While customer acquisition, ratings and reviews, and social proof are externally-visible success indicators of a brand, mobile app retention plays the biggest role in increased customer lifetime value and improved ROI.
In 2021, brands talked to more of their consumers than ever before, while clearly shifting their strategies toward retention. As a result, they produced extreme year-over-year gains. The following data originates from our 2022 Mobile Consumer Engagement Report, which can be read in full here.
For the average mobile app, 30-day retention falls between 15-20% (Appsflyer and Statista, 2021). Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive)’s data shows an average 30-day retention rate of 67%—an increase of more than three times the industry average, driven by proactive consumer engagement.
90-day retention for the average mobile app falls between 20-30% (Appsflyer 2021, MixPanel 2020). Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive)’s data shows an average 90-day retention rate of 58%—an increase of double the industry average. If consumers engaged with a Love Dialog in the first 90 days, their average retention rate went up to 79%.
Annual retention is generally not reported due to the acceptance of regular, high consumer churn, but many companies who have shifted their strategies from acquisition toward retention have begun benchmarking annually. Across all apps in our dataset, 44% of consumers who used the app in January were seen in December. If the consumers saw an Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive) interaction in January, 60% were still seen in December—an improvement of 36% just from mobile teams being proactive about gathering consumer feedback.
Comparing churn risk for people who responded “Yes” (Fans) and people who responded “No” (Risks) tells another compelling story. We would expect to see people who say they love the app remain active longer because they are happy, and people who said they do not love the app drop off quicker due to a problem. But in 2021, the risk of churn to both Fans and Risks was comparable throughout the year.
This is particularly notable for consumers categorized as Risks, challenging the assumption that most unhappy people will leave. Brands who gave both happy and unhappy consumers a voice to express their emotions directly within the app saw their retention numbers throughout the year stay about the same—even when consumers had negative experiences with the brand. This insight allows mobile product teams to understand the concern and adjust their product roadmap so the experience can be fixed, ultimately saving relationships they would otherwise lose.
Additional mobile app retention resources
- 4 Steps to Boost Mobile Customer Retention
- What is Customer Retention + 8 Customer Retention Strategies
- How Mobile Customer Loyalty Programs Increase Customer Retention and Drive Revenue (with Examples)
- 6 Steps to a Successful Customer Loyalty Program
If you want industry-specific data for 2022, download the full 2022 Mobile Customer Engagement Benchmark Report here.