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Why are my app numbers so low?

Headshot of Brant Williams

Brant Williams

VP Americas

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Oct 4, 2018
3 min read
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At Whispir, we speak to brands about their mobile engagement efforts every day. The common theme we hear is that everyone wants to improve their customers’ engagement and believe a mobile app would help do so. The problem is the end-user experience for mobile apps is crowded; it’s hard to get people to install your app and use it over time. Does this sound familiar to you?

You invested the time and money to build a native mobile app. Early signs are good; the app complements your overall web strategy. Everyone has a smartphone these days, and you got some installs, but...

App abandonment is rampant

Chart depicting frequency of app abandonment

Many mobile app strategies enjoy early success. Then the line flattens, and the cost to acquire and maintain engagement increases over time.

This is the reality we all face as app developers:

  • Users drop as many as 24% of apps after just one use;

  • A typical Android app can lose 75% of its users within three days; and

  • 80% of users might abandon a new app within three months

Lemonade from lemons

Does that mean we should wholesale abandon app development? Not necessarily. These things hold true:

  • Everyone has a smartphone;

  • You’ve built engagement workflows that now work on mobile devices; and

  • Your entire customer base wants convenient ways to engage your company - it’s why you built the app in the first place.

What if you could leverage the work done to define and test those workflows to engage every last one of your customers? Even the ones who haven't installed your app yet? Then you could get the business results you want, and your customers could get the engagement they want.

This is where complementing your mobile app with rich HTML5 micro-apps can make all the difference.

Introducing HTML5 Micro-apps

Graphic of three phones showing apps on their screens

You can mirror the native app workflows using Whispir, deliver those experiences using SMS, Email, or Social, and still get the business result of mobile engagement.

These revelations are causing brands to rethink their approach. And it’s not just the huge abandonment rate that’s causing concern.

The cost of traditional app development

The costs of developing apps are high, often exceeding $500,000 USD. Apps can take up to six months to reach the market.

What’s surprising: it’s not the front end that takes time, it’s honing the back-end workflows to succeed on mobile platforms and connecting those workflows to your enterprise systems. This process is often the majority of the total cost to develop an app.

Brands want to see a return on their investment. Instead, an increasing number are watching their apps sit with millions of others in the Google Play or Apple App stores waiting to be installed despite the best app store optimization techniques being applied.

A grid of hundreds of app icons on black background

How to get more from your already-invested capital?

What should you do? We say you should make use of the investment by identifying and modifying your enterprise workflows to work on mobile, map those workflows into Whispir and instantly give your entire customer base the ability to take advantage of that investment.

By supplementing your mobile app with up-and-coming techniques like HTML-5 micro-apps via SMS orchestration, you can make the growth numbers you targeted. It’s a big choice with a lot of variables to consider. The consequences of that call will ripple through your company for years to come.

Check back next week as I take a close look at 6 of the most common reasons for apps failing, and share some tips for actually building a successful app strategy.

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