2020 app retention benchmarks


What’s inside

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 2020 was no exception.

In fact, the retention rate of the average app decreased this year by 12%. Add to that the high app uninstall rates and you get a formidable user engagement challenge for apps.

Engagement and COVID-19: The numbers so far

You may ask how is it that engagement is down in a year when the coronavirus pandemic significantly increased the time consumers spent with their mobile devices? The answer is that overall engagement surged (in totals), but the retention rate of the average app dropped amid fierce competition.

To help marketers tackle the retention challenge and enable smarter, data-driven decisions, we’ve looked at 60 billion installs of over 30,000 apps and analyzed their retention performance.

The result: benchmarks for 40 markets and 50 categories, making it the industry’s most comprehensive retention report for app marketers.

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, the quality of Apple’s OS stands out – its week 12 rate is 42% 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.

And what about remarketing?

Another proven method to combat churn is remarketing.

The numbers prove time and again that app remarketing is a surefire way to improve low rates and boost revenue and profitability (particularly when the cost of user acquisition is on the rise and is far more costly than remarketing).

In particular, we can see that remarketing goes a long way when comparing long term retention with a staggering 85% uplift in week 12 retention rates among apps that run remarketing campaigns vs. apps that do not.

We’ll also discuss:

  • Benchmarks in 40 markets and 50 categories (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

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