How to improve mobile app retention

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There’s an old saying, “People will only stop buying from you when you stop selling.” But the reality is that many brands struggle to capitalize on their existing customers because they don’t prioritize customer retention.

Studies show that over time, the number of mobile app users decreases as they find new apps. To prevent this decline, you can use many strategies like push notifications, app messages, and email marketing to maintain high retention rates. 

In this post, we’ll explain what mobile app retention means and uncover the top strategies to enhance retention and drive repeat purchases. 

Let’s get into it.

What does customer retention mean?

If you look at the data, the average retention rate on day 1 of a new iOS app is 26.65%. That’s not bad. But, as you hit the first 30 days, the average retention rate falls to 4.13%. This is a serious drop. Why does it happen?

To answer that, let’s first look at what retention means.

Retention is the percentage of users who return to your app after a set number of days. Looking at those percentages above, it means that of all the people who found your app on day 1, only about 4% stick around after 30 days. That’s the crowd you can keep marketing to and make sales from. Not bad, but think about it—if you could hang onto 10% or even 15% of your first customers, that would be huge, leading to higher engagement and a lot more money in the long run.

For example, Palette of Threads boutique saw a massive 69% increase on returning customers through a mobile app from Vajro. Read the full case study here.

There are many proven strategies to increase your customer retention numbers and engage your mobile app customers. 

Let’s uncover some of them.

Proven strategies to improve mobile app retention

The following initiatives can help kickstart your mobile app retention strategy and get customers to buy from your brand more often. 

Deliver personalized experiences

According to a study by Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that remember them, know what they buy, and provide relevant offers and recommendations. 

This drives home the importance of personalized offerings. 

The more your app stands out and feels personalized, the more customers will keep coming back and make repeat purchases. Personalized shopping experiences make customers feel connected to your app, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

There are several ways you can provide these personalized experiences through your mobile app. Here are a few examples:

  1. Personalize product recommendations by analyzing customer data and understanding their preferences, purchase history, and browsing behavior. Check out how Carol’s Boutique displays Related Products and Recently Viewed on their product display pages.
  1. Set up loyalty programs that offer special rewards to customers who return and make purchases often. 
  2. Customize push notifications to let your loyal customers know about new products or promotions that are relevant to their interests. 
  1. Deliver targeted emails to customers and nudge them to take specific actions like completing abandoned checkouts or checking out ongoing sales.
  2. Encourage your happy customers to share their experiences through reviews, photos, or videos. Build up social proof and brand credibility by promoting these user-generated content on your app, website, and social media channels. Vintage Boho Bags boutique has displayed their glorious five-star reviews right on their app’s homepage. These reviews boast of customer service, quality of products, and positive shopping experiences.
Build a seamless user onboarding experience

Creating a smooth onboarding experience is key to improving retention. After all, first impressions matter a lot. Here are some tips to provide a seamless onboarding experience for your customers.

  1. Keep the interface simple.
  2. Use graphics and imagery to guide customers along the journey.
  3. Offer incentives to encourage conversions (i.e., discounts, free trials, or exclusive deals).
  4. Keep testing and make continuous improvements.

Here’s an example from Shop CCB’s mobile app homepage. A simple yet attractive interface, offers and discounts for first-time customers, and app-exclusive products – a perfect blend for an app’s homepage.

Make your shop’s visuals clean and clutter-free to make it easier for customers to navigate. Use common symbols like cart icons and home symbols that they understand. The last thing you want is for your customers to find it difficult to know how to use your app to make purchases. Incentives can help encourage them to engage more and make buying easier. 

Update your app and keep it fresh

To maintain customer engagement, it's important to keep update your app with new features, products, and deals. Find ways to make the shopping experience more enjoyable for your customers. For instance, implement features like automatic discounts and marketing automation integrations.

You can also ensure your app's content stays fresh by updating product listings, banners, and promotional visuals like images and graphics on a regular basis. 

Highlight seasonal, trending, or limited edition products to keep them engaged. Integrate social media to engage with your customers and share promotions with them. These strategies help maintain your app's relevance and encourage users to keep returning. 

Focus on providing great customer service

One of the best ways to increase customer loyalty is to provide excellent customer service. This begins from the moment customers interact with your app. It's important for them to feel that your app is designed with their convenience in mind. Implement support features like live chat to provide quick answers and assistance when needed, even when you’re offline. 

Check out how Vilvah, a beauty and wellness boutique, displays amazing customer support capabilities on their mobile app. They have a dedicated section that recommends products based on common beauty concerns, allowing customers to self serve. In addition, they aslo have WhatsApp chat enabled to help customers get quick resolutions.

Ensure that you have a dedicated customer support team available to handle customer inquiries when they come up. Effective customer support can play a significant role in retaining customers and keeping them engaged. Retention boils down to building strong customer relationships, which requires clear communication. Good customer service is key to that. 

Increase mobile app retention with Vajro

Implementing customer retention strategies enables you to build lasting customer relationships, increase repeat purchases, and boost overall revenue. The best way to turn these concepts into realities is to build a mobile app for your store with all the app retention features you need. 

Vajro is the app builder for mobile loyalty that empowers more than 5,000 Shopify and Shopify Plus brands to engage and retain customers for life. With over 1,600 five-star reviews on the Shopify App Store, Vajro offers powerful capabilities like personalized push notifications, live selling, and a seamless integration with your tech stack. Try Vajro’s 30-day, free trial or sign up for a demo to get a hands-on experience today.

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Engage. Convert. Retain.

Use our 30-day free trial to launch your app, engage with your customers, and watch your sales grow. We'll be your partner every step of the way.
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