- #1 Define the specific purpose of your application
- #2 Find viable features
- #3 Provide easy onboarding
- #4 Test usability and eliminate stumbling blocks
- #5 Avoid annoying notifications
- #6 Implement gamification and awards
- #7 Add social features and events
- #8 Have a smart monetization approach
When launching a mobile solution, knowing how to create an app is just half the battle. The other half is knowing how to make a profitable app. Experience suggests that the profitable mobile app is one that solves user problems, has a nice design, an intuitive user interface, a good user experience, and is built with several opportunities for user engagement. All of these things are equally important, but in this article, we will focus on some winning strategies for high user engagement in your digital pet app.
#1 Define the specific purpose of your application
Having a pet includes a lot of everyday issues that need to be addressed, and that’s why there are a lot of apps for pets. Each of them fulfills a specific purpose and has a corresponding set of features to accomplish the task. To be sure of high user engagement, your app should be specific and tied to a particular goal.
- Vaccination calendar. This is an app that helps track your pet’s vaccination schedule.
- Pet weight and feeding schedule app. This type of app is suitable for owners whose pets need a special diet and weight control.
- Pet entertainment app. This can be a cat selfie app or a video game for dogs like Lonely Dog Toy.
- Pet training and activity app. This type of pet app is needed by owners of active pets who are in need of constant physical and mental development.
- Social media for pets. This can be part of a larger pet entertainment app, plus it is a good opportunity for owners to meet up.
- Urgent vet help app. This kind of app is needed when a pet owner is seeking emergency care for an animal.
- Pet location tracking app. This app is integrated with a wearable tracking device like a GPS collar and equipped with pet finder options.
#2 Find viable features
We have mentioned some of the possible features you can create for your pet application. To help you decide on the type of pet app and the specific purpose it will serve, you need to conduct market research, including studying competitive solutions, your target audience’s preferences, and the features they may be lacking.
You can combine some features from the above apps into one, however, you still need to be careful with your value proposition and make sure that the set of combined features you are going to offer is one that your users would like to have. The best way to do that is to start with a competent business analysis and pay attention to your proof of concept.
#3 Provide easy onboarding
Effective app onboarding may improve mobile app retention rate up to 50%, according to research. Your pet management app should also provide seamless onboarding. Creating a pet profile should be enough for your users to get started with the app. At this stage you shouldn’t ask too many questions — filling in the pet’s name, age and the phone number of its owner should be enough to start the interaction process.
If your app has multiple features (for example, pet fitness tracker apps often come with features like weight and food control, activity tracking, food diary, medical records, etc.), it may make sense to provide users with some intuitive and short instructions on how to use each function at each step.
#4 Test usability and eliminate stumbling blocks
In addition to a seamless onboarding experience, overall usability can also be a deciding factor for high user engagement. The only way to achieve it is to develop your pet app step-by-step and test your minimum viable product (MVP) with users. They may help you find issues and suggest better ways to improve the logic, user flow, and overall experience.
#5 Avoid annoying notifications
Notifications are great for getting users back to the app, however, too many annoying messages can make your users abandon the app. You should be smart with the notification settings. For example, you can come up with default notifications such as the day of vaccination or when after the user hasn’t opened the app in three days.
Notifications are also good for personalizing the user experience, so you should let users set them in the way that they need. For example, a user may ask to receive a notification 10 minutes before a pet needs to be fed, or when new training techniques become available.
#6 Implement gamification and awards
Gamification elements are quite effective for improving user engagement. That’s why they are used by applications across many industries and are often part of eLearning apps. Adding gamification features to your pet app will always likely be a good decision, however, you still need to do your research and make sure that gaming fits the set of features you are planning.
For example, a pet health tracker application may have a wellness score feature, and thus, the task of the owner will be to always strive for the highest score. Also, you may provide some awards or incentives, for example, a free piece of training after a high wellness score is achieved every day for a week.
#7 Add social features and events
Adding social features is one more strategy to keep your users engaged. They already have something important in common with others — their beloved pets. You can come up with a Search for a Friend feature which will allow pet owners within a specific location to find others and get in touch with them.
You may be surprised to find out that 91% of cat owners aged 18-34 (the most active mobile app users as well) reported that owning a cat makes them less lonely. Thus, having a social media feature as a part of a pet management app may turn out to be even more essential than you might think.
You can also add a list of upcoming events (for example, dog or cat exhibitions or free outdoor training sessions) or pet-friendly establishments within specific neighborhoods so that users of your app can meet each other with their pets.
#8 Have a smart monetization approach
Using the right monetization strategy is also important to keep your users engaged. For a pet app, the following two monetization approaches are the most appropriate:
- Subscription. This strategy is good for a pet health tracker app with an advanced set of features like monitoring well-being, activity tracking, weight management, and the like.
- Paying for features used. If your pet app is integrated with an online veterinarian service, the users can pay when they use that feature to get help and let them use the other pet management features for free.
Entertainment apps for pets are best when they are free since most users expect free opportunities to entertain themselves and their pets. In this case, you may opt for in-app advertising which should be unobtrusive and personalized for each user.
As is the case with any development project, creating an application for pets requires research, strategic thinking, and strong technical expertise.
Our development team would be happy to help you with these tasks and suggest the best way to improve your value proposition based on your vision and the expectations of prospective users. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com for competent business analysis, all-encompassing research, and technical support with your pet app development!