How Content Can Help Reduce Your App Uninstalls


As brands look for more ways to measure and understand app uninstalls, one big area of uninstall marketing investment is the development and integration of quality content. App makers have long known that a richer app experience will drive more engagement, so it will come as no surprise that brands that deliver more and better content thematically tied to the core utility of an app usually experience far lower uninstall rates.

Of course, good UI/UE are critical here, as we need to help guide users to the content and features that enrich an app experience.

A recent article on Mobile Marketer underscored the value of high quality content for enhancing in-store experiences, which represent one of the hotter app sectors in 2016. The piece focused on the results of DMI’s rankings of mobile retail experiences. From the article:

“Our research reveals that shoppers want mobile shopping tools that make in-store shopping easier, faster and more customized like their online shopping experiences. Mobile devices today are advanced enough to transform a shopper’s experience – retailers just need to harness that power and meticulously craft that experience for shoppers.”

DMI found that the best apps enhanced the in-store shopping experiences with a variety of different types of tools focused on helping the customer get what they want more quickly and efficiently. Intuitively such tactics should be just as valuable as elements of an uninstall marketing effort.

No surprise there. But what was most intriguing was how different retailers took such disparate approaches to delivering value via content – approaches tied to their brand equities and app utility.

  1. Wal-Mart, for example, focused on features that make it easier to find the best price/deal. Sephora amped up their experiences.
  2. Walgreen’s focused on a variety of features that make it easier for the shopper to get in and out. Some features that helped Walgreen’s win the top honors were location store maps that help you find specific items, clinic appointment scheduling, phone as loyalty card, and prescription reordering, among others.
  3. Home Depot took a different tack in keeping with its different value prop and customer needs.“The home improvement brand’s app excels at navigating stores, comparing prices and pulling up product reviews, which are three key factors for many of its shoppers.”
  4. Number 4 Sephora delivers lots of information to help customers choose products, from extensive libraries of customer reviews to video and photo tutorial content. These features help users get past some of the fear of trying a new product at a moderate to high price point.

While the focus of this article was on retail and in-store experience, I think it’s easy to see how these lessons are relevant to almost any app in any category:

  1. Content can help enhance a user’s experience and give them reasons to come back.
  2. Just as it can drive up engagement, it can also help to reduce uninstalls by dint of the increased utility the app offers.
  3. The best content is architected around the core value proposition and utility of an app. It’s not about content for content’s sake but rather about pinpointing your efforts on those features and content that will deepen the app experience and give users more reasons to return.

The value of content richness is relevant in those first few visits to an app because they help set the user’s impressions about what is possible when they launch. When you can get customers to the sorts of content and experiences that are most important to them, they will likely have a much higher opinion of an application. But leveraging “evergreen” content – things that have just as much value on visit 10 or 100 as they do on visit 2 – can also be a wonderful lever to help mitigate uninstall challenges. It’s both a short-term and long-term uninstall marketing tactic.

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