In a landscape dominated by digital solutions, a well-researched and thoughtfully designed app can take your business to new heights – increasing accessibility and revenue generation, elevating brand visibility and marketing opportunities, and allowing for data collection.

Mobile apps are becoming a major part of businesses’ growth strategies, as they offer customers convenience but the challenge for businesses today is not just creating another app but ensuring that their existing one doesn’t become one of the discarded millions.

This pervasive issue of app abandonment is a big worry and according to Kegan Peffer, CEO of Adoozy Power, it is not confined to any region but rather a pressing universal struggle.

“The last decade has seen a frenzy of app development, with the Apple App Store witnessing an exponential surge from 500 apps in 2008 to a staggering 1,8-million apps in 2023,” he explains.

However, not every app attains success, as revealed by recent research from Zipdo, the developers behind the meeting notes app. Their findings indicate that a mere 4% of app users remain active four weeks post-installation, with e-commerce apps facing a retention rate of 38% after just seven days. A staggering 50% of users abandon an app within the first 30 days, with the average lifespan between the first launch and uninstall being a mere 5,8 days.

In the context of the substantial investment required for a medium to high-functioning app, ranging from R700 000 to R1-million, Peffer highlights that the risk of app abandonment equates to money down the drain for businesses.

He emphasises: “While a mobile app can be an invaluable tool for many companies, it is crucial to not just have an app for the sake of it. This can do more harm than good for your brands reputation. Companies need to avoid giving in to rushed timelines, and rather focus on getting the user experience right before launching to the public.”

Cracking the uninstall code

Users uninstall apps for various reasons, primarily due to excessive advertisements and notifications, poor functionality, or a lack of stickiness. Peffer warns: “Having a functional app is no longer sufficient – consumers demand a comprehensive experience, and if it’s not delivered, they will seek alternatives.”

To confront these challenges head-on, Peffer recommends the following strategic tips for business owners to enhance the appeal and longevity of their mobile apps in 2024:

* Streamlined User Interface (UI): Simplify and optimise the user interface to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for users. A clutter-free design that has undergone rigorous software testing to address functionality issues and offers additional elements to the standalone website will enhance navigation and encourage user engagement.

* Personalised User Experiences: Leverage predictive data analytics to understand user behaviour and preferences. Implement personalised features like in-app messaging and automation to make the app smarter and more valuable to individual users. Apps that can interact with and control smart devices are very popular as are those that integrate voice commands for a hands-free experience.

* Balanced Advertisements: Respect user sensitivity to advertisements and prioritise streamlined communication by striking a balance between generating revenue through advertisements and providing a pleasant user experience. Intrusive ads and excessive notifications contribute significantly to app abandonment, so ensure a user-friendly ad strategy.

* Regular Updates and Bug Fixes: Stay proactive in addressing user feedback and consistently roll out updates to fix bugs, improve app performance and enhance security, privacy, and trust. This demonstrates a commitment to providing a top-notch user experience.

* Incorporate Instant Gamification Elements: Peffer predicts a surge in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) application in 2024, across various industries, from gaming and education to healthcare and retail. Businesses looking to stay ahead should explore ways to integrate these immersive technologies into their mobile apps. Introducing gamification features can catapult user engagement to another level, and reward systems, challenges, and interactive elements can make the app more enjoyable and encourage prolonged usage.

“By embracing these trends and implementing user-centric strategies, businesses can defy the odds of app abandonment, making 2024 the year of innovative and captivating mobile app experiences,” concludes Peffer.