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Since the past few years, wearable technology has gained widespread popularity in numerous business sectors, communities and lifestyles. Devices such as smartwatches and activity trackers have changed the whole idea of health, fitness and medical record-keeping for a lot of people out there.
In 2019, eMarketer estimated that 56.7 million people in the United States will use a wearable device at least once a month, and over half of those people will wear a smartwatch. So, it is important to know, how to increase user engagement in wearables!
Health, Fitness & Medical Wearables
In recent times, wearable technology in healthcare has become an integral part of our livelihood. Since these devices can monitor your health factors and track your fitness goals and workout routines, more and more people are opting for these devices. According to a report, the use of wearable technology, particularly in the health and fitness niche, has tripled in the last four years.
Devices such as Fitbits and smart watches are some of the health wearables that we see a lot of people using nowadays. The primary goal of these devices is to collect the user’s health, medical and exercise data in order to let the user know about the status and progress of their health and fitness regimes. According to Accenture, in 2018, use of health and fitness wearables increased from 9% to 33% in the United States alone.
Here are some of the commonly-used health wearable devices:
- Wearable Fitness Trackers
- Smart Health Watches
- ECG Monitors
- Blood Pressure Monitors
Business Insider estimates that fitness and medical wearables will grow at an annualized rate of 10% to amass 120 million by 2023.
Top 5 Strategies to Drive User Engagement in Wearables
A study from Endeavor Partners found that even with a sharp increase in the global sales of wearable technology, one-third of its users stopped engaging with their wearable device within a period of six months.
This gives a clear indication that manufacturers need to drive user engagement in wearable technology, or else, just like any other modern-day innovative technology, users might switch to a competitor product real quick. But the question is, how to increase app engagement in wearables?
Here are some of the ways:
Focus on Information Relevance and Speed
One of the most important factors in this market niche is the relevance of information and the overall speed at which this information can be delivered to the user on his or her smart device. According to Justin Leong, the Lead Product Designed at Olio Devices, if a user has to spend more than 3-5 seconds to find the required information on a wearable device, it defeats the whole purpose of wearing a smart device in the first place and the user might as well use his cell phone for that.
Similarly, the user should be able to find relevant information quicker than using a cell phone. Whether it is a reminder notification, an email alert, calls or texts – it should take a user no more than 3-5 seconds to get the information and perform the next applicable call for action.
Use of Gamification Concept
In December 2019, the International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research published a detailed study that was conducted by Mohd Kamal Othman, Nicklos Ugap and Nur Diyana Rahman. The study talked about how to increase user engagement with Play4fit, a health and fitness app, using the gamification concept.
Using various methods and procedures, the study concluded that use of gamification positively impacted the user engagement metrics in the health and fitness wearable app niche. Using Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ) analysis, the findings in this study showed that sensory and imaginative immersion components impact a user when using their Play4fit fitness and health app.
Whilst this is not the only method to increase user engagement in wearables, it certainly is a starter! The use of gamification can certainly assist developers and manufacturers to increase engagement in wearables watches, trackers, health monitors, etc.
Data Privacy to be Taken Seriously
Since health and fitness wearables and trackers use GPS tracking technology or have the ability to connect to a user’s cell phone to retrieve GPS information, this allows the app to have sensitive and personal data of a user that includes location details. In addition to the app storing the location details, some apps can even show a user’s location and the total number of hours he or she was in deep sleep.
Needless to say, this sort of information needs to be safeguarded by the app developers to win a user’s long-term trust towards the app and the device itself. We are well aware of data breaches that have happened in the past, like the one that hit UnderArmour’s MyFitnessPal app in 2018. It leaked private information such as usernames, passwords and email addresses of over 150 million users. In order to avoid these sorts of attacks from hackers, app developers need to ensure foolproof security and data privacy of its users’ information at any given time.
Improved Battery Life
People usually do not want to carry a power bank or any other external charging device these days. Same is the case with a wearable device, too. App developers need to focus more on coming up with optimized app solutions that consume as little device battery as possible. If not much, the wearable should at least match the battery consumption of any other device it is connected to – for example a cell phone. In an ideal situation, the wearable device battery should go way beyond that.
Heuristics for Mobile Wearables
According to a 2017 study that was largely based on Healthcare Technology Self-efficacy (HTSE) questionnaire assessment of 34 users from two famous fitness trackers – FitBit and JawBone, the motivation and user engagement in fitness tracking was closely monitored over a course of four weeks. The whole concept of user experience (UX) was thoroughly studied in mobile and health wearables, since it is a key element that helps users understand, interpret, derive motivation and act on their personal data.
The empirical analysis and detailed findings of this study implied that users’ motivation and self-efficacy are very much dependent on successful data, content design, sending context and having the ability to provide valuable and appropriate feedback to the user regarding their health and fitness activities.
Self-determination Theory (SDT) framework was found to be one of the deciding factors in future app design and UX guidelines incorporating self-efficacy and heuristics in the mobile healthcare and fitness wearable technology. This should be part of user engagement strategy for product designers and app developers of wearable devices to gain maximum results in this market niche.
Wearable Technology Trends from 2019-2020 and Beyond
When considering how to increase user engagement in wearables, looking at the trends is probably a great place to start! Even though the world has been hit by a major pandemic lately, the year 2020 is still seen as a massive year of growth in the wearable sector – specifically the health and fitness devices and technologies such as AI, 5G, 3D Printing and Wearable technology, Digital Twins, etc.
Statista reported a total revenue of $27 billion in the global wearable technology industry in 2018. By the end of 2020, this figure is estimated to increase to $44.4 billion.
The upward trend in the wearable industry clearly shows the enormous opportunity for health and fitness wearable manufacturers and app developers to meet the ever-increasing demand of existing and potential new users.
Wearable Technology Fashion for the Adults
Emarketer reports that in the initial years of wearable technology, growth was mostly witnessed in the low-priced fitness tracker niche. However, wearable devices such as smartwatches, hearables, smart glasses and smart clothing are gaining substantial market share and constantly attracting new audiences from all walks of life and age brackets.
The aforementioned report further suggests that wearable technology mostly attracted the younger people for a few years. In 2015, 24% from the age bracket of 25-24 owned a wearable device in contrast to the 6.5% from the age bracket of 55-64 having one of those devices. In 2019, the younger audience is still the largest group to own a wearable device, with an increase of 38%. However, old age consumers were also expected to increase to a 13.2%. With this being said, wearable technology holds a big opportunity in the coming years for the older generation as well – one of the signs why Apple offered new health features in their latest Apple Watch.
Google Acquisition of FitBit
In November last year, Google acquired FitBit, the leading health and fitness wearable brand, for $2.1 billion. Even though there has been widespread criticism regarding the acquisition, with many speculating the deal could pose a serious threat to users’ privacy, this deal is still considered and predicted to be vital for both the parties involved.
According to Google device SVP Rick Osterloh, Google has made substantial in-roads in the wearable industry in recent years – mainly by partnering with Wear OS and Google Fit and this deal could pave way for more innovation in Wear OS and introduction of wearable devices that are made by Google.
On the other hand, FitBit did enjoy a huge amount of success initially since they were the pioneers in the wrist-worn tracker industry. However, in recent years, the brand has struggled since the introduction and growth of smartwatches that has taken over the health and fitness tracker market to a great extent. According to FitBit CEO and co-founder James Park, the brand is expected to accelerate innovation in the wearables technology using Google’s global platform.
The Rise of Assault Protection Wearables
A disturbing statistical report published by National Sexual Violence Resource Center showed that 1 in every 5 women in the United States have been raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, while 1 in 71 men have gone through similar sexual assaults. The use of wearable gadgets are expected to bring the number of these incidents down in the US and elsewhere around the world.
It is a gadget which is camouflaged as a piece of garment and can effectively work in case of a fall or use of force. The device is connected to the phone via Bluetooth and the user can either close the function in case of a false alarm or enable an emergency rape button if the assault is actually taking place. In addition to this, the phone will still be able to send distress signals to the concerned authorities in case the attacker overpowers the user and the user is unable to close the app within 5 seconds from the first point of fall or force detection.
Case Studies for Wearable Technology
Let us now have a brief overview of three renowned organizations that have made effective use of wearable technology into their respective business environments:
BP – a global energy organization, began using wearable technology way back in 2013. At present, more than 75% of participants enroll themselves in the company’s annual Million Step Challenge and more than 79% achieve their goal.
In order to add more goals beyond the one million steps, and smaller goals for those who are less active, BP has modified the program over the years to meet the expectations of its participants.
Emory University in Atlanta – launched Healthy Emory, a wearable program, in 2014. Using its results from five sites, Emory made further modifications and redesigned the program’s effectiveness and offered it to all its employees the following year. The Move More Challenge was a fun activity for its participants to encourage team-based social support and friendly competition.
In 2015, the program expanded with 6,300 Emory employees participating in the challenge. It was observed that 82% of those employees remained active for the complete 8-week period. A survey was conducted once the program ended and two astonishing stats were uncovered – 67% stated that this was their first experience with a wearable device, while 82% said they used the wearable device every day of the challenge.
Ochsner Health System – a New Orleans-based regional hospital network, started a program in 2008 that focused on offering its employees a free wearable device and giving them an incentive upon reaching a target number of steps.
Over the years, it has been learnt that Ochsner employees who regularly use wearable devices have lower medical costs in comparison to those employees who do not.
So, Now You Know How to Increase User Engagement in Wearables!
The technological sphere is evolving more and more in recent times. The wearable industry is constantly witnessing new additions of gadgets and devices like bracelets, headphones, clothes, glasses, running shoes, rings, etc. This industry is all set to grow at a higher rate in the coming years – giving a clear indication of the importance of user engagement in wearable technology.
Health and fitness wearable devices have already made noticeable progress in recent times. It is just a matter of time when every other person around us will be owning one of these wearable devices.
If you’d like to know how to increase user engagement in wearables, take a look at how Storyly’s in-app stories can rocket your in-app engagement stats by checking out our capabilities for Health and Fitness.
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Long before the pandemic hit the world, there was a growing percentage of people relying on mobile banking apps. Gone are the days when you would have to physically visit your bank or meet up with your branch representative to get the very basic of financial activities and transactions done.
However, ever since the world got adversely affected by COVID-19, finance apps became more volatile. Like other business sectors, the banking and financial apps also saw upward trends in terms of usage – while the world economies dropped to their significant lows in decades.
In this article, we’ll delve the following 10 statistics on banking and finance app’s User engagement:
- Financial App Usage Trends
- Financial Apps Newsfeed Best Practices
- Non-cash Digital Payments & Mobile Wallets
- Customer Expressed Sentiment Trends
- Cybercrime Trends & Vulnerabilities
- Importance of User Experience
- Banking API Trends
- Digital Readiness Score
- Effective Use of User Data
- Usage of Financial App Chatbots & AI Trends
1) Main Reasons of Mobile Banking App Usage in the US
90% of banking app users want to view their account balance
The first question that needs to be addressed by a bank or any other financial institution is why their customers need a mobile banking app? What are the various financial activities being made and with what frequency? What areas need to be focused more than the others?
Below is a 2018 report that shows the core reasons of mobile banking apps usage in the US:
Image Source: Staistica
App development needs to be carried out in a way that meets the core expectations of its users in accordance with their main reason for using the app to interact with the financial institution. Taking into account the above trends, 90% of app users used their mobile app in order to check their account balance. In contrast, only 19% used it for opening up a new account. These sort of trends should assist developers and app managers to identify the key areas that need to be addressed.
2) Smartly Using the Newsfeed
89% of Venmo users have the Facebook app.
With 89% of their user base also having Facebook’s app and 82% also have Instagram, Venmo might signify a shift towards more Gen Zer, or Millenial style banking and finance apps, that you’d expect from the typical Facebook or Instagram user. Not a lot of financial apps make use of the ‘newsfeed’ functionality, the way we see on social media platforms. Venmo, a famous digital wallet these days, stands out in this regard since it makes the feed public. This means that users can see where and with whom their friends spent their money, while following data privacy guidelines at the same time.
Another credit score reports provider, Credit Karma, came up with the idea of ‘Stories’ that enables its users to make full use of the app via AI-based suggestions and recommendations for them. For example, if a user’s credit score has recently improved, it might prompt the user with a message like ‘Great time for a cheaper car insurance’.
3) Cashless Payment
56% annual increase in mobile wallet adoption
Digital payment has already been witnessing an upward trend since the past few years. According to a report, in 2016, non-cash transactions amounted to 482.6 billion globally with a growth rate of 10.1%. These figures are expected to grow with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 12.7% by 2021.
The concept of mobile wallets have seen enormous success. According to the findings published by Business Insider Intelligence, more than half of credit unions that were surveyed witnessed a 56% annual increase in mobile wallet adoption and a 53% in transactions. For developers and app managers, it is the best time to come up with mobile wallet offerings for their app users where they can easily link up their debit and credit cards for contactless payments.
4) Know the Customer Sentiment in Financial Apps
Android slightly dominates iOS with 73% of users being happy with the finance app user experience.
The way users behave in an app varies from one business model to another. There will always be different expectations across different app niches for a user. According to a report, the users in the banking and finance sector have a lower bar of happiness as compared to other sectors. Also, they are less likely to change since their expectations from the app are observed to be a lower level, too.
Here is an analysis conducted by Apptentive in the mobile banking and finance apps sector in terms of Android and iOS users:
Image Source: Apptentive
According to this data, the difference of customer sentiments is visible when it comes to apps in iOS and Android platforms. With 73% positive emotions and 20% negative emotions, Android apps are clearly taking the lead against their iOS counterpart apps. However, converting unhappy customers to satisfied customers is also low on Android apps.
In addition to this, the New or Repeat Fans number is above the general average. New or Repeat Risks sections are also lower than the general average number, giving an indication of the different behavior observed when it comes to the way people use their financial apps.
Also, as per this research, financial apps usage frequency is low since transactions are usually not made every day, specifically during these difficult times. As a result of this, in-app actions are also low. As a developer or a marketer, one needs to know such statistics in order to improve app efficiency across various platforms during the pandemic and even after that.
5) The Element of Security
50% of banking and finance apps experienced malware in H1, 2019.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most important factors in the banking and finance app industry. Back in the day when financial apps were not common, people used to be reluctant to sign up for banking apps due to security concerns.
Numerous incidents of credit card data leakages and banking app hacked by fraudsters were reported in the US and elsewhere, and still it is a major issue for mobile developers and app managers. In 2019, 28% of businesses were attacked with a botnet infection. One-third of all cyberattacks were carried out by insiders and more than 27% of businesses worldwide got affected with mobile devices related threats. Financial apps and mobile banking malware crossed 50% in the first half of 2019. Below are some of the best practices that can be used to secure a financial app:
- Server-level Security – Apps should be using only the tested and approved server platforms
- 2-Factor Authentication – Apps should make the 2FA security mandatory for the user
- SMS Notifications – Apps should send details of all app activities and actions via SMS to the user to ensure complete transparency and added security for all online transactions
- Digital Signatures – Apps should have the ability to add another level of security that is the digital signature. These are just like real signatures but are specifically designed for online use
- Expiration of Inactive Sessions – Apps should log out the user upon session inactivity
- Prohibit Jailbreak Phones – Apps should be able to identify jailbroken mobile phones and warn the user about installing a banking app on such a phone
6) UI/UX Design
Redesign finance and banking app experience is a top priority (72%) for businesses.
It is about time that app managers and developers pay a lot of heed towards the overall user-friendliness of a financial app. According to a report in 2018, 75% percent of adults in the U.S. used internet or mobile banking, which is expected to reach 77.6 percent by 2022.
With such increasing numbers, it is needless to say that app design will play a vital role in how a financial app performs with its competitors. As far as financial services organizations are concerned, here is a survey conducted by the Financial Brand in terms of top priorities for major brands:
Image Source: The Financial Brand
According to the TFB, the order of the top three priorities remained the same as it was the year before that (2017), with ‘enhancing digital experience’ being the top strategic priority with 72% of brands having the same priority level.
UX (user experience) is all about the functionalities and processes of a mobile app. A good UX means the digital product is easy to use. On the other hand, UI (user interface) covers all the visual parameters that a user will see on his or her mobile device. A good UI means a decent theme from one screen to another, graphics, animations, layout, format, font, etc.
7) Open API Economy
the revenue potential in the UK via Open Banking APIs could reach around $2 billion by the year 2024.
Gone are the days when banking applications would just be about basic banking products and services to its users. In today’s tech-savvy digital era, the concept of open APIs (accelerated programming interfaces) has gained a strong foothold that, eventually, benefits the customers of almost every business model. According to Insider Intelligence predictions, the revenue potential in the UK via Open Banking APIs could reach around $2 billion by the year 2024. This is a 25% compound annual growth rate.
Today, banks offer services and enhancements either by working on their own, or collaborating with financial technology service providers – possible only due to the existence of APIs. These platforms enable efficient, secure and advanced sharing of data between two or more independent systems. Using third-party services or in-house technology, developers and app managers are able to constantly improve their financial apps as per the needs of the online banking industry.
8) Digital Transformation Receptiveness
iOS and Android banking apps users are forecasted to grow 14% YOY
Famous actor Johnny Depp once said in one of his movies, ‘the one who falls behind, is left behind.’ That is how quickly an organization, even a large-scale bank, can go out of business within no time. According to a Juniper research in 2018, iOS and Android banking apps users will grow with a 14% YOY rate, while the traditional online banking clients will only have 6% users. At present, around half of the digital banking users interact with their banks using their banking apps.
Here is a readiness index for digital transformation for major banks:
Image Source: Diceus
9) Take the Proactive Route for Better Financial Offers
84% of surveyed executives believe that customers want a more personal, tailored banking user experience.
One of the main ways in which big data can helping banking and finance apps, is by helping executives to make data-backed decisions about their users. Secondly, it offers an opportunity to offer a more tailored, personalised experience to the banking end user, through acquiring knowledge of those users through big data. According to Oracle, “84% of the surveyed executives agree that customers are looking for a more individualized, tailored experience”. Thus, we think big data will make a huge impact in coming years, and is a deserving inclusion in this list of the top 10 banking and finance app engagement statistics.
10) Efficient Use of ChatBots
30% of large financial corporations and institutions plan to invest in AI and chatbots
In recent times, a lot of businesses have introduced chatbots in order to achieve service excellence at minimal costs. It’s becoming rare for organizations to hire human resource for tasks that can be efficiently carried out by AI-based chatbot.
In 2017, a PWC research found that 30% of large financial corporations and institutions plan to invest in AI and chatbots. In addition to this, AI-focused fintech business startups have gained higher investments with an average of $1 billion in investments in the preceding two years.
Financial apps have seen similar trends. Chatbots are usually integrated with apps and provide a communication channel between a user and the institution. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, bots can be trained on thousands of data sets and queries that can be used by digital marketers, app developers and sales team to drive organizational growth via predictive analysis and forecasts.
Final Thoughts on the Top 10 Statistics on Banking & Finance App’s User Engagement
The frequency at which financial apps are used comes in third behind social media and weather apps – in 2019, consumers accessed financial and banking apps over one trillion times. However, financial institutions, app managers and developers find it quite hard to achieve good retention rates.
Leanplum and Liftoff reported that after a day of signing up for a financial app, only 34.8% of users stay. After one week, this number dropped to 14.9%% and after 90 days, it is only 3.4%. If we compare it with the general retention rate of 5%, it is quite evident that retaining users over financial apps is by no means an easy task. Keeping all the aforementioned stats and trends into consideration, it is about time that app developers and product developers bring in all their expertise and experience to full effect in order to achieve noticeable prominence in the world of finance apps – a world that generated more than $3 billion in venture funding in the first three quarters of 2019 alone.
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