Swrve, a leading mobile marketing cloud solution, today announced the results of its quarterly Swrve Mobile App Index, which investigates the most influential factors for determining application success, and is built from the data from the hundreds of millions of mobile app users hosted on its platform. The study finds that success, as defined by long-term monetization and user retention, relies heavily on using a data-driven approach to deliver engaging mobile experiences that are personalized for each individual user. Each operating system (iOS or Android) offers unique advantage to support this end.
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The data shows high app retention rates continue to be a challenge for those who have yet not optimized their on-boarding experiences. Only 21 percent of users are active on the second download — suggesting that the increasingly crowded marketplace has made it difficult for businesses to create products that stand out. Interest in retaining more users has lead many app makers to speculate about whether iOS or Android platforms present a better business opportunity and what other factors might influence mobile success. According to the report, the answer is that a curated, individualized approach based on testing drives results — not the choice of platform.
“Our main takeaway from this report is that mobile experiences are human-centric,” said Swrve CMO Martin Doettling. “Both iOS and Android platforms offer different advantages and disadvantages, but applications that adapt based on positive results — or A/B testing — are consistently more profitable. Personalized experiences are the only way to really draw the modern consumer in, and have therefore become a business imperative for mobile marketers. ”
The report examines overall app usage and retention, monetization and in-app engagement strategies in general and across operating systems. Below are some of its key findings in each category.
- User attrition remains a focus area for most applications, with a breakdown of active users per day after downloading an app as follows:
- Day one: 21 percent of users visit the app within 24 hours.
- Day seven: nine percent of users are active.
- Day thirty: four percent of new users are active.
- Engaging apps command a significant portion of users’ daily mindshare. The average active user enjoys 3.4 sessions per day, with an average session time of six minutes and 17 seconds — making total average time in the app 20 minutes and 13 seconds a day.
- In-app messages are effective for drawing users in during an active session. Both iOS and Android users respond positively to these messages, with applications on both operating systems enjoying positive click-thru rates around 14 percent.
- For push notifications, click-thru rates are much lower — averaging just 2.5 percent. This is largely because they are often sent to lapsed users in an attempt to bring them back. However there is a clear distinction between the two operating systems, with iOS click rates being only 1.2 percent , and Android being 4.6 percent. The disparity comes from a difference between the way notifications are shown and stored on the two platforms, which in turn means a clear distinction when it comes to success rates.
- A/B testing is the single most important determinant of an app’s revenue. Looking at 10,000 participants, the average revenue uplift from the control to the most successful variant is 23.9 percent.