Finding the next supermarket, impressing your partner with your knowledge about astronomy, shopping for hours until you drop… Apps usually serve to solve a certain problem or even better – make life easier in multiple ways. If users tend to open your app regularly, it probably is very beneficial for them. Thus, one of the most honest key performance indicators (KPIs) for mobile apps should be re-engagement.
No matter how advantageous your app might be, sometimes users just forget that they have it on the phone or tablet.
The outcome of all examples: app owner and customer miss each other. Although an app adds value, it might create awareness only for a short time. Here are some solutions for this challenge.
In the next paragraph I’ll introduce you to three great app features based upon the third approach.
1) App indexing
You have never heard of app indexing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. App indexing is the least known feature, according to what we experience at Namics when talking to our customers. It deserves far more attention – so let’s uncover this hidden champion.
App indexing means empowering Google to search the content of your app.If you want search engines to find your website, you let them crawl it. You can provide details with the robots.txt file. As easy as it is for websites to be part of search results, it is not as straightforward for mobile apps. However, it’s possible, – and it’s easier than you might think.
Let’s assume you are the owner of an app with recipes. One of your users forgot about it and googles “swiss cheese fondue with figs and champagne”. Google knows that your app has this awesome recipe – and if the user clicks on the search result the app opens and shows the recipe.
Yes, it’s that simple and yet so powerful! You get back to your users exactly at the time they need your service or product. What a perfect success. Re-Engagement at it’s best. You don’t even have to spend your marketing budget.
My advice for app indexing
You can and should also provide the content on your website. That makes sure users will end up there, if they don’t have the app installed. Technically, the app / website switch is done by so called “universal links”.
Homescreen Widgets are known on Android for several years now. In 2020 Apple introduced widgets as well in iOS 14. If you build a useful widget,users will place it on the homescreen and see it every time they look on their phone.
Widgets offer great new opportunities:
For most apps, there’s a good use case for beneficial widgets.
My advice for widgets
Make sure your widget shows information that is changing frequently. Users don’t pick static content widgets – the space on the homescreen is too valuable for that.
3) App Clips and Instant Apps
New in iOS14 are so called App Clips. The Android equivalent is called “Android Instant Apps”. Although they exist for a while now, it’s not well known among the Android developers. However, the potential is huge, and we expect to see this feature a lot in the near future.
An App Clip / Instant app is like a tiny sister of your app. It’s size is limited to ensure fast downloads. In comparison to apps, they do not need to be installed. If a user detects an App Clip, it will almost instantly be shown. As it’s new on iOS, we stick to App Clips for the introduction.
What is an App Clip?
Once an app is discovered, it will be displayed. An App Clip is a lightweight native app, without the need of previously downloading something via App Store.
If you integrate Apple Pay and Sign-in with Apple into an App Clip, it gets extremely powerful. Although it’s lightweight (limited to 10MB), you can achieve stunning results.
Let’s say there is a cool mountain bike parked at a train station. If you’re close by, the app clip shows up. This is triggered automatically thanks to NFC. If this App Clip offers Sign-In With Apple and Apple Pay, you can rent the bike within seconds. No need to fill in a form with your address or payment information. Have more time for your bike rides!
This rent-a-bike example just needs some few interactions and clicks. Let’s imagine you’re abroad, and won’t ever need a bike from this company again – that’s fine. Nothing to uninstall. If you are interested more in this rent-a-bike company, you can install the host app with one tap in the app clip.
Discovery of App Clips
App Clips can be discovered via
Possible use cases for App Clips
App Clips can for instance:
Push notifications from App Clips
Most users give permission for push notifications to their most loved apps only. It’s about trust, because apps could misuse the permission to spam useless information to users. However App Clips have a special entitlement to send notifications for up to eight hours after the first opening of the App Clip without asking for permission. That’s awesome.
Imagine you order food in a self-service-restaurant. If the order is ready, the restaurant can send you a “ready to pick up” notification. It’s also useful for delivery notifications or other business case related things that need to be postponed.
Curious what we can do for your mobile needs? We’re happy to help. We have broad expertise in conception, UX/Design, content, implementation, maintenance and continuous improvement. A nice way to improve your mobile experience is by analyzing your current situation and determining improvements. Wherever you are on the journey to mobile success, we’re looking forward to you.