Gartner: App developers must focus on user retention

08 May 2015 1 min. read

While app usage remains high and apps are becoming more integrated in users’ lives, app users are becoming less keen on adopting new apps, research by Gartner shows. As a result of this, app developers should focus less on new customers and more on user retention to retain relevance.

Information technology research and consulting firm Gartner recently released its report on app usage, titled ‘Market Trends: Mobile App Adoption Matures as Usage Mellows’. For the research, the firm surveyed the current app behaviours of more than 2,000 U.S. and German consumers as well as their intend to use apps in the future.

Gartner’s research shows that the mobile apps marketplace is maturing as user interest in apps has mellowed. Users have integrated their favourite apps into their use of personal technology and indicate to be satisfied with the current engagement rates of these apps.  “After eight years of searching for, downloading and using smartphone apps, users are maturing in their usage behaviours,” explains Brian Blau, Research Director at Gartner.

Gartner - Mobile app adoption matures as usage mellows

With app users satisfied with their current apps, many are stating not to ‘need’ or ‘want’ more apps in the future. This, according to Gartner, means app providers should focus their development, marketing and branding more intensely toward retention strategies, as attaining new customers might become increasingly difficult.

Blau explains: “It's not that smartphone users have lost interest in apps, users remain excited about what apps can do for them in their daily lives, including for work and non-work app scenarios. However, app users need to be convinced about the value of the app. Their willingness for new app experiences is open-ended, but their plan is to keep their same patterns of use. Users will try new apps, but they need to be convinced of an app's value before they adopt them and change use patterns over the long term.”