Posted July 21, 2014 6:02 pm by with 0 comments

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When we talk about an app being sticky, we’re not talking about candy-coated fingers on a mobile phone. Sticky is the icky term mobile mavens use to evaluate app loyalty. And if you thought getting people to download an app was tough, wait until you see what it takes to keep them coming back on regular basis!

According to this infographic by Localytics , 20% of apps are only opened once! Also, if an app is only opened once in 7 days, there’s a 60% chance it will never be opened again. Wow.

Localytics Apps

Sports apps have the highest abandonment rate. I wonder if that’s because sports are so seasonal. Every hockey season, I download an NHL app then I delete it when the season is over. Games also have a pretty high abandonment rate. I’d guess this is because once you try it you find that it’s too easy or too boring.

It’s nice to see people are mostly sticking with those health and fitness apps, and once again, we see that people love weather apps. Seriously, I need to go into the weather app biz.

How do you measure stickiness?

Stickiness is a combination of two types of users; power users and loyal users.

Localytics Apps 2Power users are those people who can’t get enough of what you’re selling. They launch the app 10 or more times a month. They’re also likely to be highly engaged and if your app is social, you’ll see them appear over and over again.

Loyal users don’t check in all that often but they do use the app every couple of weeks or months. Me? I’m an eBay power user since I launch the app almost every day. I’m a Michaels Arts and Crafts loyal user – I use the app every time I go shopping at Michaels but that might only be once every two months.

It might seem like it’s better to have power users than loyal users but power users are more likely to burn out over time. Games and Tech apps have the highest burnout rates, then it’s back to the drawing board for the app developers.

Which apps have the sticky down pat? Candy Crush, Instagram, The New York Times, eBay, WhatsApp, Runkeeper and boutique shopping app Rue La La.

What’s the secret to a sticky app? Well, if I knew that, I’d be an app millionaire right now but here are a few tips. Make sure a newbie who has never seen your app can navigate and engage without any problems. Second, make sure you refresh your app on a regular basis with new graphics, new levels and rewards. Remember, initial design is important, but it’s even more important that you give your loyal users a reason to stick around.