Retention for Apps in the US and UK

Retaining app users is a struggle no matter what type of app you are offering. App users are erratic, inconsistent, and will download and discard apps at an alarming pace. Research from our recent Uninstalls Report showed that most apps lose more than 77% of users within three days of installation. In this sense, users go on many ‘first dates’ with apps, and in many cases will ‘dump’ the app after only one day. This means that the real challenge for developers is getting people to fall in love with their apps during the critical period immediately after installation.

To help app developers decide and deploy an effective strategy that will prevent this early churn, we launched SimilirWeb Portrait, a mobile intelligence tool which uses inferred analytics and statistical algorithms to build a profile or “Portrait” of the user. This data can be used by developers to personalize their app, and create a more targeted user experience. To learn more about Portrait and find out how it can be used to help retain and engage app users, sign up here.

Using SimilarWeb data, we can discover the retention average of the top apps in every industry and discover several popular apps that suffer from a below average retention rate in each category. This average is a good benchmark for developers to strive for and lets them know their place in the industry. The retention rate is analyzed over a 30 day period, day 0 referring to the day of installation itself and every subsequent day being 1 day after the initial installation. By day 30, many users will have already stopped using the app completely and in some cases the app will be uninstalled from the user’s device completely.

Looking at the U.S. we researched dozens of the top media apps and discovered 4 leading apps which showed below average retention rates on Android devices- these apps are Mashable, NPR News, Bloomberg Business, and CNET. In the U.S., the average retention rate for this category on day 0 was 34.71%, as represented by the green line in the graph. All 4 apps fell below this benchmark, with Bloomberg Business coming the closest. Bloomberg Business had a day 0 retention average of 25.45%, the highest of the 5, but still 27% lower than the industry leaders average. Mashable had the lowest day 0 retention average with only 20.63% of users using the app on the day of installation.

Retention for Apps in the US and UK


In some cases, the data shows a slight increase in retention rate over the 30 day period, such as in the case of Mashable, which saw a small but significant increase on day 27. In these cases, it’s possible that the app developer ran a campaign using push notifications or other methods to increase use and thereby increase retention. Developers can use SimilarWeb data to determine the best days to run such campaigns and increase their retention even on day 27.

In the U.K. we used the same methodology to look at 4 shopping apps that showed below average 30 day retention rates. These apps were ASDA, Etsy, Tesco, and Argos and all 4 showed very similar trends. Of the 4, Etsy showed the strongest retention on day 0 with 36.68% of users being active on the day of installation. While impressive, this number still fell short of the top industry average of 38.26% on day 0.  Furthermore, like Mashabale, ASDA managed to increase its retention on day 20 suggesting they may have run a campaign to increase retention and engagement.

Retention for Apps in the US and UK



About the Author -

Joel Zand is a content manager and researcher at SimilarWeb. With extensive content marketing and social media experience, he is a former practicing lawyer who worked at the legal startups Justia and FindLaw. Joel is passionate about Apple technology and dogs.

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