Lomit Patel

For years, app marketers looking to grow their businesses focused on user acquisition (UA), but savvy marketers now focus on another piece of the growth puzzle — retention. Research from Adjust compared retention rates across all verticals and found that Day 1 retention was 26% on Android and iOS, but by Day 7, this decreased to 11% on Android and 12% on iOS. 

Making the most of ad budgets requires marketers to keep the users they have spent big UA bucks to acquire. But as more and more marketers catch on and put more effort into retention, apps need a new competitive edge to keep users engaged and coming back. Lottie — a new, lightweight type of animation file — may be just the answer that product marketers are looking for.

What is Lottie?

Put simply, Lottie is a JSON-based animation file format that allows you to build lightweight, scalable, and interactive animations. It is the solution that lets you bring motion magic to your app and helps set it apart from the dull and static experiences that other apps might offer. But as any app developer will know, aside from creating more joyous experiences for users, Lottie is lightweight enough that little compromise needs to be made to implement animation and microinteractions.

Keeping your app users engaged

Boosting retention rates means you must dig into your data and find out where the problem lies. Where are you losing users? What is causing churn? Once you have pin-pointed the problem it’s time to tweak your app for a better user experience. Perfecting your retention strategy is a complex task with many moving parts, but Lottie can help at several steps along the way.

Nattu Adnan, Co-Founder and CTO of LottieFiles, says, “We see use-cases of Lottie animations from app loading and wait screens to gamification, user onboarding as well as to websites and apps that want to serve meaningful content to its users.” 

Optimizing app onboarding with animation

Onboarding is crucial to building a user experience that keeps people engaged and moving through your app with ease. We also know that visuals can be essential for teaching users how to navigate your app. Simple animations are the perfect solution for helping users understand how your app works, what features are available, and how to access them — but animation has posed some problems in the past. 

“In the past, building complex animations for Android, iOS, and React Native apps was a difficult and lengthy process,” wrote Salih Abdul-Karim in a blog post. “You either had to add bulky image files for each screen size or write a thousand lines of brittle, hard-to-maintain code. Because of this, most apps weren’t using animation — despite it being a powerful tool for communicating ideas and creating compelling user experiences.” But Lottie has changed all of that. 

Make time fly while your app is loading

Nothing is worse than a slow app, and research shows that apps are likely to lose users if their app takes too long to load. But animations can offer a solution. They can greatly impact a user’s sense of time and cut that perception of wait time. A dull loading spinner is no match for an animation that tells a little bit of a story and elicits emotion in the user. While waiting, the user has something to entertain them, something to keep them engaged and help build that anticipation of what’s to come after that loading screen finally passes.

Using Lottie

If you still haven’t taken the plunge and incorporated animation into your app designs, Lottie — an open-source tool — can help you embrace the trend without significant investments of time or money. 

"Using Lottie, the time taken to develop an animation has reduced drastically!” says Saptarshi Prakash, Product Design Manager at Swiggy. “Previously, coding even a simple thing like an animated tick could take more than a week’s effort on each platform. With Lottie, it takes less than 30 mins of configuration. Also, there is no loss in quality or information during implementation because what the designer animates is what we finally see on the product." 

Don’t have access to a designer to help you create custom animations? There’s always the world’s largest online repository of free Lottie animations on LottieFiles. To keep your users engaged and delighted, help them navigate your apps more effectively, create a more engaging experience, and make sure to keep them entertained when there’s a lag. Soon you’ll find your retention rates skyrocket.


Lomit Patel is the Vice President of Growth at IMVU. Prior to IMVU, Lomit managed growth at early-stage startups including Roku (IPO), TrustedID (acquired by Equifax), Texture (acquired by Apple) and EarthLink. Lomit is a public speaker, author, advisor, featured in Forbes Magazine and recognized as a Mobile Hero by Liftoff. Lomit’s bestselling book Lean AI, is part of Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup” series, now available at Amazon.

Header image courtesy of  Pixabay.