Out of sight, out of mind: A case for mobile engagement on apps

This entry was posted on August 17, 2015, by Shruti Verma
bus-apps

I recently had an unexpected meeting to attend so I opened up my favorite taxi app. Unfortunately, the closest available car was 20 minutes away- rush hour was taking its toll! With no other option, I ended up waiting and reached my destination slightly late.

Halfway through my meeting, I suddenly realized – I had another app on my phone, which I could have used! This alternative app provided the exact same service, with the exact same pricing and yet, I didn’t even remember I had downloaded the app.

This experience got me thinking, why did one app trump the other in such a way that I could not even remember the alternative? Was my go-to app completely fantastic? Actually, I think it was an out-of-sight and out-of-mind phenomenon. The alternative app never came to mind because I never had any engagement with it. I receive an email from them now and then, reminding me to use credit, or share a code, that’s it. So, how am I supposed to remember the app and the service if I only receive sporadic, static communication from them?

I love to use apps, but I need to be reminded why I’m using them or what I benefit from using them. If an app is sending me emails instead of engaging with me on the phone, where the app resides, then too much is being asked from me. If apps don’t track my purchase behavior and give me tailored offers, then the attraction quickly fades away at my end and I will probably switch to a different app or even uninstall it.

Keeping users engaged is not easy, especially with competition. App retention rates are not very promising- around 95% of apps are abandoned within a month of download. But, I think that with personalization, real time in-app messages and push notifications, users will feel more connected, aware and ready to engage with apps.