How to retain your customers through a mobile app?

mobile app

This guest post was written by Jonathan Nabais, founder of, a marketing agency which helps its clients to better sell their offers on the internet in order to grow and generate more profits in their marketing actions.

How to retain customers thanks to a mobile app?

Retaining customers thanks to mobile apps has been the new challenge for big brands and more generally app editors for some time.

Nowadays, mobile apps have become an essential tool in businesses’ customer retention strategies. According to Statista, the use of mobile phones has very rapidly increased, going from 0.3 hours in 2008 to 3.1 hours in 2017.

For this reason, offering a useful app to smart phone users is a very good way to stay close to them and make the most of the opportunities that mobile represents for the businesses that invest in it.

At the same time, comScore points out that the percentage of minutes dedicated to mobile apps is around 80-90% in the US, the UK, Canada, Spain, China, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico.

Using Onboarding to boost users’ interest

In 2012, a great deal of data from a study carried out by Localytics showed that 22% of apps downloaded are only used once. If one user out of four doesn’t reopen an app, it’s mainly because they don’t see the possibilities it offers from the outlook.

This is why it’s important to set up powerful onboarding in order to retain customers as soon as they open the app by showing them its main user advantages.

It’s useless to offer them a complete guide at the beginning. Good onboarding can generally be broken down into three parts simply by swiping to the right to move on to the next step.

Using push notifications to attract users’ attention

We recommend using push notifications to get users engaged with a mobile app. They are useful to make users open the app again.

A second, more recent, study carried out by Localytics in 2015 on the use of push notifications shows that engagement with an app using push notifications increases by up to 171% compared with a similar app not using this technique.

Finding the right message to send in a push notification is another challenge, as you have to make sure you send the users personalised messages. They must incite an action which requires using the app.

Creating quality content to make ambassadors

The content of your app is your first marketing tool. It must be rich, diverse and personalised to convince your users to look at it.

In the same way, the design of the app plays an essential role. We can only advise that you are meticulous in this aspect and collaborate especially with user experience (UX) professionals to ensure a pleasant and intuitive experience when using the app.

Using gamification to increase in-app engagement

Gamification is a marketing technique which is used to engage users thanks to more innovative interactions than just onboarding. Thanks to some games and other ways of app entertainment, gamification is a very good way to make yourself known and increase your conversion rates.

To use this technique, UX and UI experts recommend:

  • offering the user an easy to understand game;
  • making the game progressively increase in difficulty;
  • the user will be able to learn as they play;
  • setting up a points system to reward the user;

Rewarding loyalty by offering incentives

Customer loyalty drives growth in every business. Retaining customers is just as important as, if not more important than attracting new clients. 
An efficient way to reward customer loyalty is to use an app. They allow businesses to create and promote personalised offers at the best time. 
Here are some key strategies to reward app users:

  • Incentives such as special offers or birthday presents;
  • Discounts;
  • Vouchers;
  • Extra products or services;
  • Loyalty schemes;
  • Extra services and exclusive rights specially designed for app users.

Programmes such as these directly integrated into the app can help encourage your customers to carry out certain actions which will give them a special advantage.

Another way of creating customer loyalty through an app is encouraging customers to share on social media thanks to attractive rewards. Customers that recommend a brand will not only increase their loyalty to their personal brand, but they will also recruit people they know to make new clients.

Creating an app to retain customers

Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly important for all big brands and companies to retain customers by using a mobile app. It’s a real driver of growth for all businesses. Before creating an app, analyse your market, the needs of your target and the mobile experience you want to offer to convince your users to remain your clients.

Discover what apps can bring to your organisation thanks to the Rakuten Aquafadas client case studies. Don’t know where to start? Our webinar explains the main steps to consider when creating your app with examples from companies such as PWC, Adecco and Deloitte.

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