Marketers Still Struggling With App-User Retention

Retaining app users over time remains a big challenge for marketers.

In fact, only 10%-12% of users remain active seven days after downloading an app -- while a mere 4%-5% are still active after 30 days, according to new research from AppsFlyer.

When comparing organic and non-organic users, the former outperformed the latter by 15% on iOS and 21% on Android, the mobile analytics and attribution firm found.

More broadly, year-over-year retention rates appear to be up.

Last year, the only drop was seen from Android organic users (down 6%), while Android non-organic user retention was up 4%.

Even better, iOS was up 9%, overall, and up 25% among non-organic users.

According to the researchers at AppsFlyer, the improvement clearly demonstrates that marketers understand the importance of retention, and have doubled down on their optimization efforts.

Meawnwhile, monetizing users -- especially non-organic ones -- remains a challenge. Indeed, fewer than 2% of those who download an app actually make purchases inside the app.

Non-organic Android users are slightly more engaged earlier in the funnel (click-to-install, install-to-engaged rates) -- but, when it comes to purchases, iOS users win out.

In fact, the chances of an engaged user turning into a buyer are almost 80% higher on iOS, while the odds of a user who installed an app becoming a buyer are 55% higher.

Lifetime activity is significantly different across shopping and gaming. The average mobile gamer performs about six in-app events in 90 days, with owners of Android devices outpacing iOS device owners by 20%.

By contrast, the average user of a shopping app performs about 18 in-app events in 90 days, with iOS users almost 25% more active than Android shoppers across each stage in the funnel.

Also of note, North America remains the leader in the share of buying users, with the best iOS install-to-buyer ratio (2.25%) -- and the second best ratio on Android (1.3%) -- among non-organic users.

North American shoppers are also most active in adding products to their in-app shopping cart and making purchases.

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