The then-and-now of Mobile Retention

As individuals, everyone has ideas they wish to turn into customers. With more than a million B2C applications in the mobile app stores, we know individuals have invested in their ideas to transform them into overwhelming applications that can change the way we live. All is well until they turn their eyes to their analytical sheets and switch to reality!

The outwit of these analytical numbers are that you cannot afford to overlook them – being significantly important metrics that measure the value of your product.

Going back to the days of Fred Wilson, his 30/10/10 ratio rule featured points to exhibit statistics of retention. This rule stated that 30% of the registered users will use the app once a month, 10% will use the app daily and only 1% at any given time. However, with innovation being a constant, these numbers may not hold true for all business models today.

The change

According to Flurry, an average mobile application retains 36% of its new users after the first installation. This figure keeps declining gradually with time and just 1 in 10 users stand a chance to open your app after an year. Where losing 80% of your acquired users was considered a huge loss; today, users who have opened your app 11 times in a month are your best catch, hoping the 7-day retention to go up to a maximum 30%.


The issue

With competition and threat of substitutes at a ‘high’ status today, installing and uninstalling has become a matter of few taps on your phone. Most apps are free and hence the overall cost of switching is almost nil.

Another major reason is lack of filter on the quality of users that the innovators are acquiring. Majority of the times, users don’t possess the required information and don’t realise whether they really need the app that they have downloaded. Since, they are not spending any time or money before becoming your user, it makes them users with ‘zero loyalty’.

What retention are you measuring?

Retention can be defined in different ways for different business models. Varying from rolling retention, full retention and return retention, the pattern for of analysing confinement changes every time. Figuring out the right way to understand ‘your type’ of retention is the key to a successful measurement. However, from a business perspective, return retention proves to be the best forms of calculating the number of people coming back to your app.

Key takeaways

  • Supply of apps in the mobile world is way ahead of the demand. However, the time spent by users on the mobile has significantly increased
  • Segmenting your users and treating each segment individually is your tool for maximum customer retention
  • Create the everlasting impression – Focus more on users on the first 3-7 days of their installation and differentiate their in-app messages, notifications and features from others