5 Startling App Abandonment Stats and What They Mean


After spending time and money designing an app, entrepreneurs, designers, and marketers face frustration when an app goes unused. Current app usage stats show that having a clear purpose and giving users incentivizes for app use are critical in retaining app users.

A Quarter of People Abandon an App After Using It Once

In 2016, 23 percent of people will open an app only once after downloading it. That percentage was 25 in 2015, and it has been above 20 since 2012. On top of that, only 38 percent of users will open an app 11 times or more. Part of the reason why people are abandoning apps today has to do with the number of apps available, which means that making an app stick out of the pack is difficult.

Within Three Months, Most Apps Lose 95 Percent of Their Users

Three days after someone downloads your app, there’s a 77 percent chance that that person is no longer using your app. Stretch the time frame to 90 days, and you’re looking at a frightening 95 percent. Quettra’s Ankit Jain came up with this data after studying daily average users (DAU) for apps. After 90 days, only 5 percent of DAUs remained for the average app. With statistics like that, it’s no wonder that many app developers consider themselves successful if they reach 30 percent user retention.

More Than Half of App Users Dislike Push Notifications

Image via Flickr by clasesdeperiodismo

You might think that push notifications are a great way to keep people returning to your app, but be careful how you use them — because Localytics reports that 52 percent of users find push notifications annoying. Because only 26 percent enjoy them, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of push notifications.

Top 10 Apps Provide Great Retention Examples

Wondering how to keep people interested in your app? Check out the Android apps that make the top 10 in any category. Those apps remain in their top 10 spots because they retain more users than other apps do.

Android Headlines has a lot of great lists of successful apps for you to explore so that you can study them to find out why they perform so well. One thing you’ll find is that the best apps all have a clear purpose. In some cases, these apps retain more than 50 percent of their users after 90 days. Even the top 50 and 100 apps in any category fare better with user retention than most do.

Retaining App Users Requires Smart App Design

Why do the top apps retain users more easily? Most of them have several things in common. One main reason is that they give users incentives to keep opening the app. For instance, My Starbucks Rewards encourages users to open the app by offering perks such as mobile ordering, free birthday drinks, and stars every time a customer uses the app to make a purchase.

Unfortunately, no single solution can fix all your app woes. The best approach is to make changes to your app based on the strategies that work for others. In particular, tracking your usage data can help you identify the configurations that keep the most people engaged.