Here Are Your Latest App Engagement and Retention Benchmarks

How well did mobile and web apps fare in user retention and engagement in the second half of 2016 – and how do the results compare to the first half of the year and earlier? Localytics offers some answers with its latest benchmarks, based on an analysis of more than 37,000 mobile and web apps. Here are some of the key takeaways from the report.

The following findings are organized by metric, highlighting trends as well as high- and low-performing app types. Key trends include worsening retention rates but higher engagement.

  • Single-use apps: During the second half of the year, an average of 23% of users used apps only once, a figure that was relatively consistent across verticals. That’s slightly up from 21% of users using an app only once during the first half of the year.
  • Loyal app users: Overall, 39% of app users returned to apps at least 11 times per month, with social (42%) and travel & lifestyle (42%) apps leading the way. This is down slightly from 42% of users exhibiting that type of loyalty in H1, indicating slightly worsening retention.
  • 1-Month Churn Rate: On average, 36% of users continue to return to an app one month after it has been downloaded. This figure is highest for apps in the retail & e-commerce and travel & lifestyle (each 41%) verticals, and lowest for social apps (33%). The 1-month churn rate of 64% is up from 60% in H1, and from 58% in early 2015.
  • 3-Month Churn Rate: By the 3-month mark post-download, just one-fifth of app users are still using an app, on average, per the analysis. Social apps (17% of users) struggle the most with retention, while travel & lifestyle apps (25%) fare best. Once again, though, retention rates are down: in H1 2016, the churn rate at the 3-month mark was 75% (now 80%).
  • Number of App Launches per Month: During the second half of the year, apps were launched an average of almost 14 times per month. While social apps face difficulties with retention, they shine in app launches, with an average of more than 20 launches per month, almost twice as many as retail & e-commerce apps (~11/month). The trends are better on this front, as the 13.8 launches per month in H2 compares favorably to the 11.7 in H1.
  • Total Time in Apps per Month: Users averaged more than one hour (66 minutes) in apps per month during H2. Once again, social apps proved the most addictive of the 4 verticals tracked (59 minutes), with retail & e-commerce apps used more sparingly (38.5 minutes). The trend is again for increased usage, with the roughly 66 minutes per month across apps in H2 being up from 63 in H1.
  • Push Notification Opt-In Rates: Interestingly, push notification rates are higher across the board on Android than iOS devices, averaging 70% and 43%, respectively. Opt-in rates were highest in both counts for retail & e-commerce apps (84% and 57%, respectively) and lowest for business & technology apps (61% and 42%, respectively). Across all apps, push notification opt-in rates were lower in H2 than in H1 (70% vs. 76% for Android; 43% vs. 45% for iOS). This may explain the lower retention rates in H2, as push notifications and in-app messages have a strong impact on retention rates.

The full benchmarks are available for your viewing pleasure here.