app retention benchmarks 2019

2019 App Retention Benchmarks [Data Study]

Retention is a mission-critical metric in mobile marketing, allowing brands to optimize their user acquisition and engagement efforts, as well as to predict lifetime value. It is also the basis of monetization, as engaged users are more likely to generate revenue by either making in-app purchases or interacting with ads. 

Unfortunately, for years retention has been a significant pain point for marketers… and 2019 was no exception. In fact, the retention rate of non-organic users decreased this year in over 60% of verticals, with overall rates lower than 5% on Day 30. Add to that the high app uninstall rates and you get a formidable user engagement challenge for apps. 

To help marketers tackle this challenge and enable smarter, data-driven decisions, we’ve analyzed the retention performance of over 15,000 apps with marketing spend (at least 1,000 non-organic installs per country per month). The result — the industry’s most comprehensive retention report for app marketers.

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What can be done to improve retention?

A comparison of operating systems shows one platform delivers higher quality users than the other:


According to our data, while the daily retention rate of iOS users is up to 10% higher than Android users, it is longer term retention where the quality of Apple’s OS stands out — its Week 8 rate is no less than 35% higher than Android’s.

Therefore, marketers should consider upping their investment in iOS. Note that, while the cost of acquisition in iOS is also higher than in Android, the likelihood of driving positive ROAS increases given its quality. In most cases we see a stronger correlation between higher revenue and profitability rather than lower cost. 


Another proven method to combat churn is retargeting:

The numbers prove time and again that app retargeting is a surefire way to improve low rates and boost revenue (by around 63% across verticals, as our recent data shows). 


In particular, we can see that apps with a medium to large share of retargeting conversions in their marketing mix (that is, are actively investing more resources into retargeting efforts vs. non-organic installs) also tend to have higher retention than apps running few to no campaigns. 

Some verticals have adopted this practice far more than others: Shopping, for instance, has a 3x higher 80th percentile than Gaming, which has been slow to adopt. The use of retargeting in the marketing mix is also far more common in Travel apps. Finance, on the other hand, is completely focused on user acquisition as its 50th percentile is at a mere 4% share of retargeting conversions.

No matter the vertical or region, the bottom line is that significant churn is still very common among mobile apps. Fortunately, marketers seem to understand the importance of retention and are now optimizing towards it, leveraging insights provided in our latest 2019 App Retention Benchmarks report. 


What is included in the report?

  • Benchmarks by category and country – both average and top 10% figures
  • Key global trends analyzing install types, operating systems, and top markets
  • Best practices and pro tips on how to improve your retention rate
  • And more!


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