5 Hacks to Drive Higher User Retention for Ride-Hailing Apps

Written by Ritu Poddar on April 23, 2019

effective referral marketing campaign exampleCalling a ride has never been easier. Download the app, enter your location details, choose a convenient payment option, and voila! A few minutes later you have a cab waiting for you right at your doorstep!

Simple for us as end users, but for customer-centric mobile app marketers like you, there is a lot that goes behind the scenes to ensure that the users continue to use your app regularly. In an increasingly cluttered and discount-driven market, it certainly is challenging to retain and engage users.

The industry of ride-hailing mobile apps continues to grow. In fact, the ride-hailing market will be worth $276.00 billion by the end of 2025. This implies that the competition is only going to grow stronger. To keep driving customer acquisition and top-line revenues, you need to have a data-driven user engagement and retention strategy in place.

Here are 5 hacks that can help you boost user engagement and retention for your ride-hailing app:

Hack #1: Place the Customer at the Centre of the User Experience

Given the diverse target audience your mobile app caters to, it is important for your app to have a simple and clean user interface. The idea is to reduce the potential points of friction where your users might drop-off and instead optimise their fastest path towards your conversion activity, i.e. booking a ride.

Apart from having a short, simple, and seamless onboarding flow, you also have to ensure you embed customer convenience through various options at the heart of the entire app usage experience.

For instance, offer multiple ride options based on car-type and fare, as well as a ride scheduling facility. You also need to provide your users several payment options (cash, credit/debit cards, app wallets, digital wallets, etc.) to ensure hassle-free payment.

customer being center of user experience

Hack #2: Leverage the Power of Geolocation Targeting

Ride-hailing app depends on helping your customer move from Point A to Point B in the easiest and fastest way, and in the most cost-effective manner. Accurate geolocation data is critical to your app’s success - right from picking up and dropping off your customer to creating personalised multi-channel user engagement campaigns.

Using geolocation information to craft hyper-personalised messages is a great way to engage your users. Whether you’re running push notification or in-app message campaigns, geolocation data driven content ensures that your communication is relevant to the target user segments.

Mention popular events or features exclusive to the users’ real-time location. Such messages create immediate interest while striking a personal connection. It is easy to overlook a generic notification, but not easy to ignore if it has the name of a location around the corner!

Taxi app Curb was able to drive 300% increase in app downloads using location-based targeting.

Leverage Power of Geolocation Targeting

Create a Great Referral Marketing Programme

Hack #3: Create a Great Referral Marketing Programme

Have you used an e-mail, a social media post, or a referral code shared by a friend to book a ride at a discounted price?

Well, that’s referral marketing. It serves as a powerful marketing technique that helps you increase user acquisition rapidly, in the form of app downloads.

Your loyal or happy users recommend your app to their friends or relatives, helping you improve your business metrics that matter - conversions, user engagement, and retention.

Many top brands like Uber and Lyft have been offering referral links to its customers, applying the personalisation strategy.

discount-driven gimmick for push notifications

An effective referral marketing campaign shouldn’t come across as a discount-driven gimmick, but should focus on actually delivering value through a relevant incentive.

You also need to focus on the degree of personalisation you use in these campaigns. Along with name, a personalised landing page works really well. Also, in-depth analytics to understand the number of invites (sent by a referrer), clicks and resultant installs, and revenue can help stay on top of your marketing KPIs.

effective referral marketing campaign

Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

The undebatable reasons for the success of referral marketing lie in the fact that word to mouth reference from a friend or acquaintance works stronger than any marketing communication, any day.

This technique is a win-win since it enables to not only entice new users to install your app, but also helps in retaining existing ones.

Hack #4: Seek User Feedback

Your users often make transactional decisions based on other users’ reviews and feedback. In the ride-hailing industry, this aspect plays an even more critical role.

Seeking feedback not only acts as a means to engage those users whom you ask feedback from, but also helps you rectify any issues within your app and your drivers. The best way to collect reviews is through in-app messages in real time.

Also, make it a point to reply to user reviews and ratings as it enhances your brand’s goodwill and loyalty.

All of this is meant to help you optimise the entire end-to-end customer experience. Mind you, your customers will have the odd unpleasant experience, that may or may not directly be your fault. You still have to seek their feedback and act on it immediately to ensure you reduce the chances of such customers churning.

Seek User Feedback

Hack #5: Adopt a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

The most important aspect of your ride-hailing app’s marketing strategy is to provide a seamless, multi-channel experience to its users.

For instance, when a user books a ride, you can choose to send an SMS as well as a push notification instantly with the ride details. As soon as his/her ride is complete, you could trigger an email with the invoice, and an in-app message to get real-time feedback. A powerful real-time multi-channel marketing automation flow is absolutely necessary.

Depending on the nature of your communication and your campaign objectives, you need to identify what marketing channel would work best.

Related Post: Push Notifications vs. SMS: Selecting the Right Channel to Boost User Engagement


Parting Thoughts

Apart from the hacks mentioned above, it goes without saying that a solid mobile marketing strategy including user behaviour-driven hyper-personalised push notifications and in-app messages is critical to your app’s success. 

Explosive growth in the ride-hailing market is making the challenges of user acquisition, engagement, and retention tougher by the day. And, that’s precisely why you require a data-driven marketing automation solution that bridges the gap between actionable user analytics and effective multi-channel engagement strategies.

To learn how Smartech can help your ride-hailing app deliver differentiated customer experiences at scale, get in touch with us, today!

 
Ritu Poddar


Ritu is a Technical Writer & Content Developer by profession, and a Poet & Creative Writer by passion. She works as Assistant Manager, Content Development at Netcore.

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