Matthew Sherlock, Product Director, Ex Libris Mobile Campus Solutions
You’ve worked hard on getting your campus app up and running, and your students have even started using it. That’s an important milestone, but your next challenge is to make sure that the app continues to be used – that it becomes the focal point for your students and a reliable and much-loved way for you to engage with your campus community.
This may not be as easy as it sounds. Today’s app users are very discerning customers. There are so many different ways students can access information, and there are many other apps “fighting” for visible space on your students’ phones.
As this graph shows, most apps have poor retention; they are used a couple of times and then removed. The challenge for institutions of higher education is clear: you must make your app sticky and to keep students, prospects, alumni and others coming back.
Universities need to create apps that keep students coming back, that become their one-stop shop to access services and vital information.
For an app to have the best chance of being used repeatedly, it needs be one or all of the following:
- Useful – it must add value for the user: there must be an a real reason for people to use the app
- Essential – it needs to provide access to services or information not available elsewhere
- Contextual – it should give individuals information tailored to their own situation, at the precise time it is needed
- User-friendly – it should be attractive, intuitive, and easy to use
- Customizable – the app should present information users want rather than what the institution thinks they want
Universities need to create apps that keep students coming back, that become their one-stop shop to access services and vital information. If you create an app like this, it is easy to see the results: campusM apps have an average retention rate of 85% because they are integrated, contextual, and more personalized than ever before.
This Time it’s Personal
What is the importance of personalization for mobile campus apps? Imagine two students – both are first year students, both study chemistry, and both are based on the main campus. However, these students are not identical. One lives on campus, travels by car and is interested in science, while the other lives in private off-campus housing, commutes by train, and is interested in seeing live music.
These two individuals will want to see completely different things on their app homepage. By letting them rearrange the tiles that present the information they are interested in with an intuitive drag and drop interface, you can ensure that students like these will be able to make the institutional app work for them in ways never available before.
With simple administration that ensures university staff can easily control the offered services, indicate mandatory tiles, and more, institutions can now provide an unlimited variety of student mobile experiences.
campusM apps have always delivered content to students that is relevant to them, but with the new home screen possibilities, institutions can put the power of personalization into the users hands, revolutionizing student app engagement.
The best way to make sure your campus app continues to be used, make sure that your campus apps are useful, essential, contextualized, and just as important personalized and tailored by the users themselves. A careful app strategy and the right app platform will help you do just that.
February 12, 2018