posted by Bernd Leger
With nearly 1 million apps in the Apple App Store alone, it’s clear that app publishers must go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd. Shifting focus beyond downloads is a good first step, and our newest study reveals that app publishers have done just that. The share of users who return to the app 11 times or more jumped 10% this year alone, from 31% to 34%. With the market already focused beyond downloads and more on engagement, the next set of leaders to emerge will be those who personalize and improve the app experience with a data-driven and iterative approach.
For this study, we looked at the number of new users and the retention of those new users. We identified the users who first downloaded an app in Q3 of each year, and then identified how many times those apps were launched on the same devices through March 15th of the following year.
Retention for users that return only once after downloading held steady at 22%, after improving from 26% the previous year. The share of users that returned to the app 11 or more times has steadily improved over the past three years – growing from 26%, to 31%, to 34%.
Retention data from last year showed that only 23% of Android users returned to apps 11 or more times. Now, as Android matures and becomes more widespread, its share of users who return to the app 11 or more times grew by a massive 48%. Android is now on par with iOS, with 34% of users returning to the app 11 or more times across all categories.
With the introduction of the Nexus, Samsung Galaxy series and new HTC models, Android devices have improved dramatically over the last year and are more app-friendly. Responding to Android’s growing market share – surpassing Apple in some markets - app publishers have ramped up investment in Android app development.
As the app market matures with better devices and continued investment by app publishers in a strong end user experience, loyalty among app users should continue to grow. The 22% retention rate is still low, however. But this should improve as app publishers are becoming more sophisticated with how they acquire users, engage them, and ultimately personalize the end user experience.
Localytics is the leading analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps across more than 850 million devices. The two key metrics used in this report are the number of new users and the retention rates of those new users. We identified the users who first downloaded an app in Q3 of the different years, and then identified how many times those apps were launched on those devices through March 15th of the following year. All results are based on worldwide app usage.
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