What 1.2 Billion Installs Tells Us About Mobile Customer Engagement

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Since 2016, Alchemer Mobile (formerly Apptentive) has published a Mobile Customer Engagement Benchmark Report. For 2023, the Report compiles data from more than 1.2 billion app installs among Alchemer Mobile customers and breaks down the data into ten industries. As it does every year, the report provides unique insights into mobile customer behavior and what gets people to act.

Here’s what we found.

The mobile industry continues to evolve. Mobile app adoption continued to increase, as did spending in many categories. In-app survey usage reached an all-time high. However, despite nearly 90% of VoC and CX (Voice of the Customer and Customer Experience) programs effectively collecting customer feedback, many do not have a formal process for communicating with customers or app users about their feedback.

Interactive features can have a significant impact on adoption and retention. These don’t need to be custom features; the standard Love Dialog and Fan Signals in the Alchemer Mobile SDK present major data points for CX professionals, marketers, and customer service and support. Interactions and surveys like these allow smart communicators to spot how customer emotions shift and respond with messages, promotions, and surveys to improve or better seize the opportunity.

Mobile app retention will remain an important metric for mobile product owners/managers. With retention rates on the decline, app developers in all categories are likely to focus on keeping the customers they have in addition to generating new users. Product owners and managers will likely seek out tools in 2023 to better understand why customers churn and develop programs to improve app retention.

Business leaders must take an interest in closing the customer feedback loop. Collecting feedback from mobile customers is the first step. But communicating with customers about their feedback is becoming a differentiator in the marketplace. Considering the entire customer journey, including mobile app touchpoints, is essential for closing the feedback loop.

Four-star apps get much more visibility. Moving a three-star app to four stars can lead to an 89% increase in the number of people viewing an app and then downloading it. The lower the star rating, the less likely consumers are to look at and download an app.

Android and iOS consumers are different. Across the board, Android and iOS consumers behave differently. The average star rating for iOS consumers was 4.75, while Android consumers gave an average of 4.54 stars. Android users provided about 37% as many ratings as iOS users but three times as many reviews. And while about 85% of iOS users gave 5 stars, 76% of Android users gave top marks.

Invest in retention early. The average app loses 77% of its daily active users (DAUs) within the first three days after install. Proactively engaging with customers within the first 30 days reduces the risk of churn and improves customer lifetime value. For example, proactive consumer engagement drove a 30-day retention rate of 67% for apps built with Alchemer Mobile. When consumers engaged with a question like, “Do you love our app?” within the first 30 days, retention went from 67% to 83% on average.

Additionally, when consumers saw an interaction, 60% of the consumers using the app in January were still seen in December. While annual retention rates are not generally measured across the industry, this data is becoming more important as many companies shift from acquisition to retention.

Be wherever your customers are. Companies need to know customers well enough to predict their behavior, including where they’ll engage. Mobile is the best channel for in-app feedback, but a sophisticated feedback strategy should cover multiple channels.

Among customers, interaction rates – or the percentage of people prompted with an interaction – rose slightly to an average of 28% in 2022. For in-app interactions, the average response rate – or the percentage of people who respond when shown an interaction – was 92%. This indicates that the overwhelming majority of consumers interacted with and responded to brand outreach.

Not all in-app surveys are delivered the same way, and when consumers are given the choice to opt-in or -out, response rates soar. In-app surveys linked to using a Note (an in-app dialog) saw an average response rate of 47%. This means that about half of all consumers across both operating systems responded to Note-linked surveys.

As all industries shore up resources to face continued economic instability, making calculated investments in retention matters more than ever. Brands that take a holistic approach to retention will enjoy high retention rates both in the short and long term.

Ryan Tamminga
Ryan Tamminga is the SVP, Product and Services, at Alchemer with 15+ years of experience in both industry and consulting roles with Fortune 100 companies across products, media, resources, and healthcare sectors. Ryan has a proven track record for improving core operations performance, providing thought leadership and driving results through strategy development, operating model design, processes excellence, and implementation of enabling technologies.

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