When it comes to apps, the competition is fierce. Over two million apps fight for the coveted spot on a person’s device. Consumers, however, have limited storage, short attention spans, and low tolerance for sub-par performance. Any app that fails to dazzle users, doesn’t offer value, or does not provide lucrative incentives to keep using the app, is likely to go down the uninstall path within the first three days.

App uninstalls

Low performance, crashing, freezing, and bugs are the top causes for uninstalls. In a study by Compuware, only 16% of users will give more than two chances to a failing app. Apps that take too long to load, work slowly, annoy users, or malfunction are also less likely to last more than a few days on the user’s device.

Other factors that can play a part in driving users towards the uninstall button include:

  • Unpleasant UX/UI
  • Taking up too much space or drains a battery too quickly
  • Too many notifications
  • Difficult registration or onboarding process
  • Lack of in-app support
  • Too many updates

Now that we know the top factors that affect an app’s uninstall rates, let us take a look at the steps you can take to ensure better performance and customer satisfaction, which can help minimize uninstalls.

6 Ways to Reduce Uninstalls

To put it simply, you need to listen to what your customers are saying about your app, find out what is troubling them, and fix it. Easy, right?

It’s easier said than done, but by following the seven step below, you can significantly improve the overall user experience and satisfaction to ensure a long and mutually-fulfilling stay on the customer’s device.

1. Master your analytics and monitor critical drop-off points

For effective retention, you must leverage the power of clever analytics and tracking software to find out what is ticking your users off the most. Mapping in-app KPI’s to find out exactly where your users disengage is the first step to diagnosing and fixing the problem.

There are a number of potential drop-off points for an app user. Your app’s on-boarding process may be confusing, the registration may be taking forever, and finding the relevant product, service or information could be a hassle. If yours is a gaming app, running out of credits might be what’s causing drop-off. If it’s a shopping app, unexpected shipping charges can be the tipping point. Knowing precisely what your users find distasteful will help you fix critical issues and avert disengagement.

Use in-app event tracking and analytics to gather insightful data about how customers like to use your app, but remember every person is different. While some may be using your app to buy a certain product, others might be using it only to compare prices. Knowing this helps you offer targeted incentives that will nudge ‘on-the-fence’ users to gravitate towards completing high-value actions in the app.

2. Offer personalized incentives to dormant customers

30% of users will consider coming back or start using an app if they are offered a discount or coupon for their next purchase. In a market full of apps where users have too many choices, most people will only come back to your app if you offer something tangible like real savings and discounts.

The right way to do this, however, is to personalize and customize the offer to every individual customer. For example, offer discount on a product that’s been lying in their cart, with a personalized message that makes them feel valued. Track the services they frequently use and extend customized offers accordingly.

Incentivized app usage

3. Re-engage across multiple channels

An effective re-engagement strategy should involve multiple channels and touchpoints instead of using just one. In addition to using compelling in-app messaging and clever push notifications, you must leverage other channels to entice users.

Email marketing is still a great way to re-engage customers. Checking emails is, for most people, a daily ritual, and if done well, a persuasive email marketing program can steer users back to your app. Take a look at some of the most delightful re-engagement emails for your inspiration.

Social engagement is still a great way to re-engage customers who may have gone away from your app. 83% of Americans have a social media account and 48% of Americans have interacted with companies or institutions on at least one social media network. Popping up in your users’ newsfeed with an offer and friendly nudge can effectively draw them back to your app.

4. Gather and implement feedback

How do you find out what your users think about you? Simple—ask them. And then listen.

Scour multiple channels to gather actionable feedback directly from users. Watch out for reviews on app stores, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, open-ended email feedback, and others. Most users who are upset with your app will share their frustrations on external channels like the app stores and social media instead of directly contacting you. That is why it is crucial keep a pulse on what customers are saying about you, and to engage to genuinely resolve their concerns.

In addition to social media, in-app feedback is one area where you can really maximize engagement and minimize chances of uninstalls. Actively seeking feedback in-app and promptly resolving issues can, in fact, prevent negative reviews from going public in the first place, and create a communication channel between you and the user, bolstering trust and confidence. And who better than Apptentive to help you with that? :)

5. Provide a great experience from the start

This may sound like a no-brainer, but no harm in refreshing our basics, right? When it comes to designing a spectacular user experience at the development stage, several factors need to be considered.

  • Smooth your onboarding process. Keep it short, explain why you need the details you are soliciting, do not force users to sign up and remember allowing social media login.
  • Look out for battery life. Apps that are too heavy and drain the users’ phone batteries quickly are less likely to survive on the device.
  • Stay low on storage. Too many apps, too little space. Users struggle to keep all their favourite apps on the limited storage, and if your app occupies too much of it, users will find it difficult to keep you on.

6. Go easy on notifications

Push notifications are one of the most powerful features of apps, allowing you to engage with customers, sending targeted offers, and keep customers updated on your best features. However, timing is everything. Too many notifications can sour the experience and drive users to the uninstall button. An app that persistently pings and buzzes can nag users into flicking it off their phone.

The same rule applies to ratings. If a customer is asked to rate an app every single time they use it, it’s easy to lose patience and just uninstall. Give customers enough time to use the app before you prompt them to rate it. If the customer has declined to rate your app, give them a good amount of time before you ask again.

In conclusion

The above tips can help you make sure customers who have installed your app continue to use it and enjoy it for years to come. An app that does what it promises, provides value for money and time, delights with every use, and performs consistently will retain the coveted spot on the user’s device and manage to convert time and again, giving you the ROI you deserve.