Mobile App User Engagement and Retention Benchmarks

March 17, 2016

Localytics-Mobile-App-Usage-Benchmarks-Mar2016The average retention rate for a mobile application one month after download is 39%, a figure that falls to 20% by the time 3 months have passed, according to a Localytics analysis of Q4 2015 activity among more than 37,000 apps in its database. The benchmarks indicate that media and entertainment apps have above-average retention rates, with the opposite true for gaming apps.

Across all the apps reviewed, the push opt-in rate was 50%, with this not varying too much across the five different app segments highlighted. The push opt-in rate is important as retention rates are far higher among users who have enabled than disabled push notifications. For example, across all apps, the average retention rate after 1 month for users with push notification enabled was 56%, almost 4 times higher than the rate for those with push disabled (15%). By 3 months post-download, the average retention rate was 32% for those with push enabled, compared to just 9% for those with push disabled.

Such discrepancies generally hold across the various app categories examined, but are particularly acute for technology apps, where the 3-month retention rate for users with push enabled was 6.5 times higher than for users with push disabled (39% vs. 6%).

Push notifications also appear to have an influence on app engagement, measured by average number of app launches per month. The average app was launched almost 13 (12.8) times per month, according to the analysis, but that figure was almost three times higher for users with push enabled (13.8) than for those with push disabled (5.3).

Looking at the app categories highlighted, e-commerce and retail apps saw the highest engagement, with their 17.5 launches per month being well above the all-app average of 12.8. That could be related to the analysis period, though, of Q4 2015 (the holiday season). While the average number of minutes spent per session was below-average for e-commerce and retail apps (2.85 vs. 4.35), the total amount of time spent in these apps throughout a typical month was the highest of any category, given the above-average number of launches.

In other findings:

  • On average, 40% of the user base of the apps analyzed were Apple users, with this figure highest for e-commerce and retail apps (73%) and lowest for technology apps (19%);
  • The average click rate on push notifications was 8.1%, highest for e-commerce and retail (10.3%) and lowest for gaming (4.8%);
  • The average click rate on in-app messages was 16%, with this highest among gaming apps (56.4%) and lowest among media and entertainment apps (9.6%); and
  • Organic channels represented the top acquisition channel for all apps and categories, while Facebook was second among all apps and categories.

Further details – along with a breakdown of regional benchmarks – can be accessed here.

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