Digital innovation: How to Keep Traction for Retention

App downloads, who cares?

Everyone wants an app these days. There are many advantages for companies, but there's more to having an app than just a high number of downloads.
At Mobiquity we have made mobile apps. A lot of them. And that’s not even the hardest part. Tricky business comes after your app is downloaded. Because what you need is actual users, that return to your app as often as possible. How can you make sure your precious investment in an app will pay off? Listen to what your customer needs.

A marathon to retention

Returning app visitors can be named under the term retention. What is most important, is that you keep your users engaged, hooked even. It sounds so simple, but delivering features that users actually want to use, can be harder than you think. Unintended users are still often forced into dreadfully long journeys to discover the wanted functionality an app has to offer. Think about these steps:
  • Pick up the phone
  • Unlock the phone
  • Open the app
  • Explore the app to find these features
  • Use the features

An iteration to retention

Implicated in such a long journey is a result that users do not find the time to complete all these steps and leaving the app for what it is after a few times. Big players like Google and Apple are actively improving iOS and Android to reduce this gap between the users & key functions of mobile applications. We’ll zoom in on Apple for a bit.

A brief history

Let’s look into Apple’s efforts. Since iOS 7 Apple made several attempts to help users get easier access to needed applications. By improving Siri, Apple learnt more about how we use our devices and introduced app suggestions.
Apple’s second attempt was opening Siri APIs to third-party applications that support a specific and limited set of functionalities so that these apps respond to voice commands. For example: “Siri, book me a car ride,” or “Siri, send money to my friend.” Interesting to note, these interactions happen only on the device side. No information was sent back to Apple. All of the information collected by Siri stayed on the phone, and developers couldn’t access it.

Conversational Siri Shortcuts 

The third attempt was presented on WWDC 2018 and WWDC 2019 with Siri Shortcuts. Compared to past attempts, this one marked a huge step forward.

With Siri Shortcuts every application can use Siri to let the user has a dialogue with it and use the application itself without having to open it. In addition, Siri remembers every time the application shares user actions. Over time, she starts to recommend these actions to the user when and where it seems that the user would want to take them. In addition, the user can assign custom voice commands for actions he uses frequently.

Reducing Friction

Recommended actions and custom voice command assignments are the most relevant when it comes to providing frictionless user experience. Apple created a direct connection between users and applications’ key functions. Whether through a voice command or a Siri notification, users will now get recommendations on when and how to use an application without opening the application itself.


When creating mobile applications, just bringing it to the market is not enough to create retention and improve traction. You need to be involved and learn from the behaviour and needs of users in order to provide something they really want, need and can use with the least effort.
Join the discussion
October 3, 2019 Mobiquity hosts an mClass event around digital innovation in The Netherlands, sharing knowledge on human centric design and more. Want to join us during this event to talk to peers in your industry about these topics?
Check the mClass - Digital Innovation in The Netherlands event page.