Takeaway #5: The Best Way to Improve Retention is Through Personalization


In 2015, we took a close look at the differences between app users in the US and China, and found startling differences - and that’s just between two countries, and doesn’t take into account a great number of global app users. This data sheds insight into the retention difficulties amongst diverse audiences, but more importantly, it shows that we can no longer create one app experience for all users. Not having localized apps for each of your demographics will increase churn risk, as users are hoping to have an app customized to them, and end up instead with a foreign-feeling experience. 

In one example we found that a major retailer was seeing high churn rates amongst Chinese users - they looked into it and discovered it was because these users weren’t accustomed to an US app experience, and weren’t finding it valuable. So, that retailer was able to make the case that developing an app version for China was the next biggest priority for their mobile business. 

We might not have yet cracked the key to truly personalized app experiences - ones that customize on-the-fly for each individual user (although that’s certainly coming) - but what we have realized with this new 2015 data is that customization is still key to improving retention. Users are expecting ease-of-use and elements specific to their country, currency, and customs, and when faced with a non-localized experience will feel frustrated and deterred. This next year is the time to think globally, and to simply make it easier for customers who want to interact with you to use your app.