Creating and marketing your app is only the first step. After launching apps, brands also need to maintain them through continuous, incremental updates that help preserve quality and correct any bugs.
In 2018, brands that updated their apps at a high cadence (over twice per month on average) saw app ratings 4% higher than brands updating at a medium frequency, and 11% higher than those updating at a low frequency, according to Gartner L2’s mobile report. This makes clear that there’s a clear positive trend between brands’ hygiene efforts and the perceived app quality.
The same trends hold true of other KPIs like retention and downloads. Apps with a high frequency of updates in 2018 saw 19% higher retention at day 30 compared to those with a low number of updates. Moreover, brands updating their apps the most frequently saw almost 150% more downloads than those with a low frequency of updates.
The study found that hotel brands, which include the likes of Marriott and Hilton, updated their apps the most frequently — 25 times on average in 2018. Big-box apps, which have to balance frictionless navigation with vast amounts of SKUs, updated theirs 20 times on average. Specialty retail apps fell to the bottom of the list, with just 11 updates on average. Without investing in updates, brands risk losing precious reliability in the eyes of the consumer.