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Retail Tech Trends

5 Hurdles Stopping App Adoption and How YOU Can Overcome Them

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In the fast-paced world of retail, having a mobile app is no longer just a nice-to-have; it’s a key component of business strategy. However, launching an app is only the first step. The real challenge lies in ensuring that users not only download the app but continue to use it regularly. 

But what is the difference between onboarding and adoption? 

Onboarding is the initial phase where users get acquainted with the app. It involves steps like creating an account, providing basic information, and learning the app’s fundamental features.

Adoption, however, goes beyond this initial phase. It is a long-term commitment to keeping users engaged and ensuring they use the app consistently. Adoption involves encouraging users to explore new features and integrating the app into their daily routines.

Despite the seemingly straightforward nature of these processes, app adoption rates are surprisingly low. According to Statista, the average 30-day retention rate for shopping apps is only about 4%. (See Graph 1) 

This statistic underscores the need for retailers to not only attract users but also retain them effectively.

Problem 1: Lack of User Intent Data

One of the biggest challenges in driving app adoption is the lack of user intent data. Unlike websites, where extensive information can be collected through paid ads, understanding why users choose to download an app is significantly more challenging. This gap in knowledge can result in poorly targeted features and ineffective onboarding processes, ultimately leading to high uninstall rates.

Solution: Tactical Customer Research and Focused Onboarding

To overcome this hurdle, companies need to invest in understanding why users would want to adopt their app in the first place. Here are some strategies:

Conduct Tactical Customer Research: Engage directly with potential users through surveys and focus groups to identify pain points and app value.

Analyse User Feedback: Review app store reviews and in-app feedback regularly to gather user insights.

Test and Iterate: Use A/B testing to determine what features and onboarding processes work best.

Additionally, the onboarding process deserves special attention. First impressions are critical, and a poor onboarding experience can turn users away permanently. To enhance onboarding:

Simplify the Onboarding Steps: Make sign-up quick and easy with single sign-on options.

Provide Clear Guidance: Use tooltips and tutorials to guide users through key features.

Personalise the Experience: Tailor onboarding based on user data and preferences.

Problem 2: Lack of Knowledge About New Features

The goal of most apps is to integrate seamlessly into the daily lives of users. This means continuous development and the addition of new features to enhance convenience. However, informing users about these updates can be challenging.

Solution: Highlight New Features Effectively

To ensure users are aware of new features, consider the following strategies:

In-App Highlights: Clearly draw attention to new features within the app through banners, pop-ups, or highlighted sections.

Targeted Push Notifications: Send notifications about new features, linking to walkthroughs that demonstrate their use. This approach informs interested users without disrupting others.

Update Guides: Include brief, engaging guides or tutorials within the app to showcase recent updates and how they benefit users.

By effectively communicating new features, you can keep users informed and engaged, ensuring they take full advantage of the app’s capabilities.

Problem 3: Notification Overload

Excessive notifications can quickly become a nuisance. According to a June 2021 survey of smartphone users in the United States, 42% of respondents adjusted their in-app settings due to too many push notifications, and around 40% turned off notifications entirely.

This shows that too many notifications can actually drive users away rather than retain them.

Solution: Optimise Notification Strategy

To avoid overwhelming users, adopt a thoughtful approach to notifications:
Set a Default Schedule: Use user data to create a default notification schedule that is likely to be well-received.

Make Settings Adjustable: Allow users to easily customise their notification preferences, including the option to turn off push notifications.

Prioritise Relevance: Ensure notifications are highly relevant and valuable to the user to minimise disruption and maximise engagement.

Problem 4: Lack of Trust

Users are often hesitant to grant unfamiliar third-party apps access to their data, especially in the early stages. This lack of trust can significantly limit the app's functionality and deter user engagement.

Solution: In-Context Permissions Requests

To build trust and encourage users to grant necessary permissions, consider the following strategies.

Contextual Requests: Clearly explain why your app is requesting access to data, location, or files at the moment it’s needed.

Transparent Communication: Use simple language to ensure users understand that their data will be handled securely and only used to enhance their app experience.

Gradual Permission Requests: Ask for permissions incrementally as the user interacts with relevant features, rather than all at once upon initial use.

Problem 5: Lack of Resources and Talent to Deliver Apps

In today's competitive market, the shortage of tech talent is a significant hurdle for businesses, particularly in the retail sector. Finding top-quality developers to deliver retail app projects is more challenging than ever.

According to Statista, the biggest challenge for recruiters in 2023 was finding qualified candidates. Although the share of tech organisations reporting a skill shortage decreased compared to the previous year, it remains high, with 54 percent of organisations still facing this issue.

Solution: Deazy's Adaptive Workforce

Deazy offers a revolutionary approach to accessing tech talent. With over 85 rigorously vetted delivery partners, Deazy ensures that the talent you receive consists of full-time professionals who are part of well-managed teams, overseen by experienced in-house project managers based in the UK.

Key Benefits of Deazy’s Services:

Easier and More Flexible than Traditional Hiring: Simplify sourcing tech talent with Deazy's adaptable solution.

Faster and Lower Cost than Agencies: Get access to top-quality tech talent faster and in a more cost effective way, than working through agencies.

Higher Quality and More Reliable than Freelance Marketplaces: Deazy’s vetted professionals ensure quality and reliability.

Retail Experience: Connect with experts experienced in the retail sector.
Adaptive and Cost-Effective: Scale your workforce according to project needs.

With Deazy, retailers can overcome tech talent shortages and resource constraints, ensuring successful app development projects that foster long-term innovation and growth in the retail space.

If you are interested in learning more about Deazy’s offering - get in touch with our team today!