2022 Guide to App Retention by Rates (with Metrics, Statistics, & Tips)

6 min read
Frank L.
Frank L.
Published October 4, 2022

Stats show that app users in the US, on average, uninstall 43% of the apps they install on their phones after 30 days. It's why mobile apps must shift their focus to improve retention to set themselves up for long-term success. 

The truth is that user acquisition isn't enough to secure your mobile app's long-term growth. Product managers must also have a strategy to keep users engaged and hungry for more to minimize churn.

The best way to improve retention is to look at the trends and stats of what's happening in your niche. That way, you can adapt your app experience to match the changing needs and expectations of your audience. In this article, you'll discover:

  • The average app retention rate by industry

  • The average app star rating by industry

  • 2022 app retention stats you should know

What's the Average Retention Rate by Industry?

Not sure how your mobile app retention rate holds up to the competition? Here's what the average retention rate for mobile apps looks like across different industries, so you can have an idea of where you stand:

Type of appRetention on day 1Retention on day 30
Food and drinks16.5%3.9%

Source: Mobile app user retention rate by category | Statista

We can see that finance apps lead the way with a 22.7% retention rate on day 1 of use and 5.8% on day 30. Business apps come in second place with a 24.5% retention rate on day 1 and 5.6% on day 30.

The data also shows that losing up to 85% of your users after 30 days of download is entirely normal. 

What's the Average App Star Rating by Industry? 

You might wonder next what your app star rating looks like to competitors in your niche. In this table, we list the average star rating of mobile apps across different industries on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store:

Type of AppAppleAndroid
Business Services4.764.56
Food and drink4.774.35

Source: 2022 Mobile Customer Engagement, Apptentive

That said, don't use star ratings as the basis for your decisions. Context is key here: a high app star rating doesn't always relate to high retention. 

2022 App Retention Stats You Should Know

Here are some key app retention rates that product managers should know in 2022: 

Overall Retention Stats

Average retention rates for mobile apps can vary from country to country. The apps with the most engaged and active users are top companies such as Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp, and they have continued to see their user retention increase over the past year. 

  • Average app retention rates are 75% higher in developed countries [App Retention Report 2021, AppsFlyer, 2021

  • The app with the most monthly active users (MAU) is Facebook, with over 2.9 billion active users [Statista, 2022]

    • Pre-Pandemic, Facebook was also the app with the most monthly active users (MAU) with 2.6 million MAU [Statista, 2022]
  • The top 500 apps have crossed 90 million average monthly users [The State of App Engagement, SensorTower, 2022]

    • This increase in monthly average users represents a growth of 8% for the top 500 apps, compared to last year [The State of App Engagement, SensorTower, 2022]
  • The top three reasons for users to uninstall apps include not using the app (39.9%), limited storage (18.7%), and excessive advertising (16.2%)  [CleverTap, 2021 survey of 2000 users]

Stats on What Improves Retention Rates

Do you have the right game plan for improving your mobile app engagement? Certain strategies and tactics have a significant impact on app retention. Owned media sources (such as push notifications, SMS, and email) and personalization are leading the way, as well as improving your app star rating:

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  • Eighty-seven percent of customers are willing to spend more for personalization [CX Trends 2022, [Zendesk, 2022]

  • Owned media sources (such as push notifications and SMS) drive a 30% higher day-30 retention rate [App Retention Report 2021, AppsFlyer, 2021]

  • Moving from a three-star rating to a four-star rating can increase conversions by 89% [2022 Mobile Customer Engagement, Apptentive, 2022]

Customer Needs That Impact Retention

Mobile app users are becoming more demanding and expect a lot out of companies. Users expect the best app experience possible and want companies to understand their needs and expectations. 

  • Sixty-one of customers would leave a company for a competitor after one bad experience [CX Trends 2022, [Zendesk, 2022]

    • In 2021, the number of customers that stopped doing business with a company because of a bad experience was 50% [CX Trends 2021, Zendesk, 2021]
  • In 2021, "66% of customers expected companies to understand their unique needs and expectations" [State of the Connected Customer, [Salesforce, 2021]

  • 66% of customers switched to a brand due to better deals, while 58% of them switched for better product quality [State of the Connected Customer, Salesforce, 2022]

2022 Industry-Based Stats

Next, let's dive deeper to see how specific verticals are doing in terms of app retention. Many industries have been seeing an uptick in user engagement over the past year: 

Marketplace App Retention Stats

Since the pandemic's start, ecommerce mobile apps have continued to grow steadily. If we analyze pre-pandemic engagement levels vs. now, ecommerce mobile apps have been noting a significant increase in user engagement and revenue:

  • Top ecommerce apps saw their Monthly Active Users (MAUs) increase by 35% compared to pre-pandemic levels in the leadup to Black Friday in 2021 to over 18.9 million MAUs [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

    • In 2019, top ecommerce apps had an average of 14 million MAUs [E-commerce App Report 2021, SensorTower 2021]
  • User sessions for ecommerce have seen a 15% year-over-year increase in 2021  [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

    • In 2019, the average user session in ecommerce mobile apps was 10.07 minutes [E-commerce App Report 2021, SensorTower 2021]
    • In addition, time spent on shopping apps reached a total of over 100 billion hours globally, which represents a growth of 18% year over year [State of Mobile 2022, Data.ai, 2022]
  • Marketplace apps have the best retention rates compared with the rest of the ecommerce vertical, with (day 1 27% vs. 19% and day 30 10% vs. 7%) [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

Gaming App Retention Stats

Gaming is one of the most popular niches in the mobile app industry and has experienced solid growth over the last year, with retention going up. Here are what the retention numbers say about the mobile app niche:

  • "Utilities, games, and social networking lead by active users" [The State of App Engagement, SensorTower, 2022]

  • Consumer spend on gaming apps jumped 16% in 2021 compared to last year to $116 billion worldwide [The state of gaming app marketing, AppsFlyer, 2022]

  • User sessions in gaming only increased by 2% in 2021 [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

    • In 2020 around the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, user sessions in gaming increased by 52% compared to 2019 [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]
  • The average stickiness ratio for all gaming apps is 21% [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

    • Toward the end of 2020, the average stickiness ratio for gaming apps was 17% [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022
  • Japanese and Korean gaming app players show the highest level of engagement in Asia [The state of gaming app marketing, AppsFlyer 2022]

  • Casual games have the best retention rates across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with two out of every five users being retained on day 1 for Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine [The state of gaming app marketing, AppsFlyer 2022]

FinTech App Retention Stats

Interest in finance mobile apps has continued to grow, with cryptocurrency trading apps leading the way. Let's observe how much retention has grown for finance apps in the two years since the pandemic:

  • Finance Apps downloads reached 573.1 million in the US in 2021, up 19% from 2020 [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

  • Fintech user sessions have increased 53% globally from 2020 [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

  • 2022 is marked by the rise of cryptocurrency finance apps. Crypto apps have the best retention rates, with 30% on day 1 and 16% on day 30 [Mobile App Trends 2022 Report, Adjust 2022]

  • The average weekly time spent on finance apps is 57 minutes [State of Mobile Finance, Moengage 2021]

Telemedicine App Retention Stats

According to research by McKinsey and Company, the use of telehealth has stabilized at a level 38X higher than pre-pandemic levels. Here are what app retention numbers look like for the healthcare industry:

  • The mobile healthcare app market expects to exceed 50 billion in revenue by 2025, showing high demand. [Statista, 2020

  • Healthcare apps posted a year-over-year improvement in annual retention of 25% from 2020, when the uptick in the MAUs of healthcare apps started [2022 Mobile Customer Engagement, Apptentive, 2022]

  • The top five meditation apps saw a 25% year-over-year increase in consumer spend  [2022 State of Mobile, Data.ai, 2022]

Live Streaming App Retention Stats

Streaming apps delivered impressive results in the past few years. Out of all the different types of streaming services, Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) platforms have higher retention rates than Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) platforms.

  • Total hours spent viewing video streaming apps grew 32% worldwide since pre-pandemic levels [2022 State of Mobile, Data.ai, 2022]

  • Global consumer spend surpassed $7.8 billion among the top 20 video streaming apps in 2021 [2022 State of Mobile, Data.ai, 2022]

  • Streaming app MAU increased by 36% during the COVID-19 pandemic [The State of Streaming Apps, SensorTower 2022]

  • Streaming App revenue jumped 48% in the last year [The State of Streaming Apps, SensorTower 2022]

  • Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) streaming platforms wins the top spot, with an average 16% retention rate on Day 7 and a 7.5% retention rate on day 30. Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) platforms have an average day 7 retention rate of 7% and an average retention rate of 3% on day 30 [The State of Streaming Apps, SensorTower 2022]

Engagement Is Your Secret Weapon in the Fight for Retention

Improving app retention starts by understanding your user's needs and building a better product. When you create the app experience customers expect, you improve user satisfaction, increase engagement, and reduce churn. 

You can improve app retention by including features in your product that maximize engagement, such as chat, in-app messaging, and activity feeds, which Stream helps integrate with its APIs. You can check out some of our demos to see for yourself!

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