Are Mobile Users Returning to Apps After Trying Them Out? - eMarketer

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Are Mobile Users Returning to Apps After Trying Them Out?

As time progresses, less users come back to an app

June 3, 2016

Engagement and retention are critical for mobile app marketers, since an app downloaded and discarded may as well never have been downloaded at all. But retaining users is a challenge. According to research from Appboy, less than a quarter of mobile app users worldwide will return to an app the day after they first use it.

Average App Retention Rates over the First 90 Days of Use Among Mobile App Users Worldwide, by OS, Nov 2015-March 2016

Data from Appboy, which represents activity on it platform, looked at average app retention rates over the first 90 days of use. As the 90 days progressed, fewer and fewer mobile app users returned to a given app. For example, just 24% of users returned to an app one day after first using it. By day 14, 9% of mobile app users returned to an app. By day 60, 5% of mobile users returned, and by day 90, just 4% of mobile users returned to the app.

Separate research from Localytics analyzed the number of uses of mobile apps during the first six months after download. Overall, there was a lack of movement over the course of the four years analyzed.

Number of Times Apps Were Used During the First 6 Months Among Mobile App Users Worldwide, March 2012-April 2016 (% of total)

As of April 2016, half of apps studied were used five times or less during the first six months after download. The other half had been used more frequently—more than five times during the same period. Direct comparisons with the Appboy data are not possible, since the number of times an app was used does not necessarily correspond to any particular period of time—an app could be opened multiple times the first day it was used, for example.

Average 4-Week Uninstall Rates for Android Apps Worldwide, by App Category, Q1 2016

Apsalar provides data on another metric for marketers interested in app retention: uninstall rates. The Q1 2016 data, which dealt only with Android apps, found that 31% of travel apps had been uninstalled within four weeks. More than a quarter of gaming, as well as retail and shopping apps, were uninstalled during the same period.

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