The following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance).
This past May, AppsFlyer, a leading mobile marketing attribution and analytics platform, rated the performance of all the top mobile media sources for their ability to drive scalable, high-quality installs for gaming apps in its first ever AppsFlyer Gaming Performance Index. The findings were so well received, that the company decided to release an updated report, which analyzed the top 25 media sources for e-commerce, travel and utility apps.
AppsFlyer said they chose to focus on these categories in the new performance index because e-commerce, travel and utility apps generally have a higher lifetime value and are often driven by the intent of fulfilling an immediate or tangible need. For example, a consumer may download a retailer app to purchase a new pair of shoes, a travel app in order to find the top rated hotel for their upcoming vacation, or a productivity app to help organize their busy life.
To conduct the research, AppsFlyer analyzed more than 450 million app installs across hundreds of e-commerce, travel and utility apps that were running campaigns with hundreds of AppsFlyer’s integrated media partners from May to July 2015 (only apps with at least 5,000 installs were used in the study). The company then compiled two different retention factors to generate the results:
1) Retention Rate: The retention rate was calculated as the unique number of users who were active on days one, seven and 30 out of the total number of unique users who first launched the app in the selected timeframe.
2) Normalized Retention: An ‘apples to apples’ comparison of days one, seven and 30 where the highest retention figure per day was given the figure 1 and all others were then given a relative figure to 1 based on their actual retention. The normalized retention figure is therefore not the actual retention, only a relative number that is used solely for the purpose of ranking the top performers and the relative differences between them.
Through its analysis, AppsFlyer discovered that Twitter was number one when it came to driving installs with the highest retention rate. Meanwhile, Chinese networks, such as Mobvista, Cheetah Mobile and others, made significant strides in the power rankings. Likewise, the Android platform ultimately displayed a higher retention rate than iOS, which contrasts what AppsFlyer’s May report exhibited for gaming apps. Some additional key findings included:
Google: The search giant topped the iOS retention chart and came in at #2 in Android.
Facebook: With strong retention (coming in 4th on Android and 3rd on iOS), the social network achieved top placement on both the iOS and Android overall power rankings.
Organic vs. Non-Organic: The gap between organic and non-organic installs was higher on Android, whereas organic retention reigns supreme. Although non-organic user acquisition is responsible for driving a bulk of organic installs.
“We were somewhat surprised to find that Android beat out iOS in the head-to-head battle for overall retention, especially since the opposite was true when we studied gaming apps earlier this year,” said Ran Avrahamy, the Head of Marketing for AppsFlyer. “And the rise of Chinese networks like Mobvista and Cheetah, while not exactly unforeseen, wasn’t totally expected either. Although, we were not at all surprised to find Twitter performing so well on both platforms since the company has made a concerted effort to improve its app install ads of late.”
In addition, AppsFlyer’s performance index reported on the retention performance of iOS and Android apps by brands, countries, languages, OS versions and more.
Although app adoption and retention takes time to establish, AppsFlyer’s findings can certainly help point e-commerce, travel and utility app marketers in the right direction by providing this valuable information that can assist them with optimizing user acquisition campaigns.