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Customer RetentionThe business of Apps and why your brand needs one

It’s no secret that users have become reliant on their smartphones for more than just communication. Over the last couple of years, users have turned to their smartphones to fulfill entertainment (Netflix, Hotstar), news (TOI, BBC), e-commerce (Amazon, Alibaba), socialization and networking (Instagram, LinkedIn), navigation (Google Maps), personal banking (YONO SBI, U.S. Bank Mobile Banking), needs, and more. The growth trajectory of mobile app usage continues to surge, and brands have capitalised on it to boost customer acquisition and retention

Here is a list of key app genres and the revenues they generated in 2022

App Genre
Revenue Generated
$295 mn [1]$31 mn [2]$11 mn [3]$3 mn [4]$1 mn [5]

If you are a burgeoning venturist or business owner who is contemplating the need for an app, then we suggest you read on.

Mobile apps as and enabler
a. Effortless and quick customer interactions

We live in an era of instant gratification. Digital consumers want immediate access to products and services, and with minimal effort. Apps that enable customers to effortlessly fulfill tasks are bound to excel. 

Use Case

Before the arrival of food ordering apps, if you had to order-in food from a restaurant, whether it was because of surprise guests or you just didn’t feel like cooking that night, you would find yourself digging through a drawer full of restaurant menus, long-forgotten coupons, and leaflets from newspapers, before finding one you’re in the mood for. This would then be followed by a half-staticy call with the restaurant to place your order, unsure whether the person taking your order actually got it right over the background noise of the restaurant. You then wait hopefully for your order to arrive, as you impatiently make sure you have the right amount of change for the delivery person.

The arrival of Zomato’s mobile app altered the way users interacted with restaurants forever. With just a few clicks, users have a list of restaurants, discounts and offers, and more at their perusal. They can choose to have the food delivered home or to make a reservation. The app’s UI assures customers that their order is confirmed, and features a live tracking facility that provides regular updates on the status of the order. Users can even select a certain amount of money on the app to tip the delivery agent.

The takeaway

Zomato’s mobile app stepped in and altogether reduced the hassle of ordering in food. Further, when the pandemic struck and users grew increasingly weary, the app introduced contactless deliveries. The services that the app provides made otherwise time-consuming activities effortless and quick. In turn, it has resulted in the brand acquiring an all time high of over 15[7] mn average monthly transacting customers in Q4 of 2022. The service that the app provides has established a sense of trust among users, consequently resulting in high purchase intentions and high customer lifetime value.

b. Unparalleled targeting opportunities

One thing that users absolutely love is to feel understood by their favorite brands. Consider this scenario. You’ve been loyal to a brand for a few years now. Each time you open the brand’s app, you see personalised product recommendations, which are unique to your interests and preferences. Your perception of the brand just got even better, right?

How it happens is quite simple. Once users download an app, they are required to input details about themselves, their interests and preferences, and more. Then, over time as users use the app to search for products and make purchases can be used by the brand to understand each customer better, and serve them with more personalised recommendations. It all boils down to that personal touch.

Use Case

Amazon leverages AI and sophisticated algorithms to ensure that users experience personalised in-app product recommendations and experiences. For instance, American users may receive primtext-primary Friday promotions, while those in India won’t. Similarly, Indian users will receive Diwali offers, while those in Australia won’t. Based on their search histories, pregnant women may be exclusively shown recommendations of baby and maternal care products.

The takeaway

Amazon effectively leveraged data collected from its app to target individual users with highly relevant product recommendations. Besides making endless headlines, the brand has helped its customers save time browsing for products by positioning products they are likely to buy right on the homepage of the app

c. Leverages habit to boost loyalty

When a user downloads your app, it suggests that they have some intent to use it. But what aspects of an app render it valuable enough for users to return to it habitually?

There are many aspects, but to put it quite simply - the perceived value of the app, the key service it offers, first-in-mind recall, and the motivation to return to the app nurture habit-forming behavior and what ultimately drives customer loyalty.

Use Case

Let’s consider the case of Swiggy. The app enables customers to order-in from restaurants, make reservations, order groceries within the app (Zomato offers grocery orders too, but through the Blinkit app), and exciting offers and discounts. Standard right? But what makes users habitually return back to Swiggy, and not another app? They do have a choice between the two. It boils down to habitual usage.

Once users download your app, they input their information, payment details, and address. This is a one-time activity. Each time they return to the app to order-in food, they only have to select their order, payment option, and address with just a few clicks. It’s effortless, and it works each time. Users are less likely to turn to another app to carry out the same process. Further enforcing customer loyalty, the app provides excellent support in-app in case users have any queries or concerns.

Mobile apps as and enabler
Generates exceptional value

We live in an era of instant gratification. Digital consumers want immediate access to products and services, and with minimal effort. Apps that enable customers to effortlessly fulfill tasks are bound to excel. 

First impressions and perceived utility

The first time a user views information about your app on the app store has a profound impact on their ultimate perception of your business. Showcasing compelling messaging that communicates the value of your app, the benefits that users could potentially gain from downloading and using the app, along with captivating visuals can significantly drive higher downloads.

FIFA+, the official app of the world cup has an impeccable app store presence. The communication is highly compelling for avid football fans. The screenshots feature add-ons that can be availed of on the app such as participation in the fantasy games, access to the archives, and more.

Ease of use

Once customers download the app, the steps to register and thereafter, use the app should be instinctively easy. The conundrum is that digital customers have little time and patience, and thrive in an era of instant gratification. If an app is perceived to be too complex, then you might run the risk of losing potential customers.

Why is Make My Trip so popular? It’s potentially because users find it easy to book flights. It’s as simple as that. The UI of the app is easy to interpret, and the presentation of flights, timings, and details are neatly displayed.

Hyper-personalized UX

If your app takes an eternity to load, hangs in the midst of important tasks, and spews generic, frequent push notifications, it is certainly going to be uninstalled - sooner or later. The digital space is now in an era of lightning fast speeds, and personalized digital experiences, and your app should not be left behind.

Netflix has always given strategic thought to the power of personalized, snappy online experiences for their customers. Based on the user’s data, the brand displays content that directly aligns with the user’s preferences, past behaviors, activity and more, making it far more likely to turn a simple visit into a conversion. A personalized experience can go a long way in keeping customers engaged, while giving them further incentive to return to the app.

Great service = top-of-mind recall

A seamless in-app experience can have an unprecedented impact on brand recall. When you hear someone say ‘online food delivery service’, you may immediately think of Zomato or DoorDash. For terms like ‘online shopping’, Amazon comes to mind. Likewise, for ‘cab booking service’, Uber enjoys premier preference.

The recall created is a result of the smooth and reliable in-app experiences that these businesses have to offer


With the meteoric adoption and growth of apps as a revenue generating tool, it is apparent that apps are the way of the future. We have seen the market gaps that great apps have filled, the convenience they offer, and loyalty they garner.

If you’re part of a growing venture or small business and you’re wondering how you can build an app that would offer value and nurture loyalty, then it’s first important to truly identify if your business needs an app. If the answer is yes, then creating and validating user journeys, building UI prototypes that align with these journeys, and bringing the app to life with web development is the way to go. These tasks however require extensive time and resources to effectively fulfill. It is of better value to partner with digital experience management companies that can truly help you achieve your brand’s potential. If you’d like to explore the possibilities of building an app, but unsure where to start, reach out to us. We can help.

Building apps that matter

Arham Labs, the digital experience management company, has been nurturing the art of creating unique and memorable mobile app experiences. We have notable experience in guiding ventures and small businesses across industries including BFSI and FinTech, EdTech, Healthcare, Food and Beverage, Mobility, and more. Offering strategy, design and engineering solutions, we are dedicated towards helping our clientele engage customers through mobile apps that not only inspires meaningful action, but also evokes customer loyalty

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