BrandArena: AppsFlyer gives insight into how app developers can curb uninstall rates

Monday 20 March 2023

AppsFlyer gives insight into how app developers can curb uninstall rates

By Netta Lev Sadeh - Managing Director EMEA SANI at AppsFlyer

As the need for more storage arises as new apps enter into the market, and the need for Software as a Service (SaaS) grows, uninstalls for apps continue to rise as users look to free up space on their devices. According to a recent app uninstalls report by AppsFlyer, more than 1 in every 2 apps that are installed are uninstalled within 30 days. The report highlights that 49% of apps were uninstalled within 30 days of download in 2022, which is an 8% improvement compared to 2021. The report further elaborates that 49% of uninstalls that occur within 30 days take place during the first 24 hours. Gaming apps had the highest uninstall rate, at 66%, with Travel apps having the lowest at 31% showing strong brand loyalty amongst users. 

In Africa, Morocco had the highest rate of app uninstalls amongst users, at 49.5%. Algeria and Egypt also broke the 40% mark, with 48.5% and 40.9% respectively. South Africa had an uninstall rate of 38.4%, and Nigeria ranked lowest amongst the big 5, with 28.3% of users uninstalling apps. This highlighted the global trend that the uninstall rate in developing countries is higher than the average uninstall rate in more developed countries. 

It is clear that user tolerance is extremely low for apps that fail to meet expectations, especially with significant competition emerging within the space. 

There are a number of factors that cause users to uninstall an app, such as poor user experience, operating issues, lack of privacy, too many push notifications, competition, and many more.  

Here are some of the most common factors that cause users to uninstall apps, and how to avoid them:

Improve User Experience (UX)

User experience is becoming an increasingly crucial feature when it comes to the digital landscape. It defines how the user feels and thinks about your product from his or her own perspective. If your app is confusing or frustrating, then it is providing a poor UX, and users are likely to uninstall or abandon it in little or no time. An improved UX can transform a company, and several key benefits of providing a great UX include:
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction
  • An Edge Over the Competition
  • Increased Sales
  • Improved Customer Loyalty
  • Reduced Support Costs
For app developers, it is imperative that you provide a great customer experience from the start. When it comes to onboarding, keep it short and simple - users should be able to download your app and start using it within 30 seconds to a minute. Also, consider battery life, users are likely to uninstall if your app is too heavy and tends to drain their battery life. In-app feedback is also crucial. If you don’t engage in feedback on your app, users won’t stick around. Regardless of the function or purpose of your app, the end product must provide a quality user experience. If you are unable to provide a quality experience, you could be doing more harm than good to your reputation.

Analyse The Competition

In today’s competitive landscape, it is crucial that you work hard to defend your position as an authority in your area of expertise – if you don’t, someone else will come along and attract your users; the same applies to mobile apps. As an app developer it is important to stay on top of your game - do not rely on deploying your app and sitting back expecting results. Be responsive, be adaptable, and ensure to adopt of a continuous development policy, in order to attract new users and to keep existing users coming back. 

With too many competitors to count, it may be a good idea to download a few competitor apps to see what they’re doing differently and adapt accordingly. When doing your research for your app, look further afield and broaden your horizons - the more expertise you have on the wider industry, the more likely you are to find ways to differentiate your product and improve app retention, compared to your competitors. 

Limit Push Notifications 

Push notifications are a great way to attract attention, get users to interact with your content, and keep customers updated on new features. notifications can be overwhelming for users, especially if they need more value. If you go too heavy on push notifications, the chances are that your uninstall rate will climb. 

Keep notifications short - with attention spans dwindling as they are, it is advisable for app developers to keep notifications short and precise, stats show that notifications that are 24 characters or less produce more conversions. Timing is also crucial - nobody wants to hear their phone buzz in the middle of the night when they are asleep; users will be receptive to what you have to say if you send notifications during strategic times of the day. An app that’s persistently sending notifications can push users into expunging it from their device.

Ensure Privacy

Above all else, app users value privacy. There is already widespread mistrust around many applications due to misuse of the private information. Many apps can appear to be overly intrusive or demanding with regard to personal information of their customers, and unsecured apps are liable to leak customer data without them knowing it. 

In Africa, people’s personal information is a valuable commodity, even when no safeguard mechanisms exist; and where safeguards do exist, they are still woefully inadequate. One of the reasons Cambridge Analytica could amass large databases of personal information (in the 2017 global scandal) was the lack of data protection mechanisms in countries where they operated. This scandal served as a wake-up call for more robust data protection policies in many African countries. To keep your mobile app secure, make it particularly sensitive to safeguarding customer data that is likely to be stolen - like credit card information and passwords for example. If you need to store private information, ensure all data is encrypted.

When all is said and done, every app’s fate lies in the hands of its users. The tips listed above can help you make sure customers who have installed your app continue to use and enjoy it for years to come. An app that does what it promises, provides value for money and time, delights with every use, and performs consistently will retain the coveted spot on the user’s device, guaranteeing you ROI. 

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