Business & Technology Apps Are Driving Impressive Engagement and Retention

In our latest benchmark report, we explored trends in Business and Technology apps for the second half of 2017. Apps in this category are focused on utilities, technology, education, productivity and enhancing business-to-business communication.

Business & Technology apps are seeing a 14% increase in weekly launches since the second half of 2016

Users are spending more time in these apps (+5% monthly and +12% weekly), which can be attributed to the significant 10% increase in monthly app launches and 14% increase in weekly app launches for the second half of 2017.

  2H 2016 1H 2017 1H 2017 % CHANGE (YOY)
App Launches - Monthly 13.23 13.27 14.52 +9.75%
Session Length - Monthly (minutes) 3.92 3.59 3.74 -4.59%
 Time in App - Monthly (minutes) 51.83   47.64 54.3  +4.77% 
 App Launches - Weekly 5.83  6.18  6.62   +13.55%
 Session Length - Weekly (minutes)  3.82 3.52  3.77  -1.31% 
 Time in App - Weekly (minutes) 22.27  21.77  24.96  +12.08% 

App launches are a good indicator of this industry's performance, as the more upfront value textbooks, financial advice, or planning tools provide, the more frequently users will turn to them. Of course, consumers spend far less time in these apps than they do in content-heavy Media and Entertainment apps (3:44 minutes vs 6:35 minutes), but that's to be expected. It's still encouraging to see average session lengths for Business and Technology apps have remained fairly steady since the second half of 2016.

App loyalty has gained momentum

To complement the good news that we've seen from other industries, Business and Technology app retention rates reached their highest point in years in the second half of 2017.

Retention measures the percent of users who return to an app one month, two months, and three months after the app is downloaded. Churn is the opposite; it measures the percentage of people who do not return to an app one month, two months, and three months after download.

1-month, 2-month, and 3-month retention rates for Business and Technology apps have respectively increased by 24%, 29%, and 35% since H2 2016, while churn rates have dropped by 12%, 9%, and 9%. 

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Business and Technology app owners have been doing a great job of keeping users engaged by sending better quality, targeted in-app and push messages. Anything less will cause churn to creep back up and app users will find value elsewhere. 

iOS push open rates have shot up 57% and push conversions increased by 7%

A few metrics, such as push opt-in, engagement, and open and conversion rates, can give us an idea of how well app owners are specifically offering this value.

We found that Android opt-in rates are seeing a 30% increase year over year, while iOS opt-ins have remained flat. 

Opt-In rates are important, as users who opt-in see an 88% increase in engagement and nearly 3x higher retention rate compared to those who disable push. Android and iOS push engagement (which is measured as the average number of sessions recipients of the message had within the the first week of receiving the messagehave both increased by 7% and 19% respectively since the second half of 2016, while iOS push open rates have seen a 57% increase and iOS conversions have seen a 7% increase.

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Business and Technology apps in-app conversion performance has hit some bumps in the past year, where we see that the Android in-app conversion rate has dropped from 3.7% to 0.76%, and iOS in-app conversion rates from 4.3% to 2.19%. In-app open rates have fared better, but could still stand improvement: Android remained flat but iOS decreased by 29%.

The era of the productivity app has arrived and businesses are beginning to realize the utility and educational power behind developing their own mobile applications. This is a tremendous opportunity for them to develop better relationships with their customers and evolve beyond seeing consumers as a crowd, instead forming deeply personal relationships with them. Perception has always been crucial, but these days it can be swayed at the drop of a hat.

Take a look at the full report below to learn more.

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