Four Tips for Building High-Performing Mobile Apps


By Julie Jennifer Nguyen

According to Comscore’s 2016 Mobile App Report, mobile users spend 9 out of 10 minutes using only their top five favorite apps. Companies are fighting for a coveted spot on that short list, and these days, a highly engaging app isn’t a nice-to-have — it’s a necessity.

In this high-stakes climate, the companies that come out on top aren’t just the ones who have built performant apps, but the ones who constantly iterate and improve their users’ mobile experience and drive ongoing engagement and retention.

Here’s how to make sure you’re one of them.

1. Don’t trade app performance for analytics.

Successful companies know that using different tools to analyze what their users are doing and optimize their product can sometimes lead to unnecessary SDK bloat. The more bloat, the slower an app is to load, the more it crashes, the more battery it drains — and the higher the risk of an uninstall.

Sometimes, though, adding multiple packaged SDKs in your app makes sense. You need one for analytics, one to send to your own systems, maybe something for email and attribution. But if you could preserve functionality in end tools AND reduce the weight of your mobile app, why wouldn’t you?

Segment provides a single, lightweight SDK that allows companies to use hundreds of mobile growth vendors without having to add each one natively to their app. By leveraging, the latest in mobile technologies to optimize for app size and data deliverability, we help companies reap the benefits, not the risks, of using the right tools for analyzing and reengaging their users.

2. Know what you’re putting into your app.

Savvy mobile teams think very carefully before adding vendor SDKs and “black box” code into their app. Best case scenario: an extra vendor SDK adds weight to your app. Worst case scenario: it causes crashes and errors that result in uninstalls. In a world where 80% of users remove an app after 3 months, it’s important to know what’s going into your app and to reduce uncertainty and risk wherever you can.

Segment’s libraries are all open-source, so teams can see exactly what our code is doing under the hood. Through our extensive catalog of server-side integrations, we minimize the need for companies to load partner SDKs into their apps, which means less code to troubleshoot, less uncertainty to worry about, and more time spent building an app that delivers and delights.

3. Eliminate redundant tracking.

Winning mobile teams know better than to track the same event, like an app install, over and over as they add new vendors. Implementing all of that tracking isn’t just repetitive and mundane, it also means more work to maintain those codebases as vendors make updates to their API or as a company expands or changes their tracking needs. And, sometimes your numbers and event names don’t match up in all of your tools.

Segment’s Native Mobile Spec standardizes events like “Application Installed” and collects them automatically through our SDK. So instead of having to write and rewrite new events to track them in downstream tools, teams can write them once, and we’ll transform them in the end tools.

4. Analyze the entire customer journey before zeroing in on mobile.

Smart companies focus on the mobile experience. Smarter companies focus on the customer experience and use what they know about how users interact across every platform to drive more engagement and retention on mobile.

They know, for instance, that their most engaged users tend to download their app after seeing a paid search ad on their mobile website. They also know that those users re-engage when they receive a push notification after 6PM on Sundays and Tuesdays. They even know that users who write in to support have a 20% higher CLTV than users who don’t. They know this because they’ve analyzed it.

Segment Sources combines user behavioral data with data from Google Adwords, Salesforce, Zendesk, SendGrid and more to help companies build better apps and more personalized customer experiences.

Segment’s customer data platform powers the analytics stack for 3,000 mobile apps that, collectively, have over 500 million downloads. Companies like HotelTonight, VSCO, and DraftKings, use Segment to track the entire customer journey and level up their analytics.

If you’d like to learn more about our mobile offering, feel free to shoot us a note, or check out this detailed doc on how we help mobile teams.

The state of personalization 2023

The State of Personalization 2023

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