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Why your mobile app would get UNINSTALLED !

Siddhartha is a serial entrepreneur who has built AddoDoc - EMR for Doctors and now is building Babygogo - a platform where moms can ask questions and get answers on parenting

Friday October 28, 2016,

3 min Read

Digital companies are building and betting on app only approach. App has become the reason why a startup demands respect and other doesn't. Other day an startup founder, introduced by a common friend, asked me "do you have an app ? " rather than asking me "what I do". 

Companies are in gold-rush of building app for everything.

In 2014-15 startups got funded because they were app only rather than based on the problem they are solving.

I wish if a mobile app was my magical genie from Aladdin, and had solution to my every problem. Even traditional business such as print media / publishing are taking app only approach. They are hiring in bulks consultants who prophesise the next company to reach billion dollar valuation will have the best mobile app.

This phenomenon benefited the ad-networks in such a way the cost of customer acquisition via paid add on facebook / google has risen to $10 / user-acquired. Its analogous to person standing outside a shopping mall and handing out $10 bills to everyone who enters the mall. The user may not shop with those $10 and keep them in his pocket and still walk away from the mall never to return again. 

With limited space on device, a mobile user who spends on an average 1 hour on apps uninstalls 1-2 app daily. The probability your app gets uninstalled is 4X higher than it gets installed. E-commerce companies are dishing out extra 10-20% discounts for users who shop via their app and not website. Even some companies dared to ditch their website and hailed that other companies will follow their app only approach. This has prompted users to build their cart on web and checkout through app. People by nature are smart. They know what you are looking for when you ask them to shop via your app. 

Primarily reasons why your app will get uninstalled:

1. Choice has spoilt us. 10 Apps for every problem or use case. User knows that there are 10 other apps queued in app store beside you for the same offering. So he / she waiting for that one chance to get annoyed and will either uninstall you or block your notifications (which is half as bad as getting uninstalled)

2. You are pushing your app to the user to get your numbers in place for your next investor meeting rather than knowing your customer and having the intention to help him.

3. You have not learnt from Giants (Whatsapp). Have you receive notifications from Whatsapp except when a friend remembers you. 

Best news is people live and breathe mobile. I use my mobile for

• work (Gmail / Slack / LinkedIn)

• connecting with friends (whatsapp / facebook)

• for transportation (Uber / Ola / Shuttl)

• groceries (Instacart / Grofers / Bigbasket) - Only tried twice

• health (Babygogo / Practo) - For health of your kids and your family 

Mobile growth has triggered more use cases where I am dependent on mobile for services. Once your app get installed on your users device make sure you intend to solve their problem rather than users solving your problem of bad metrics.