Match.com alternative.
For every $5 spent on acquiring a single new user, 5 existing users can be retained, and according to a recent Stray Digital blog, “Increasing your retention by only 5% can increase profits by 25-95%”.
Improving overall mobile app user experience via quicker request times and by reducing error rates help app owners retain their users, while also increase conversions within the app dramatically.
For more information and proof points, take a look at our case studies to see how Neumob’s customers actually fared once they started speeding up app performance and reducing errors within their apps.