This How Customers Really Find and Use Your Apps (and How You Can Improve it)


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What is the first thing that you do after waking up every morning even before brushing your teeth and reaching out for a cup of steaming hot coffee?

Well, you scan through the latest celeb posts in Instagram or maybe check out the stock market condition by browsing through the CNBC highlights. Apps have become an integral part of our micro-moments whether we are logging into our fitness routine or finding our way to an official meeting.

As per data revealed by Nielsen, people spend about 30 hours on average every month browsing through apps which empower those I-want-to-go, I-want-to-know, I-want-to-buy and I-want-to-do moments. This is also the perfect stage for brands to develop deeper relationships along with their customers by utilizing the full potential of mobile app marketing which can drive e-commerce, complement a brand’s offline experience and help in connecting a brand with its constant customers.

A research was conducted with Ipsos MediaCT for elucidating the usage frequency of these design apps by customers wherein 8470 smartphone owners were surveyed. New insights were uncovered regarding the driving force behind consumers installing and engaging the mobile apps. According to the research findings, one in four installed apps were lying unused.

Today, we shall dig deeper into these insights for understanding the nitty-gritty of an effective mobile app-marketing strategy for boosting the app awareness and holding on to audience engagement simultaneously.

App Discovery Surpasses The Boundary Of An App Store

Source: Think with Google

40% of smartphone users head to an app store for finding new apps. Ranging from music streaming to fitness tracking, app store optimization suffices as a viable option for finding brand new apps which users love to try out. But people are also stumbling across newer apps while watching a YouTube video, searching for other apps or while surfing a website.

The Ipsos MediaCT research concluded that search is a major source of discovering new apps with one in every four users finding and downloading a new app by searching for the same or its contemporaries.

You can take the example of a business traveler who needs to find an accommodation in Miami where he shall be flying on short notice. He immediately seeks out the help of Google for looking up “hotels in Miami” and comes across an app which enlists the available rooms filtered in accordance with price, availability, and distance from a particular spot of attraction. If he has to travel frequently then chances are high that he will download the app in his mobile for one-click booking from the next time.

50% people end up downloading apps due to search ads. This growing trend in app marketing strategies is edging marketers in rethinking their brand’s approach towards app discovery. Apart from increasing the app visibility, the search ads also boost up downloads by popping up exactly when the consumer is searching for something similar.

Source: Think with Google

Marketers can make use of such strategies for making their app stand out whenever smartphone users are searching for apps which are relevant to their interests. App visibility can also be increased by concentrating the promotion of your app on consumer experience designed specifically for downloads and making use of mobile app install campaigns. In this way, marketers can make their brand spread over wider audience base while they are searching for similar options. Users can also discover your apps easily by extension of campaigns across ad formats which drive app installations including video and display. You can look at the marketing strategy of HotelsCombined which introduced AdMob and Google Search during its 2014 promotions causing its download quantum to increase by 150% within July to August while its cost per acquisition diminished by 20% compared to other networks. With the implementation of display app promotion and Google search campaigns, HotelsCombined reached a global scale acceptability.

Engaging and Re-engaging users who tend to lose interest over time

People usually seek the help of apps for easing out their daily grind and are more likely to use them if their specific purpose is served. Research studies have revealed that two out of three users frequently use an app when it simplifies their lives.

You can take the example of Walgreens, a retail app which provides customers with coupons and sale deals while they are shopping in-store. These apps can have a big role to play in easing out the customer’s purchase journey. One out of every two app users even turns to them for finding information relevant to a business or product which in turn can influence their purchase decision.

On the flip side, these apps stand at heightened risk of being abandoned immediately after the transaction is completed. Thirty-eight percent of the surveyed population revealed that they downloaded an app only when it was felt necessary to complete a purchase and half of them uninstalled the same once the purchase was made.

In such a scenario, it is imperative for an application developer to ensure that the app is used time and again by users once they prove the utility and value of their product. Brands need to provide clear value to avoid getting lost in the rat race with countless new apps being launched every day.

You can take the example of Sephora which has enhanced the in-store shopping experience paired with its app which allows users to scan through all the additional product information. An in-store pickup is also offered by the brand of items purchased online thus helping the app is strengthening its foothold in the smartphone space of users by comprehending every micro-moment during their purchase journey.

Mobile app development needs to be such that it can draw back the attention of users to the brand being promoted. Thirty percent of the surveyed population revealed that they would resume using a particular app if they received a discount on making a particular purchase whereas a quarter of users would return on receiving a bonus or exclusive content and privileges. This holds true especially in the case of travel and retail categories, where 40% and 47% of the users agreed to return back to a previously used app on receiving a coupon or discount offer. Users can be reminded of the app value by the implementation of mobile app engagement ads. Addition of deep links to the ads can also be a great way of helping people in proceeding with their search. Brands can keep this connectivity with users up and be running by engaging their audience with relevant content at the right time.

The app market has developed cut-throat competition with more than 2 million contenders vying for the attention of users. Thus, it is easily understandable that simply coming up with a breakthrough app is not enough. It really does not matter if your app was downloaded by more than 1 million users in the first week of its launch since more than half of them might uninstall it subsequently or never return to use it. In such a scenario, a strong user retention strategy is gaining paramount importance over and above the acquisition technique. Viral event skyrocketing revenues and million-dollar sale cannot be considered as dependable strategies although a large sect of app marketers bank on the same.

This is where data analytics come into the picture for monitoring the app usage and understanding how users are utilizing the same.

Ken Rudin, the Director of Growth at Google revealed earlier this year in an extremely insightful article that, “App marketing is a game of inches.” He disclosed how Google makes use of clever analytical data for gauging how applications such as Google Photos and Google Search are faring amongst users.

Key points which emerged out of such assessment were subsequently catered to with successful campaigns. Google also found out the exact reason behind the poor performance of certain applications and fixed the issues immediately for boosting user engagement. Thus, the role of analytics in successful in-app marketing is immense for both acquiring and retaining users. In short, Ken strongly advocated the power of analytics in-app marketing to acquire and retain users.

Yuvrajsinh Vaghela
Yuvrajsinh is a Marketing Manager at Space-O Technologies. Being the member of the mobile app development company, he spends most of his time researching on the mobile app and startup trends. If you have any confusion, or question, or need any consultation regarding mobile app development process, feel free to contact him.


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