2020 has been volatile for Finance apps. COVID-19 hit apps in the Finance category with a one-two punch, with heavy increases in usage as well as staggering drops in economic activity. As we look ahead to our “new normal,” Finance app product managers and marketers must plan for usage swings both positive and negative depending on their offerings, and even within different pieces of their mobile experiences.
In order to prepare for the change that lies ahead, it’s important to establish baseline success metrics. And in order to get there, we need to look at data from before the world changed while we try to interpret what comes next.
Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive) published our 2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report for Finance apps in early March, right as COVID-19 hit North America hard. The data in the report is from FY 2019 and serves as a yardstick to help app publishers measure customer emotion and understand what’s changed. Below are key metrics apps in the Finance category should aim for in 2020.
This is our fifth consecutive year conducting this research. Data from our 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 reports is included to show shifts in brand focus and engagement over time. See the full 2020 report for more information on general benchmarks and other category-specific data, or the Finance-specific report here.
Mobile Customer Sentiment
The average Finance app’s New or Repeat Fans (iOS 63%, Android 73%) fall above the general average (iOS 58%, Android 65%); New or Repeat Risks (iOS 22%, Android 20%)are far lower than the general average (iOS 32%, Android 28%); Fans Shifted to Risks (iOS 7%, Android 4%) are slightly above the general average (iOS 5%, Android 3%); and Risks Shifted to Fans (iOS 7%, Android 4%) are above the general average (iOS 5%, Android 3%).
Ultimately, consumers have different expectations for happiness across different app categories. The more frequently customers use an app, the higher their expectations become. Finance app customers likely have a lower bar for happiness and are less of a “risk” for change because their expectations of the app are lower than consumers of apps in other categories: frequency of use is lower (e.g. consumers don’t open the app every day), in-app actions they take are lower (e.g. consumers don’t browse but rather tend to have one or two tasks in mind), etc. For brands, it’s easier to get your “Yes” numbers up when expectations aren’t as high.
Mobile Retention and Loyalty
Finance apps ended the year with an average of 32% of new consumers retained, which is lower than the general average of 43% but higher than most other individual app categories. Their high retention is, in part, due to consumers belonging to (and engaging with) fewer financial institutions than apps in other categories. Finance apps also tend to be skilled at using smart “Where” targeting, which causes slightly lower interaction numbers, but also ensures their surveys are never invasive. The Finance apps are slightly easier to understand, so it’s easier to target customers with surveys at the right times.
Finance apps see a typical customer drop-off, where retention between zero quarter and quarter one is major, and subsequent quarters taper off slowly.
App Ratings and Reviews
73% of the average iOS Finance app’s ratings were five-stars, and 8% were one-star. Android apps in the same category showed 66% of their ratings as five-stars, and 14% of their ratings as one-star.
iOS apps in the Finance category saw an average of 132 reviews, where Android apps saw an average of 912.Below are the averages for Finance app interaction and response rates, surveys, and in-app messages.
Using Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive) Insights, we also found the most popular phrases from reviews, with sentiment distribution, for Finance apps. Consumers were hyper-focused on using apps to learn their credit score, with in-app actions like logging in and connecting with customer service following close behind.
Key Strategies for Finance Apps
- Let customer feedback drive your product roadmap. In many ways, the rapid shift to digital makes gathering feedback from customers easier—but only if you ask for it correctly. Apps are now a deciding factor for where people put their money, where before it was based on the physical location of branches. Right now, our world is primarily mobile, and so are our expectations as consumers. The branch experience has become secondary to the digital experience.
- Offer strong security. Having your financial information at your fingertips comes with a catch: security. The average person now has a much greater understanding that their data is being used constantly and not necessarily with their permission. As such, it’s imperative financial apps have a robust sign-in process to protect customer’s information. For example, fingerprint authentication is a great start in making signing in to finance apps both secure and convenient.
- Be proactive. What’s the best way to give your customers or members a positive experience and to encourage them to engage with your app more regularly? Proactive communication. Reach out, engage them, and make them feel valued. In fact, we’ve found that simply interacting with customers, proactively and respectfully, can increase three-month retention by as much as 400%.
How does your app compare to these benchmarks? And how do your “new normal” metrics compare to these industry standards from 2019?
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