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6 Easy Ways To Reduce Mobile App Uninstalls

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Mobile App Uninstalls

Why are users uninstalling my app?

Today a mobile user is offered millions of apps, but, how many of them sustain inside a user’s mobile and how many go down the bin?


The image above shows the retention rate of mobile app users from 0-12 months. You can see that just after 3 months, 76% of the users drop out of the app while only 4% remain by the end of 12 months.

Why do you think, users repeatedly keep installing and uninstalling apps on their phones?


That is what comes to a user’s mind. After all, unless a user’s mind is able to create a feeling of likeness and likeability towards your mobile app, it will not appeal to him ever.

The graph below depicts user reaction to the poor functionality of certain mobile apps.


This is a recurring question and can only be answered if the problems with m-commerce apps can be identified. So, here are 7 problem areas that mobile users face with their mobile apps, which if resolved, can curb mobile app uninstalls.

Problem area #1 – Annoying Notifications

Imagine that you are peacefully asleep after a long day’s work and your mobile keeps beeping every hour because of push notifications from various mobile apps. Isn’t that annoying? The next predictable thing that you or anyone else would do is uninstall the most annoying applications altogether.

Just because a mobile app, upon installation, gains the liberty to send its users push notifications, it does not mean that mobile users should be overloaded with unnecessary information all day long.

A mobile phone is the most personal space of a user these days and notification abuse is one of the many reasons why mobile users delete an app. If your m-commerce app is annoying its users, then it is defeating the entire purpose of having an app.


Give users the option of choosing what they want to do with their notifications. Let them have the option of disabling certain notifications while keeping others, of choosing their quiet time, and the frequency of notifications coming to the mobile phones.

Turn off notification



The image above is a good example of a useful mobile app notification. It informs the user that there is a sale on all spring items.

Problem area #2 Complex registration process

First impressions matter.

If an app annoys its user before being able to deliver its good points, then an instant uninstall must be expected. Some mobile e- commerce apps, though having an attractive interface, can bore out a customer with its long registration process.



Simpler registration forms, asking for less details!

A complicated registration process, like in Craigslist as seen in the images below, pass a user through various registration steps. This tiring process if used in m-commerce apps, will definitely drive users away.


Search location

Amazon is one of the apps that take the trophy away when it comes to registering a new user. As we can see in the image below, Amazon allows it’s users to create an account using either their mobile number or email. Verify any one of them and voila! You’re registered.

Amazon simple registration image

Problem area #3 – Freezing

What’s more frustrating than an app that continually crashes or freezes. Slow performance or sometimes, no performance, is the third most primal reason for users to abandon a mobile app. According to a recent study, it was found that-

– 79% of users said they would retry an app once or twice if it failed to work the first time.
– Only 16% percent said they would give it more than two attempts.
– 48% said that they would be less likely to use the app again


As good developers, one would test their mobile apps, identify the root cause of freezing, and make it a top priority to release a bug-fix.




The customer reviews on the e- commerce app, ASOS, as seen in the exemplary image above reflects customer dissatisfaction. However, the app developers do not seem to be replying to any of the concerns, leave alone making changes for improvement in the app.

So, the end result is that users will continue to experience a slow app.

If I was a mobile user and saw all the negative complaints about the app freezing, I would think 10 times before even downloading the app and wasting my time on its shortfalls.

Problem area #4 – Bad UI/ UX

Why do we install apps in the first place?

To make our lives convenient. But when an app fails to fulfill this requirement, then it is for certain that mobile users will go elsewhere.


In m-commerce, User Experience and User Interface have certain expected standards for layouts, design, and functionality. As an m-commerce app developer, you need to keep these standards in mind during the designing phase to create an app that is both usable and functional for the user.


– Use A/B testing to optimize user interface and real-user data for maximum engagement and conversion.

– Ensure that the fonts, color and contrast are pleasing to the eye.


Domino’s offers its users a nice mobile app for ordering pizza. But, having to type  in one’s entire address is a tiring and time consuming task. The app should at least be able to guess the user’s city, state and zip, while she/ he fills in the rest.


The Domino’s experience isn’t awful, just a little extra work. Good mobile apps should offer their users with the following features:
– Fewer pages and decreased navigation elements
– Simpler appearance that users can understand
– Clear interaction cues via visually clear elements
– Site search and filters

Problem area #5 –  Too Much Of “Rate the App” Prompts

As an app user, this is a real deal breaker for me, especially when I am asked to rate an app that I already finished rating for. Frequent prompts for rating mobile apps are disturbing, even more, when they are served up on app start-up after having previously used the app once or twice.


Create more subtle ways for the user to rate the app, without coming across as being too forceful. One of the initiative that can be adopted is to hide it in a mobile app’s overflow menu, or within the “Help”/ “App Settings” area.


The image below, of Flipkart asking its users to rate its app, is a good example.


Problem area #6 – Invasion of Privacy

When apps prod users to use their social profiles to sign-up, they are usually hesitant to do so, especially due to privacy concerns. According to most mobile users, it can be harmful to login with social media unless a mobile app has a great stand for its users.

It is true that social media login was once a reliable and good alternative replacing registration forms. However, with privacy issues like identity theft, on the rise, users are more careful and concerned about their actions online.



Stop asking for more access than is strictly necessary for the app to function properly.


Here, is an example to explain further:

forced social login solved example image

Flipkart’s mobile application, as seen above, gives the user the option to login with either their email or phone number.  The user is also given the choice of logging in with her/his Facebook or Google+ account. Hence, she/he is not forced to log in with her/his social media accounts.

What retains users is the freedom to choose what they want. This approach also gives a user the impression that the app is trustworthy and secure for use in future.

Closing Thoughts

According to the Nielsen reports, 9 out of every 10 mobile users are already making purchases from their devices. Mistakes made while designing mobile apps can cost heftily to ecommerce businesses.

However, the bright side is that you hold the power to rectify the flaws. User your mobile app like any other user and analyze it, all the while asking yourself about the changes and improvements that your app needs to go through.

Mobile marketing is also the leading engine behind inbound marketing. People already spend more time using mobile apps than they do browsing on a desktop.

Download an interesting research on what works (and what doesn’t) in email marketing for ecommerce by TargetingMantra.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Saurabh is the Founder of TargetingMantra. An alumni of University of Illinois, he helped develop personalization systems at and its subsidiaries like IMDB, Lovefilm, Audible, Shopbop and Zappos. At TargetingMantra, he takes care of the Product and Technology.
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