16 April 2021

App Retention – How to Ensure your Customers Hang Around

mobile applications

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GearedApp Team

We’ve all been there, right? One of your contacts tells you about this great new app – it has a load of exciting features and will solve one of those problems that you didn’t even realise you had. On first reflection, it seems to do its job just fine. However, as the days go on you’re using it less and less. Before you know it, you’re running low on storage and it’s the first thing to go.

Well it’s not just you. Statistics show that the average app loses 77% of users in the first three days of installing. With the average phone user having 40 apps, the competition is fierce and it is more important than ever to make sure your app stands out from the crowd.

Read on to explore the world of app retention, why users lose interest and our top tips on keeping them engaged.


What are Retention Rates and Why Do They Matter?

App retention rate is the percentage of customers using your app over a set period of time. Whether it be 1 day or 100 days, maintaining a high retention rate is imperative in your application’s success.

Ultimately, your retention rate shows what sort of experience your user is having. If a high number of people are leaving your app within the first day of installing, it can highlight any number of problems with the application.

Golf app


Factors that Influence User Engagement

Overwhelming Onboarding Process

Simply, the onboarding process is your user’s first impression of the app. Like any introduction, this initial impression makes all the difference. Ensuring that your customer’s first interaction with your application is as smooth as possible will lead to significantly higher retention rates, and essentially prove your app’s value. Think of it like test-driving a car – would you close the deal if you couldn’t open the door on first use?

Unintuitive Design

At the end of the day, you want to make it as easy as possible for your user to hang around. It is imperative that your app is user-friendly – this means that it must be easy to navigate, intuitive, reliable and visually appealing to your customer. Remember, your app is there to fulfil a purpose so make sure it does that to the best of its abilities.

Slow-Loading Times

We all know the struggles of a sluggish app; just think how fast you swipe out of it if it doesn’t load in a matter of seconds. Statistics show that when mobile site speed increases from 1 to 3 seconds, conversion rates fall by half. Optimum site load times vary between organisations but the general rule of thumb is no more than 2 seconds – the quicker the better.

Gated Content

Making your intentions clear from the get-go is massively important in retaining your user. If many of the special features your app claims to have aren’t included in the initial price, it may drive customers away. There is nothing more annoying than downloading an app to find out you can’t access any of the features you were looking forward to. If you’re struggling with app retention, you may want to think about how much of your content is gated, and how useful your app is without it.

Incomplete User-Experience

The reasons why a company decides to build a mobile app varies with every organisation, and may come with a multitude of pros and cons. However, at the end of the day an app is there to make things easier for the consumer. It sits on the front of your dashboard, easily tapped and enjoyed. This is why it is imperative that you ensure all of your customers needs are fulfilled within the app. It may be tempting to finish off the checkout process by linking to your external website, but avoid doing this at all costs. Anything that makes your user pause will compromise your retention rates.

Web app mobile


Tricks to Engage and Retain your Users

Keep it Simple

Whether it’s the initial onboarding process or everyday use of your app, the user always expects a  functional experience. Remember if the app does not seem beneficial to your customer, they will move to one of your competitors. Create a simple sign-up process and find the right balance of information – info overload could send them running in the opposite direction. Simple tricks like adding a short welcome message help to guide your user through the app, and it is shown to increase conversions by 17%.


Communicating with your users and obtaining feedback can make the world of difference in any app development project. A simple feedback form will help to understand exactly how your customers find your app. As well as this, testing and focus groups are imperative to know how your user experience is from real people – at GearedApp this is all a part of our process.

Personalise User Experience

Always remember who your customer is, and tailor your application to their needs. Whether your app is for children, busy professionals on the move or OAP’s, it is so important to not only tailor your content but tailor the functionality. People have different needs, and it helps to always be aware of this. Additionally, tailoring your content such as push notifications means that your customer won’t end up being bombarded with irrelevant information. You can do this by segmenting your audience and creating user profiles.

Be Adaptable

Staying on top of trends, listening to feedback and updating content are all a  part of the process in the creation of a successful mobile product. Change is constant so remember to always be flexible. At GearedApp, we help many of our clients with the maintenance of their product – we know it can be difficult to keep on top of things. Luckily we are here to help.

Software development team


Build a Successful App with GearedApp

Our friendly team of pros will be with you every step of the way, from our initial sit-down chat all the way to releasing the finished product. Discover our process to find out more about how GearedApp works.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.