posted by Paul Davenport
The number of apps competing for user attention is greater today than ever before, even if the frequency of app launches has cooled slightly during the first half of 2018 compared to last year, according to our latest Benchmark Report.
The average number of apps launched monthly peaked with a high of 15.89 in the first half of 2017 -- the highest average since we started reporting benchmark data back in 2016. Although that average dipped during the same period in 2018 -- 13.70 launches, or a change of -13.78% -- the figure is roughly the median of all previous benchmark data in this category.
That said, retention rates for app usage are up significantly year-over-year, while churn continues to sink by double-digit percentages on a one-, two- and three-month basis.
What’s the immediate takeaway of all this? For starters, it shows that brands are doing a better job of engaging their users, all while the competition for users’ attention continues to build.
One of the highlights of the latest benchmark analysis is that app retention continues to increase markedly. Most notably, the number of users sticking with apps after three months jumped by 45% from the first half 2017 to the first half of 2018, leapfrogging from 22% of users last year compared to 32% of users today.
Double-digit increases in retention were also recorded after month one and two, with 45% and 36% of users passing each of those respective thresholds.
Just as compelling is the marked drop in user churn, which corresponds with an uptick in engagement with push notifications for Android and iOS users alike.
For Android, push engagement jumped 31.34% during H1 2018 compared to a year earlier, while iOS users were 23.55% more engaged. Although the open rate was down overall for Android users in this segment (-23%) along with the conversion rate (-30%), the opt-in rate for push jumped from 68% in the first half of 2017 to 72% this year.
On the iOS side of things, engagement was fueled by a 50% surge in the push open rate, while push conversion continued a steady climb of 6% over the figures from 2017. Users have become more appreciative and tolerant of pushes because marketers are using analytics tools to effectively target their audiences on both Android and iOS.
As we’ve reported in previous coverage of our benchmark data, the good news regarding user retention and engagement can be felt for apps across industries and verticals. From travel and retail to media and big business, enterprise app performance saw positive gains across the board -- fueled in large part to higher success rates with push -- when it comes to stretching the lifetime value of their mobile users.
For any app marketing strategy to succeed, both push and in-app messaging features need to be finessed and continually refined to maintain the core users that deliver the most value to a brand. The latest benchmark data indicates that brands across sectors are leveraging more diverse kinds of data and personalization tactics to give users the experience they crave, leading to the short- and long-term upticks in user retention all sectors enjoy.
To see how it breaks down across sectors and in greater detail, check out our cheat sheet.
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