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How you can use mobile apps to boost your business’ customer retention and loyalty


A business thrives primarily on account of the footfall of repeated visits of their customers. Frequent a customer arrives and reaches to business, the longer they stay connected.

This is why customer loyalty is perceived as the usual outcome of customer retention and engagement for business. But these days while most businesses are vying for discoverability, retention seems to be the biggest challenge and loyalty a far receding reality.

Any business can find their customers flaunting mobile devices and engaging with multitude of apps. But, a recent study data published by Localytics revealed that only 20% of the apps are retained after 90 days of download.

So, while apps can help your business achieve customer retention, you need to rethink your app strategy for retention as well.

Mobile presence: website vs app

If you are feeling complacent and quite jovial about having a quite appealing responsive or mobile friendly website of your business, you might have missed the difference it has with a native experience. In contrast to the mobile website, apps can make your customers more engaged with your brand. Let us explain how.

People who download an app just do not get to know a brand accidentally just as it happens with the traffic of your website in most cases. People already know your brand when downloading your app. Furthermore, People who visit apps spend at least three or four times more time than the website traffic. People download mobile apps to access exclusive functionality, contents or just to stay in touch with a business they consider valuable for their purpose.

Can your business take on the mobile app platform to establish a strong bond with your existing customers? Can you make your customers contact your business all too often with a mobile app? Remember, just having a mobile presence as an alternative way of making purchases is not enough. You need to unlock the full potential of mobile apps to engage, retain and drive loyalty. Let us explain here a few time tested ways you can do it.

Retention does not work with “one size fits all”

First of all, businesses need to understand that customer retention through mobile apps cannot be achieved with a “one size fits all” strategy simply because of every app genre experience different retention rates and duration.

User retention trends differ from one type of app to another. Recent studies confirmed the retention trends of few app genres as mentioned below. Here are few picks.

Mobile games have emerged as the strongest when it comes to customer engagement and retention within a 90 days span of time. It has been seen close to 40% new users return for game playing after the download and first use.

In the case of social and chat apps iOS as a platform enjoys higher retention rate compared to Android. In the case of media and entertainment apps, beyond the first week of use iOS out performs Android in respect of returning users. For many other niches, Android enjoys a better retention rate compared to their iOS counterparts.

Typically apps for food and dining experiences the lowest retention rate as a genre. Though these apps always experience a hike in engagement during weekend or holidays.

Making use of actionable data

Mobile is a powerful, intimate medium for engaging, retaining, and monetizing customers, but it relies on customer data to reach its full potential. The ways that customers engage with an app during their sessions can give marketers valuable insight into how to best reach and retain them, but only if the app’s tracking the right things. Read our guide to collecting customer information and be sure that you have the data you need to engage and retain your mobile audience.

Allowing customers to place orders

To allow your customers placing orders on mobile you do not need to be a fully-fledged mobile commerce company. You can allow your customers placing orders through the app. This will help your app becoming lucrative for your existing customers. You can allow them placing orders through integrated features like email and SMS. The same app can recommend products to customers based on their previous orders and interactions.

App-only discounts and offers

For any business unleashing a new mobile app, the most logical step would be pushing its existing customers for using the new app for the sake of business interaction. Long before your app actually gets ready to garner good App Store ratings and reviews, your on-board customers can spread the word far and wide about your new app.

On the other hand, this first batch of customers is also most loyal and can help your app have a kickstart. Now to make the new app lucrative for your customers you can unroll app only offers and discounts. Once the app gets going with a good number of customers actively using it, you can further consolidate the bond and reach them with more.

Dedicated content for app

There are apps that are remembered simply because of their exclusive contents and to your surprise, to make your app unique on account of contents you do not need to be a magazine or publication.

Even a small business app just by publishing relevant, user centric and valuable contents can inspire customers to visit frequently. If you have car rental business and app, why not publish automobile blogs, photo stories and travel videos in your app? Similarly, a restaurant app can publish a food blog on delicacies and food traditions they cater.

Finally, mobile app for a business can also be a great support mechanism. A mobile app can help a business stay alive and open for engagement round the clock. An app helps reaching the business with queries, feedback and reviews throughout the day. This makes mobile apps an ideal customer service solution as well.

Juned Ghanchi is the director of corporate marketing and co-founder of Indian App Developers, leading mobile app Development Company.  He has eight years of marketing experience with the biggest industries and business which help him to gain an outstanding marketing experience, which he shares with his blog readers.

Juned Ghanchi

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