For most app developers, getting people to actually notice that their app is out there (let alone download it) is the first proverbial mountain to climb. According to one recent study there were over 1.5 million apps in the Apple App Store alone as of 2022. Standing out to app users in an overwhelmingly crowded marketplace can often feel like an uphill battle - largely because it is.
But once that app has been downloaded, the next frontier becomes getting people to keep using it. App retention depends upon your ability to provide users with an experience they simply cannot get anywhere else. Getting to that point isn't necessarily difficult, but it will require you to keep a number of essential things in mind.
1. Enable direct communication
One great way to boost in-app engagement (especially in a B2B environment) is to allow app users to send messages to one another. With the right tools, adding in-app chat functionality is easy, and it's a great way to make sure that your software becomes a more essential part of someone's life every day.
2. Empower collaboration
In-app file sharing is another way to transform your app from something that is nice to have into something that people legitimately depend on. Once a handful of B2B users see how easy it is to collaborate via your app, they will encourage their colleagues to embrace this avenue as well.
3. Encourage community
Social feeds can dramatically extend your app functionality and can encompass practically anything. It's easy to add news feeds, comment threads, polls, and more - all in an inherently secure fashion.
4. Focus on core features
Resist the urge to "over-develop" your app if possible, especially in the B2B realm. While you do want to add new features periodically, remember that your app needs to have a set of core features that you do better than anyone else. Don't become a "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" by adding countless new features that aren't particularly noteworthy.
5. Get to know your users better
In both B2B and B2C, make no mistake: users have opinions. If you want to know what will get them to engage more, come right out and ask them by way of polls, targeted email campaigns, and more.
6. Measure, measure, measure
You can't improve upon that which you are not measuring. Pick the engagement metrics that matter most to you (like daily active users or time spent in app) and measure them over a period of many months to see which of your efforts are working and which ones aren't.
7. Simplify everything
In a best case scenario, your app should make your user's lives simple. If it isn't doing that, they'll find another option that will. Go over everything - from core features down to the user interface - and keep it simple above all else.
8. Focus on personalization
The more personal you can make your in-app experience, the more likely someone is to engage with it. It's part of the reason we love social media - a sophisticated algorithm essentially curates sites like Facebook and Twitter to show us content that we are pre-disposed to like.
9. Create a secure experience
People are more likely to engage with your app and share their data if they feel like they can trust you. Always make sure that whatever features you're adding - be they chat-based, file sharing, or something else entirely - is implemented in the most secure manner you can.
10. Never abandon rour app
Even if your app functions well today, if you reach a point where you think you've "done enough" and stop providing regular updates, people will feel like you've abandoned it. Soon, they will do the same - don't forget this.
In the end, app retention means more than just initial downloads. The app development process shouldn't end once your application is live in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. If anything, it's only just beginning. You need to continue to work hard to provide app features that people actually want to use. Only then will you begin to see the app user engagement levels that you need to sustain your efforts moving forward.
To find out more information about the various ways that you can maximize in-app engagement, or to get answers to any other specific questions that you might have, reach out: