Mobile App Benchmark Report to Inform Your Strategy

We created this benchmark cheat sheet to provide a deep look into brands’ mobile app performance, both overall and broken down by industry, based on our database of more than 37,000 apps.

Is your mobile app marketing strategy underperforming, meeting or exceeding industry standards? Knowing the trends within your industry can help your brand benchmark its performance and understand what more it can do to remain competitive, relevant, and an industry leader.

We created this benchmark cheat sheet to provide a deep look into brands’ mobile app performance, both overall and broken down by industry, based on our database of more than 37,000 apps. We’ve focused on benchmarking data around several key metrics imperative to brands—app engagement, user retention, and the impact of a mobile marketing strategy such as opt-in rates, open rates, engagements, and conversions. Each of these metrics help brands determine where their brand sits among industry leaders, industry average, and those needing to catch up. The data is aggregated from Upland Localytics’ platform based on mobile app usage in 2019.

By comparing our industry-wide metrics to your own app’s health and performance, organizations will be able to diagnose how your brand’s mobile app marketing strategy stacks up so you can better serve your customers’ brand experiences.

Below you can find overall mobile app benchmarks and the benchmarks for your specific industry. Throughout the benchmarking, we’ll dive deep into what the data is saying, what it means for you and your app, and more. Then, jump to your industry to find how your app compares to others in your industry.

Take these as the standard benchmarks for app performance across company sizes and industries and compare it to your app’s metrics. Are you on par, ahead of the curve or slightly behind? Using this information, brands can determine whether their app is currently an asset or liability, and knowing that can help showcase what brands are doing right and where they need to course correct.

By measuring app launches and time in app, we can showcase the current state of the mobile market. According to our historic data, app launches have slightly decreased over the years, however time in app and per session, has been on the rise. This is showcasing that brands must put everything in their arsenal to grab users’ attention. Users are spending more time in apps, about one minute longer per session. Last year, users spent an average of 59 minutes per month on an app, whereas this year they spent slightly shy of that, showcasing that fewer launches but longer sessions results in a steady amount of aggregated time within the app.

Ask yourselves: Are your users spending more or less time on your app than the benchmarks above? Are they launching it more?

User Retention:
Average Three Month User Retention and Churn

Retention measures the percent of users who return to an app one month, two months, and three months after the app is downloaded. Meanwhile, churn measures the opposite. Churn is the percentage of users who don’t return to an app one month, two months, and three months after download.

These are imperative metrics to be tracking within your app and compare them to your industry’s benchmarks. Retention and churn are some of the best ways to diagnose problems and successes in your mobile platforms. If your churn is higher than average, you can diagnose that there may be UX problems, whether that’s clunkiness, siloed channels, or poor design, within your mobile app. With further analysis, you can even find where your users are churning within your app experience.

According to our data, 42.29% of users are retained one month after downloading the app, meaning 57.71% of users churned one month after download. Three months after download, almost 73% of users churned.

The majority of users will delete an app or become inactive soon after using it. To overcome this, brands have to make sure their mobile experience offers a great first impression if you hope to retain them. But while these numbers seem bleak, apps have been finding more success with retaining their users since we began tracking data. At the beginning of 2016, apps were churning 64% of their users one month after download, and 80% of users three months after download. Brands have learned to retain an additional 7% of users over both short and longer terms.

Marketing Metric Benchmarks

Measuring the marketing power behind your app is so important—by knowing what your app could be capable of, it’s much easier to know how to utilize it to monetize it and deliver a great customer experience. After all, apps should be designed as one of your many streams of revenue and provide an additional channel to engage your customers.

And by knowing the marketing capabilities, brands can learn things such as whether messages are being delivered to users’ phones, and why brands may be above or under the average, whether their messages convert, and if their engagements are effective.

We measured the overall app average for opt-in rates, open rates, conversion rates, and engagements, split between Android users and iOS users. We define these terms as:

  • Open rate is the percent of users who opened the message within the first day of receiving it.
  • Conversion rate is the percentage of users who clicked on the message and then fulfilled the desired conversion event within the first day of receiving the message.
  • Engagement is measured as the average number of sessions recipients of the message had within the first week of receiving the message.

Personalization Stage

Based on our proprietary Stages of Personalization methodology, measuring all apps provide the average level of targeted messaging, data types used, and messaging types utilized. In sections further down, we place industries within a personalization stage based on high or low usage of each of these metrics. By comparing app personalization metrics against the average, brands can find which stage of personalization they exist within.

The four stages of personalization are:

  • Stage 1, Novice — Sending primarily broadcast messages to all audiences
  • Stage 2, Intermediate — Utilizing one type of personalization data, either profile or behavioral within your campaign sends
  • Stage 3, Pro — Utilizing both types of personalization data, profile and behavioral in your campaign sends; or utilizing one type of data and dynamic content, which allows for customized content for each recipient
  • Stage 4, Master — Full-fledged personalization; utilizing both types of data, dynamic content, and A/B testing

Do you have low broadcast message usage and utilize behavior and profile data while also using liquid messaging (a messaging template that allows brands to extract profile data and insert it into a personalized message)? If so, your brand is far ahead of the curve. But for most, they’ll reside somewhere a little less advanced. But personalization is a journey, not a test. Brands make their way through the stages, perfecting each additional piece of personalization as they add it. It’s an iterative process.  By using the personalization approaches effectively, brands will be able to see the full benefits of personalization not only in their app metrics, but in their app revenue.

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