What Is the Average User Retention and How to Improve It for Your App

Every decent mobile app marketer will tell you that user retention is crucial. But very few will admit that the whole mobile app industry is suffering from an engagement crisis and apps are losing more users than ever. This is happening for a number of reasons, but mostly because there are too many apps out there and because there were some missteps in the mobile industry evolution. And yet, user retention is one of the key ASO factors. So, how do you beat the churn and gain loyal users that keep coming back to your app? Let’s find out.

Focus on User Retention, not Acquisition
Don’t get me wrong, acquisition is still massively important. But once your app gains a nice number of installs, you should shift your focus to retaining and satisfying your existing users. That will result in high ratings and new installs.

In the past, mobile marketers were obsessed by driving installs regardless of their quality. That resulted in 25% of users on average uninstalling the app after using it only once. Nevertheless, a lot of marketers are still focused on driving installs because it’s easier than making users stay.

What Is a Good Retention Rate?
OK, so now that we’re focusing on user retention, let’s see what’s the average retention rate for a mobile app and what’s the global picture.

The industry standard measures retention rates by checking if the user returned to the app at least once within 30 days. Another benchmark is user retention during a 90-day period.

And now get ready for a shock. According to Localytics, the average user retention rate for mobile apps during a 90-day period is only 20%. That’s crazily low. So, are you ready for a war against user dropout? Read on to find out how to increase your retention.

How to Improve Retention for Your App
While there’s no magic way to make users love your app and user it all the time, there are some proven tactics that will help to make them stay.

Quality Is King: first of all, make sure your app works and looks well. If it’s buggy, missing features or isn’t intuitive, users will leave. It’s as simple as that.

A/B Testing: if you feel that something’s not right and too many users abandon or even uninstall your app, try A/B testing. Test only selected parameters at a time to make it easier to analyze the results.

Improve onboarding: a lot of apps get abandoned because the users are having a hard time understanding its value and features. You can reduce the churn by implementing solid app onboarding techniques.

Add compelling push notifications: push notifications are great for engaging your users. But it’s a two-way street because badly composed and annoying push notifications may cause uninstalls. Do your research and compose compelling push notifications that don’t annoy the user.

In-app messages: engage with your users while they’re using your app.

Now that you know what the average app retention is and you’ve set your goals, it’s time to develop a strategy to reduce churn. We hope the tactics we mentioned above will help and you will keep your users engaged and make them come back to your app.

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