The Google play store and iOS app store are packed with millions of mobile applications. Each with some unique feature or the other. Newer versions of apps are released frequently with add-on features to sustain the user base. But what prompts users to turn towards mobile applications? Why would people be so heavily reliant on such apps? What are the factors that motivate a person to download a mobile app? The first thing that pops in mind with these questions is that mobile applications have every utility to make life easier for users. It can make daily routine and mundane tasks much easier to perform. Applications can execute many menial tasks with ease. But, this not the only reason which makes such applications attractive. There are multiple apps which are useful for different purposes. Each designed with a function to achieve the desired outcome. There are dedicated applications which aid communication (like WhatsApp messenger, skype, snapchat etc.). On the other hand, there are travel apps like TripAdvisor which act as a travel guide. There are a host of different apps like financial applications, information and news apps, an app which supports online streaming videos and many more. But shouldn’t the availability of these apps be a deterrent to new downloads? Why do users still look for new apps and upgrades to existing ones? What spurs consumer expectation and user behavior to consistently seek out better and improved mobile applications?
Factors that influence users to download mobile applications
New applications seem more attractive. Launched with a new interface and improved functionalities can be enticing enough. But is this the only reason? Or does user popularity and notoriety also affect app downloads? Can user recommendations or in-app offers be the reason behind users installing mobile apps? Let us explore the different motivations.
- User Recommendation Quite often, a new user will tend to look at online reviews in the app store before downloading an app. Comments and ratings in the store is a strong determinant for fresh downloads. A higher the user rating and positive reviews can improve app downloads. Negative reviews and poor rating can be a strong deterrent. There are some apps which offer promotional credits for new users and provides free credits to current users for referring the app to others. Marketing offers can also increase user recommendations and in turn, has the propensity to affect the download count. This is one of the primary factors which can directly influence the decision to download an app.
- App Features Every application is built with specific features and targets a certain type of audiences. For instance, users from the financial domain would prefer an app which displays information about stock markets and stock quotes. Such users will look for financial or fintech apps in the store. Comparing different apps and their features will enable the user to decide which app to download. Likewise, for a fitness enthusiast, an application which helps in tracking workouts will be in high demand. Built-in features which can easily track user activity can significantly influence user response to the app. In other words, the application features also play a crucial role in determining the number of downloads. An app which offers a greater number of features will end up garnering higher consumer reviews and in turn, will have a greater number of downloads.
- Cost of the app/ Free trial experiences Many applications are available for download free of cost. But these applications are generally simple ones with modest features. On the other hand, there are well-designed apps which sport premium features. Users generally must make in-app purchases or opt for a premium subscription to access these features. These features are specifically designed for increasing user experience. The prices charged for such availing these features also has an important role to play in determining the download count. Some apps offer free trials to users. The free trial typically lasts for a period of 3 days to a week. The free trial period also influences user behavior. So, a free app will definitely have more downloads in comparison to a premium application. Likewise, an app with a higher free trial period will have more user demand when compared to another app with the same features, but a smaller trial period.
- In the search for something new Every user is constantly searching the internet for new and exciting experiences. Quite frequently, user interest can be spiked with a new and exciting app. For instance, when apps which used camera phones to measure heart rate were released, there was a wide fan following. Users worldwide wanted to have an experience of how the app felt. The curiosity of how the app functions and what results it comes out with was the motivating factor for a massive number of downloads. This response was not with the intent of achieving fitness goals, but solely to check out the trending app which measures heart rate using a camera. Similarly, downloads of gaming apps based on movies are quite high when launched simultaneously along with the movie.
- Problem Solving abilities Each app is designed to satisfy the needs of a specific target audience. All features revolve around the central idea of improving user experience by tackling user needs and requirements. Although new features might be exciting enough, the effectiveness and usability are necessary for retaining the users. If it functions exactly as per user expectations and offers all the solutions to the user then it will not only have a good review higher recommendation and a five-star rating, but also a higher number of downloads.
Conclusion The above factors significantly inspire user behavior. The app response and downloads are affected a lot by each of these aspects. If an app developer focuses on the needs of the audience and builds an app which offers innovative solutions, then it is bound to have a good number of downloads. So, it is imperative that developers spend some research on figuring out the needs of users. This is paramount for a positive response as well for motivating users to download the mobile app.