Today, mobile app users in every niche have an overabundance of apps to choose from. With so many different options vying for users' attention, they have the luxury to select whichever application best suits their needs. This wealth of apps is fantastic for potential users, but creates a difficult market for developers.

Steep competition and increasingly high standards create enormous challenges for mobile app developers trying to attract and maintain a steady audience of users. This is why one of the most critical elements of a successful mobile app is building and maintaining customer trust.

The average person with a mobile device and internet access spends 4.2 hours a day using mobile applications. These apps have access to an unbelievable amount of personal data, including web browsing history, previous purchases, the user's location, and credit card information. As security breaches rise and user data is compromised, people have become cautious about which apps they choose to download. If one option seems untrustworthy or has a bad reputation, users won’t settle — instead, they’ll simply take their usage to a competing app.

For your app efforts to flourish, you must establish user trust from the moment they even consider downloading your app. But how do you do it? To help you along your mobile app development journey, we've compiled essential strategies that you can implement to gain and retain more users while increasing your app's overall profitability.

The Importance of Cultivating Trust in Mobile App Development

When you're in the beginning stages of development, you may not have considered the role that trustworthiness plays in the overall success of your mobile app. However, user trust is a critical element affecting download, usage, and retention rates. Without trust, users will quickly abandon your mobile app in favor of competitors — if they even download it to begin with. In contrast, an app that users can trust with their data will receive rave reviews, satisfy repeat users, and support a broad online presence.

If you're exaggerating the capabilities of your mobile app or being secretive about terms and conditions, user trust will decrease as a result. Furthermore, you must ensure that your mobile application functions as promised. If users find correct usage unclear or the app crashes, it is only natural that users will fail to trust your app and discontinue use altogether. For users to develop trust in your app, it should have the following qualities:

  • Straightforward User Experience Design: If users experience navigation difficulties, it is challenging to establish trust. Consider working with experienced UX designers that understand the intricacies of a user's journey throughout the app.
  • Protect Your Users: When users download your mobile app, they trust your company with a significant amount of sensitive information. Ensure that data like credit card numbers and email addresses are adequately protected. Double-down on your trustworthiness by then communicating your data privacy efforts clearly to users, so they feel confident that their information is in responsible hands.
  • Be Honest: Although it may seem like a great way to entice new users, don't exaggerate the capabilities of your app. Honesty is the best policy, and lying or exaggerating is the quickest way to deter users from your app. As the saying goes, it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver rather than the other way around.

How to Build Trust

Use In-App Permissions 

As concerns regarding data security swirl within the media, make it your top priority to create a trustworthy atmosphere for users. In-app permissions also have a significant impact on the UX experience that you're creating.

For example, although users are accustomed to mobile apps asking for their location, they still want to know why the information is relevant to their experience. All you need to do is let them know why your app requires sensitive data.

Let your users know the reasoning behind your request for information early on, before doubt can creep in. As you implement UX design strategies, ensure that customers know why you request details such as email addresses, credit card information, or the user’s birthdate. Transparency will put you on the road to establishing trust with your users. 

Curate Your Mobile Advertisements

An excessive amount of advertisements can drastically decrease the quality of your user experience. Of course, this poses a problem for many mobile app developers, given that ads can play a pivotal role in monetizing certain apps. Luckily, there are strategies that you can leverage to promote third-party brands while still creating an excellent user experience.

To cultivate user trust and create a positive user experience simultaneously, developers must master the art of in-app tracking. Essentially, this means eradicating deceitful, irrelevant, or poorly designed advertisements from your app — for example, ads with misleading or clickbaity buttons. Eliminate such low-quality advertisements and instead incorporate ads that are well-designed and offer actual value to your audience.

To track in-app advertisements more efficiently, use a UX app analytics system. With this tool, you can view advertisements in the same way users will see them and curate accordingly. As a result, user trust will increase, and so will your ad revenue.

Control Oversharing

In the age of social media, it's only natural that mobile app developers want to leverage sharing as a marketing tactic. Most apps incorporate sharing by encouraging users to post on social media when a user reaches a particular milestone or performs a specific action. While this may not seem like an issue, your app mustn't compromise user privacy in an attempt to cultivate brand awareness. 

To remedy issues regarding oversharing, make it clear which content users will share on social media and who will see it. And certainly don’t allow your mobile app to share user information on social media without the user's knowledge. If this occurs, you can expect users to leave poor ratings or reviews and promptly uninstall the app.

Controlling oversharing within your app doesn't need to be complicated. Provide users with the option to choose which content is transferred, via which channels, and to whom. Ensure that you remind users about their chosen privacy settings throughout their journey on your app.

Make Registration Optional

There are many benefits to acquiring access to user email addresses, names, and birthdays. For one, you can use this data to create a relevant, personalized user experience that increases your chances of long-term retention. However, many users balk at lengthy or detailed registration forms. Common misconceptions about mobile app registration include:

  • Users are concerned that registration through a social media account will allow others to view their profile in-app activity.
  • Users may mistrust an app that asks for registration information immediately, before they are allowed to use it. 
  • Many users are fatigued with the registration process and have grown tired of providing their personal information in every app and online account.

To mitigate these concerns, the best course of action is to give users the option to register or not. Keep it simple, and include a button that allows users to forgo registration on the sign-up form. This way, users interested in connecting with your mobile app through email or text message have the option to sign-up. In contrast, uninterested users can enjoy your mobile app without providing their information.

If your app requires registration for full functionality, allow potential users to experience a trial version before registration, so they can get an idea of your app’s value first-hand.

Respect User Privacy

Currently, smartphone users spend 90% of their mobile time using apps. They use these apps for nearly everything, including checking their bank account, tracking their fitness, ordering groceries, and online shopping. Although most mobile apps require users to agree to the terms and conditions, most people fail to read the fine print of their privacy agreement. They trust mobile app developers to protect their privacy. 

Unfortunately, many companies have taken advantage of their users’ trust and taken liberties with the data they can access. It is the responsibility of mobile app developers to respect the privacy of each user and ensure their right to privacy.

To gain and maintain a user's trust, create a jargon-free privacy policy so that users can understand the agreement. In addition, ensure that the text is large enough to be legible. Your policy should clearly state the purpose and benefits of data collection, how it is collected, the length of time that your app retains the data, and how users can delete their data.

We Can Help

Creating a mobile application that users find trustworthy can be a little tricky, to say the least. While the strategies themselves are simple, implementing them for optimal efficiency and audience retention requires vast technical knowledge and expertise. That's why we're here to help. At CodigoDelSur, we understand the importance of developing user trust and following best practices to support it.

Since 2007, our team at CodigoDelSur has helped nearly 200 US-based startups design and develop a wide range of mobile apps and websites. Our software developers leverage their technical expertise in usability, engagement, and growth hacking to scale your business exponentially. Specializing in innovative, cutting-edge digital products, the CodigoDelSur team was built on talent, thirst for knowledge, and supreme dedication to our craft.

Through the consistent creation of stunning, functional websites and mobile applications, CodigoDelSur is rising to the forefront of our industry. We're always ready to apply the latest developments in new, exciting technologies for your brand and create valuable, engaging user experiences that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Ready to put out a show-stopping app that fosters a real, trustworthy relationship with your users? Contact our team today to find out how we can revolutionize your brand's digital experience!