How to keep mobile app users engaged
With two thirds of people now owning a smartphone in the UK, demand is high amongst consumers to have connectivity at their fingertips. Add to this the fact that 39% of adults have at least one banking-based app, and it presents a real opportunity for banks to serve engaging content to the many consumers who are now “mobile first”.
However, developing an app for a banking experience isn’t the same as doing so for a website, now brands must think about how they can best create a customer journey that is optimised for mobile.
As part of this process, they need to think about the “stickiness” of the app. This is effectively ensuring that the app delivers an engaging experience that encourages the user to continue using it, rather than moving onto the mobile web version.
So, how can you ensure your app’s stickiness? These can be a good set of benchmarks to measure against:
- Downloads: number of downloads vs uninstall rate
- Total sessions: number of sessions within app over a period of time
- Retention: how many days users retain the app
- Session length: how long users stay within the app
Crucially, the ability of an app to stay on a user’s device, and be accessed regularly, is all about engagement.
How to ensure your banking app is sticky
Consumers are selective about the apps they use, particularly when connecting with their banks and credit card companies. Convenience, speed and a personalised experience, along with security, are all top of the priority list. If an app does not meet these standards, financial institutions can expect to see uninstall rates rise quickly. Here are some of the key things to think about to make sure this doesn’t happen to your app:
- Simplify account access
To make the experience as fluid as possible, make sure all the standard access to account and payments options are easy to find and interact with. Larger buttons should also accompany the navigation as they can be easily tapped on a smaller interface. Be sure to keep images at a minimum, as they can increase the loading time and negatively affect interactions. Also, the number of steps to transactions and account viewing should be minimised, with one or two click payment and transfer options available rather than re-entering details each time.
- Helpful notifications
App users, especially millennials, expect to see notifications during their mobile experience. In gaming for example, many accept advertising in lieu of paying to play. In banking too there is expectation that notifications will provide users with useful information that will enhance their experience. This is therefore an opportunity for banks to provide information about their products and services in addition to the traditional account.
- Easy navigation
On mobile devices users expect an intuitive, seamless experience with simple, but effective navigation. Any app that aims to be streamlined must have the ability to input information in pre-populated fields and clear drop-down menus wherever possible.
- Payment & transfer assistance
No matter how much work is put into an app, there will always be instances where users need help, and this has to be easy to find. Whatever the query, ineffective assistance will scupper the chances of users completing a purchase. Banks therefore need to implement solutions, such as live chat, email, and mobile/web self service that will guide customers through their journey in a quick and seamless manner, to ensure that conversions are made. The aim should be for users to have the same experience as if they were physically entering a bank on the high street.
- Offer mobile-only offers
To many users the mobile device is simply another screen, no different from a PC. A mobile device is usually opted for due to the convenience. In order to make this experience something users want to engage with repeatedly, regardless of circumstance, providing exclusive offers for mobile users that can be an effective method of retaining engagement. Not only will this motivate existing users to re-engage, it also has the potential of driving new customers to the app. Such examples could include reduced rates on currency exchanges.
- Update apps frequently
Regular app updates are now commonplace. Facebook now has regular updates to its mobile app, much in the same way that Microsoft delivers regular updates to its Windows operating system. In the same vein, banks need to be monitoring feedback on what their app visitors want, and provide updates that satisfy those needs, retaining engagement.
- Integrate with partners
Apps needn’t be exclusively built by the bank’s development team, there are many specialist providers whose focus is specifically on delivering solutions that will give customers the engagement they’re looking for in an app.
Apps are rapidly becoming the default way for consumers to get online when using their mobile devices. With over 3 million apps in the Google Play and Apple app stores and an economy expected to have created 321,000 jobs as a direct result of app development in the UK alone, it is an incredibly crowded market.
This means banks need to develop mobile apps that don’t just provide the same service as a traditional website, they must be better. If they can create apps that offer engaging and innovative services, enhancing the experience, they will have achieved a “sticky” app.
By Alf Saggese, managing director, EMEA, Moxie