How to grab, retain app users’ attention

How to grab, retain app users’ attention

Let’s retrospect and analyse: how many apps do we download in a month onto our smartphones? I am sure most of us are not even aware of the number or the app we download, the reason being the retention of the app and its features is very low. A recent report also reveals that users are not downloading apps as frequently as before anymore. People used to download more than 10 apps per month, but now the app download ratio has decreased drastically.

Today, most apps have been designed in a way that they provide more than a single service and hence people spend 80% of their time using only top three apps on their smartphone. About 77% of users never use an app again 72 hours after installing it. Even if you install an app for a certain reason, you would uninstall it soon after the purpose is solved.

Take for example, your photo editing apps, once a picture is edited, users find no reason to interact with the app further and it is deleted. Also, there are so many apps operating in the same zone, that users always have the capacity to choose without really understanding the differentiator for any.

This phenomenon suggests that app developers need to go an extra mile in order to capture users’ attention to using their app. With the upsurge in internet speed and cheaper mobile data, the number of players in the over the top (OTT) industry keeps increasing with every passing day. Users have various app options which offer different favourite content, customised to their needs on the go. It is not an easy task for these OTT players to retain users on their app, especially for a long time period as content consumption is increasing leaps and bounds across the globe.   

According to statistics, as of March 2017, there were 2.8 million apps on Google Play and 2.2 million apps on Apple’s App Store. Apps are doing everything they could, offering everything they have in order to convince users into using their platform. OTT players offer tons of content, but the quantity certainly does not play a big role when it comes to users’ decision to download and use the app. When it comes to consuming content, every user always wants to have something that is unique in nature and is relatable. For an app to win over users’ attention, it needs to curate rich, deep, and unique content.

There is no one app that can satisfy the whole population or is optimised to cater to every need of an individual. Armed with this fact, an app should discover its niche in the market. Through niche market, the app will face less competition and is likely to be preferred by the market. To find this niche, the app developer would need to examine trends in the industry.

When the app-makers finally finds a niche they want to cater to, they should listen to what this section of customers really want, and curate the best content for the target group. For the OTT industry to find this niche, players should analyse which segment in the market they can cover that is not dominated by any players yet.

Last but not least, offering regional content plays a big part in winning over consumers. Regional content works as an excellent ice breaker between the consumers and the app. According to industry estimates, 75% of new internet users will be from rural India and 75% of new internet users will consume data in local languages by 2020.

Based on these findings, OTT industry in India has started to offer local content as it has a huge untapped market potential. To bring in regional content, apps can start by offering content in local languages. As a result, users would have a deeper personal bond to the app which will result in them spending more time on it.

Driving up traffic and engagement in your app is difficult, but not impossible. By offering unique, customised and regional content for users, it is believed that an app will reflect a better understanding of its customer needs. This will drive user preference and increasing the engagement with the app.


(Thee writer is Managing Director, SHAREit India)

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