High Mobile App Churn Rate & Tips to Reduce It Effectively

  • Date Published
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In today’s online world, apps have become unifying platforms. More small and medium businesses are considering an investment in mobile app development than ever before. This signifies that more companies realise the importance of having a unified app platform rather than simply having a mobile optimised website.

Consequently, the apps do have some advantages for effective mobile marketing and sales.

  • Apps give better visibility to your business by opening a direct channel of interaction between you and your customers.
  • In-app push notifications can give a significant boost to your online and mobile marketing conversions.
  • Having an app can drive up your brand recognition, by setting a new trend (more on this later)
  • Apps can also drive up customer loyalty if you have a well-designed interface and back that up with an excellent product or service.

What is Mobile App churn?

Understanding it with an example – if your app had 100 installs at launch, and after a month there are only 25 active users, then 75 of your users have churned. Churn is basically the opposite of retention. According to a study, apps that are not opened again within 12 hours of the first install are 50% more likely to churn.

Reasons behind a high churn rate

There are a number of things you might be doing wrong if your apps have a high churn rate.

  • Ineffective onboarding: One of the main reasons for churn is an ineffective onboarding process. If a user cannot figure out the use of your app intuitively, then you have a problem. For example, Uber is instantly recognisable as an app that helps you hire a reliable cab service, providing instant utility.
  • Clunky interface: If your app successfully delivers its service to users and still ends up being churned – it might be your app’s user interface. Users can be turned off by a complex app interface that needs too many taps and swipes to reach the final solution.
  • Inefficient delivery of promised value: If you have covered the above points well while designing your app, and still the churn rate is high, it might be that the app is failing to deliver the promised service on par with user expectations. The reasons can be numerous from the lack of service flexibility, missing out on critical product features to the existence of competing and more popular apps.
  • Failure to create stickiness: The app world is like fashion, it has trends – some last and some don’t. Unless an app offers long term value, users tend to move away quickly towards newer trends. Remember Pokémon Go?
  • Poor maintenance: Slower update cycles can also affect churn. If your app keeps falling in ratings as well as downloads, it might be because the competition has caught up. According to a study, the top 100 apps in Google Play and Apple Apps Store are updated much more frequently than the rest.

Ways you can reduce app churn rate

Once you see your app downloads slipping it is time to restructure your mobile strategy.

Make your presence felt with great on boarding: Most companies re-launch their apps within a few days of listing them on Google Play or App Store. It is the course to take if your first onboarding attempt has failed likewise.

Marketing research shows that churn rate of users who login for more sessions within the first few days is significantly lower than those who login only a few times. When user first logs in, try to highlight only the parts which can nudge the user towards the intuitive discovery of your app’s features. Online users have a limited attention span and overdoing explanations, and hint pop-ups can ruin the first-time user experience.

If absolutely necessary, you can include a helpful tutorial using tiles or a video, but keep it short.

Target users by optimising your content delivery: After the successful onboarding, it’s time to engage returning users and keep them coming back for more. To create an experience that can keep users engaged during consecutive visits you need to deliver the right content at the right moment. For creating such customized app environments, you will have to do two things:

  • Collect user preference data from the past and present users
  • Segment users for better mobile marketing

Such targeting often instils confidence in users that you care about them and understand their needs.

  • Start profiling the churners: Once you have segmented the users and start delivering the right content to them, you should also start keeping tabs on the profiles of churners. You can use a good mobile analytics platform for this purpose and study behavior patterns to get more insights into reasons that turned away these users.
  • Push your way in with notifications: It is not that every user who did not come back has abandoned you forever. If users have opted for push notifications, you can send in gentle reminders and new feature updates to rekindle their interest. You can also use the profiling data to send targeted push notifications to dormant users.
  • Keeps the update wheel rolling: Keeping your existing users happy and up-to-date is as important as acquiring new ones. Make sure that your developers are not sitting idle. Keep your marketing and sales ideas flowing into your ecosystem to retain users and never allowing the churn to set in.

Implementing your churn reduction strategy

Finally, it is imperative that your revamped strategy does not meet the same fate as your earlier release. To ensure this, you need to place monitoring markers everywhere – from the re-release to the beginning of the update cycle – collect as much data as possible for analysing and rectifying shortcomings on-the-go. Also, invest some time in revamping the app descriptions in mobile app stores and make them more call-to-action centric than descriptive. All this, combined with a robust response to churn signs, will definitely bring down your mobile app churn rates.