Reimagine App Personalisation To Supercharge User Communication

Poster shows common communication and social media apps.

The latest webinar from Indus OS titled “Reimagine App Personalisation To Supercharge User Communication” brought together Sachin K Menon, Vipin Chauhan, and host Aditya Kshirsagar to talk about mobile app personalisation.

Sachin Menon is a former Amazon manager who is now working on creating a seamless and personalised experience for Indus App Bazaar. Vipin Chauhan, an experienced data scientist for over 6 years, is now applying all his knowledge and know-how at Indus OS.

And as always Aditya Kshirsagar, Product Evangelist, Aditya Mitra Mandal was our host.

Looking to get the best app store personalisation experience? On-board your app on Indus App Bazaar by clicking here.

1. What is App Personalisation and Why is it Important?

When you go to a coffee shop and order a cappuccino with honey and extra froth on it, that is known as customisation. But if you enter the same coffee shop and the barista knows exactly what you need and brews a coffee like that, that is known as personalisation.

App personalisation is the process of building a mobile application that meets the needs of specific users. App personalisation is not a one-size-fits-all process. An app store should meet your needs, not the needs of a general audience.”

I agree with Sachin. I’ll just add on from what he said. For me, personalisation is the right of the user and the app developer. I’ll tell you why. App discovery is going to be a problem for both parties. In the case of Indus App Bazaar, which has 400,000 apps, how will a user find what they need and how will a developer have a fair chance of having their app discovered?

This is where app personalisation acts as a bridge between the user and the app developer.”

2. How does Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs help with Personalisation?

The reason we as an app store need to understand Maslow’s hierarchy is that it gives us an understanding of what users need specifically. We aim to meet the 3rd and 4th tier of the hierarchy which is “belonging” and “esteem”.

Anybody can make an app and give it to a user, but what benefits the user most is when we create an experience to meet their need that gives them a sense of belonging and boosts their esteem.”

3. What is the Biggest Roadblock to Digital Advancement in India?

The biggest roadblock is digital illiteracy. We know that a large chunk of mobile content is delivered in English while many Indians, especially those in rural contexts, are comfortable with content in their regional languages. Also, most of us Indians have a rudimentary understanding of the Internet, and many people don’t have an email ID.

According to the data that we have, only 16% of Indians have an email address. We know that having an email ID is required to access an app store like Google’s Play Store. But in order to advance India digitally, it’s imperative that we have an app store (like Indus App Bazaar) that allows downloads without an email address.”

Yes, digital illiteracy continues to be the biggest roadblock. We’ve all experienced assisting our elderly parents to use phones, and apps, and so on. We need to continue educating them on that. Another roadblock is of course language, which we at Indus OS are resolving to a large extent.”

4. What is an Example of Good Mobile App Personalisation?

The first that comes to mind is Spotify. I’m an avid user of the app and I think they’ve nailed mobile app personalisation. They’ve got more than 75 million active listeners listening to over 10 million songs. Despite the large user base, they’re still able to serve the right music to each user. And users love it.”

5. How is Indus App Bazaar Personalising for its Users?

First of all, we adopt a “bottom-up” approach instead of building a complicated algorithm. And we have three broad types of personalisation called Cohort Level, User Specific, and Session Specific.

Cohort Level is segmentation based on the various features of the user. It is commonly referred to as “User Personas”. There can be three types of User Personas which include demographics (age, gender, occupation), geographic (cities, state, region), and finally appography (type of apps a user likes or searches for). We don’t collect user information so we make predictions based on the User Personas. Obviously, there might be some inaccuracies but we’re pretty good at it.

The cohort level is our very first step of personalisation. It’s more of a heuristic way of creating strategies around cohorts and usually helps us engage with users better than the other two methods. It’s a mix of science and art I would say.

User Specific personalisation shows apps based on what similar users like and apps that the user has already liked. The former is called “collaborative filtering” which is what Netflix does. Another term for it is “wisdom of crowd”. It means that suggestions are based on what most users like.”

6. How many User Personas does Indus OS have?

We have about 90-100 user personas based on these broad categories (demography, geography, appography). Some examples are jobseeker persona and matrimony persona. All these personas are time-bound meaning that a user who was looking for a job a year ago will not have a jobseeker persona today.”

7. What Kind of Personalisation can we Expect from Indus App Bazaar?

That’s a very good question. Alexa is getting smarter and driverless cars are the future. In that context, we should be able personalise our app store in such a way that the user doesn’t have to explicitly tell us what s/he needs. We should be able to identify and cater to their requirements. That’s our long-term vision.”

8. What is the Future of Personalisation?

Currently, no one has mastered personalisation. But it’s going to get better. There’s an algorithm called “Reinforcement Learning Works” which works on two criteria: exploration and exploitation. The algorithm provides the user with everything and anything without any personalisation. And in return, the user will let you know what works and not. I believe that this is the future of personalisation.”

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