It’s no secret that once a user finds an app she loves, she’ll use it over and over again, becoming one of your most engaged, and therefore most valuable, users. That same user needs to see the value of your app immediately in order to keep her coming back for more. This isn’t new information, but what is new is the drastic changes we saw in these behaviors in the last quarter of 2014.
New devices bring new users, who are discovering and testing many apps to find the ones that bring them the most value. New devices also bring existing users who are upgrading their devices. These users take the opportunity to evaluate which apps are most helpful and then decide which ones to transfer.
This environment is ripe for both engaged users and a high level of churn, and that’s exactly what we saw happen in Q4 of 2014:
A note about the data: every quarter we publish two Indexes: one on App Stickiness and one for App Launches. We know that app usage varies greatly by category, by vertical and even from app to app. This data is presented as a means to show the seasonal trends in app usage, as well as represent the overall story of what’s happening in the app ecosystem. Further details on which verticals saw the greatest improvements in their app user engagement and retention can be seen in the most recent version of the Localytics App Stickiness Index.
If you find that your app saw similar results, there are smart steps you can now take to engage your users and turn latent users into repeat ones. Here are some ideas to start:
Moving forward, engagement may slow down in Q1 as people return from the holidays and get back to their regular routines (based on what happened in previous years). Take advantage of this short-term slowdown to test out ways you can influence engagement changes from the moment you first meet your app users. The bar has been raised for you to get to know your users from the first moment you met them. Test new marketing campaigns now, and turn the ones that work into long-term engagement strategies for the year.
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