Business Apps Continue to Build Momentum at the Start of 2018

Earlier this year, we found that business and technology apps were winning in the engagement and retention space. Now, that story has changed slightly: these apps are firing on all cylinders and the data shows it. Included in the Business and Technology app category are Productivity, Medical, Business, Reference, Finance, Education, and Utilities apps.

Retention is on a steep rise with increases of 40 to 60%

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. Since the first half of 2017, three month user retention amongst Business & Technology apps has increased by nearly 60%. In early 2017, 30% of users returned to an app in the second month, 22% in the next month, and 18% in the next. Now, retention sits at 41%, 32%, and 28%.


Conversely, 59%, 68%, and 72% of users have churned in the months following initial use. Business and Technology app marketers have made great progress in the last year, but the work is not done. Retail and Travel apps’ retention after one month of use both sit just shy of 50% today, showcasing the possibilities that other verticals can achieve.

Monthly time in app has reached a peak of one hour, three minutes

Time in app (or the product of session length and app launches) has jumped as swiftly as retention. Users are spending more time in Business and Technology apps than we have seen in the past, with little help from average session lengths. Since the first half of 2017, monthly session lengths have increased by a mere 5%, while weekly session lengths have risen by 8%.  On the other hand, monthly and weekly app launches have shot up 25% and 20% respectively, and time in app for both frequencies has increased by 32% and 29%. 


Time in app reached one hour and three minutes in the first half of 2018, while users engage with business and technology apps at a rate of 16.6 launches per month. This amount of time in app may not be as large as Media and Entertainment app’s two hours and three minutes, but Business and Technology apps are launched at a rate just barely below media’s 16.64, pointing to the draw and overall utility of these apps.

Push opt-in rates and engagement are steadily building momentum

We have delved into the need for apps to implement push opt-in strategies in the past, finding that the sweet spot to request that users opt-in to push is somewhere between four and six sessions. At the same time, we reported that the overall push opt-in rate has progressed from 52% in 2014 to 53.3% in 2018. Yes, that’s right. A 2.5% increase. Marketers should make it a priority to address the elephant in the room and work on incorporating some of these strategiesKeep in mind that there are always some users who will not want to opt-in no matter what.

That being said, the results are positive for Business and Technology app marketers, who are seeing a 53% increase in opt-ins on Android and a 2% increase on iOS. The current opt-in rates are 84% on Android and 44% on iOS, the highest across verticals.











The news is even better for push engagement, which has increased by 78% and 89% for Android and iOS since the first half of 2017. An increasing opt-in rate and engagement is a powerful combination; it shows that your users are excited enough by your messaging to launch your app more and receive more pushes. These are perfect grounds to further the relationship, but in a conservative way. Luckily, the tendency of business and technology apps is not to over-communicate, but instead to simply facilitate app usage.

On the other hand, in-app has not performed as well: Android in-app open and conversion rates have dropped by around 35%, while iOS’s have dropped slightly as well. Business and Technology app marketers: be sure to treat in-app like push, simply as a way to support the app experience, not a way to profit from it.

Business and Technology apps seem to have found their rhythm and are seeing formidable growth as a result. It’s imperative that marketers continue to deliver the experience that end-users clearly enjoy, which starts by acting on their opportunities and delivering value in an upfront, honest way. With the help of Localytics, they’ll be unstoppable.

For more awesome data, check out the business and technology benchmarks for the first half of 2018 here: