Integrated App Feedback Critical for Developers

app feedback

Just five years ago, Apple launched the “app craze” and announced apps as the future of brand-to-consumer communications. Today there are over a million apps in the marketplace, and it is a $26 billion industry.

Despite all their success, apps have an even richer future ahead of them. Only 7% of businesses worldwide have mobile apps, according to eConsultancy. Users spend, on average, 82% of their mobile minutes with apps and just 18% with web browsers. Research shows consumers download about 40 apps on their smartphones, but actively use about 15 (source: Harvard Business Review). In fact, most apps have a retention rate of 31% after the first day, dropping to 15% after 7 days. By the end of the first month, the retention rate drops to a staggering 6% of users (TechCrunch).

So many apps fail…but why? Organizations are new to mobile – really new. Getting an app into the app store is seen as “something to do.” Different departments have different ideas as to what they want the app to do. This jumble of ideas creates a poor vision of what the purpose of the app is. A disconnect between marketing and IT shows itself when third party developers and agencies are so eager to take on jobs that they build to a client’s needs, even as they have serious doubts about how useful the app will be. In fact, 36% of marketers said IT deliverables fall short of the desired outcome, and 46% of IT executives said marketing does not provide an adequate level of detail to meet business requirements (again according to eConsultancy).

Most apps are built because the creator thinks it’s a great idea, but there has been no research done. Most apps hit development stage with no market research, no focus groups, and no user feedback (according to Curious Analytics).

Things like this happen too often… Spork was a San Francisco startup with a great idea for booking dining, before OpenTable had become popular. Despite generating over 100,000 downloads, they couldn’t figure out how to make money from the concept and closed in just a year.

To avoid this fate, app developers need to be capturing rich analytics:

  • The number of new and returning users
  • Where the app is being used
  • How much time users spend in the app
  • Types of devices the app is accessed from
  • What parts of the app users visit

As well as feedback:

  • Getting to know app users
  • Defining user preferences
  • Creating a better user experience
  • Directing future development
  • Delivering targeted content

App feedback relies less on recall to provide greater accuracy, with actual usage of the app and with real-time data from real places, geofencing triggers, and location tracking.

While app developers can embed links to online surveys, we think app-specific feedback solutions often better alternatives. For instance, OutSmart Flu is an app that tracks flu activity in real-time at the University of Wisconsin Madison. They are using the app and crowdsourcing to report and share flu activity faster and more accurately than Google or the CDC. OutSmart Flu shares flu activity back to users through the application with an RSS News Feed feature that pulls stories published to their website straight to the app. Students and faculty can then take extra precautions when flu activity is on the rise. In addition, the app integrates the Survey Analytics SurveySwipe SDK, so that app users can be sent push notifications when new surveys are available. For each survey taken, they are rewarded points to be entered into $500 raffles.

The app Opinion It is managed by Mindsight out of Boulder, Colorado, and uses SurveySwipe to research user opinions on products and services in their smartphone application. Using location tracking, profiling and data segmentation, they deliver targeted content and specific surveys to the right audiences in the right places. Being a smaller company, Mindsight wanted to fulfill user rewards hassle-free. They use a seamless API integration offered through Giftango to automatically fulfill user rewards.

While many businesses struggle to retain app users, and do not know who uses their app or why, integrated app feedback provides the answers that developers need to be successful.

With over 25 years in the market research industry, Andrew is a frequent writer and speaker for various publications and events around the world. He has a background in psychology, statistics and software development. Andrew is President of Survey Analytics.

Advertisement
About Andrew Jeavons

With over 25 years in the market research industry, Andrew is a frequent writer and speaker for various publications and events around the world. He has a background in psychology, statistics and software development. Andrew is President of Survey Analytics.

Speak Your Mind

*