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Increasing Mobile Apps Competition Poses Risk for Higher Uninstall Rate

More than half of downloaded apps (53%) uninstalled within 30 days after download

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Global pandemic led to a 10% rise in already high uninstall rates; developing countries see a wider range being uninstalled. Lockdowns enforced meant more people were on their devices and therefore more competition entered the market. Gaming apps saw the largest uninstall rate

AppsFlyer, the global mobile marketing attribution and analytics leader, has released their The uninstall threat: 2020 app uninstall benchmarks data insights. The report showed that app retention decreased on the whole in 2020 compared with 2019; globally, 53% of apps were uninstalled within 30 days of download in 2020, an increase from 43% in 2019. Closer to home, Indonesia saw a figure of 51.42% of uninstalls in December 2020 (41.76% in December 2019) while Singapore had a high of 59.78% of uninstalls during the same period (32.16% December 2019).

It showcases data from 8 billion app installs between January to November 2020 inclusive, analysing 3,000 apps globally across Europe, LATAM, and  Asia Pacific, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam with at least 2,000 non-organic installs in a month. 

“2020 meant more people were staying at home and using their mobile devices more, providing marketers with a tougher job to retain users. AppsFlyer’s The uninstall threat: 2020 app uninstall benchmarks report provides a deeper understanding for marketers to actively measure and optimise this metric, while also raising awareness among those who are not paying much attention to this. With user retention remaining to be difficult in today’s times, marketers should leverage this information to better support their marketing strategies,” said, Ronen Mense, President and Managing Director, AppsFlyer APAC. 

According to Facebook and Bain & Company’s Riding the Digital Wave: Capturing Southeast Asia’s digital consumer in the Discovery Generation report, there will be 310 million digital consumers in Southeast Asia by the end of 2020, from 250 million in 2018. Faster than the region’s population growth is the pace of its online spend, which is projected to grow 320% between 2018 and 2025. With that, an already competitive space, became tougher leaving marketers struggling to retain customers and the amount of app uninstalls increasing. 

The global pandemic led to a 10% rise in already high uninstall rate and approximately 1 in every 2 apps are uninstalled within 30 days of being downloaded. The benchmark report highlights that developing countries see a wider range of apps being uninstalled in comparison to developed countries, with Indonesia seeing a 59% rate of app uninstalls, in comparison to that of 43% in the US. Uninstalls on Android are twice as common as they are on iOS. The largest gaps between platforms were seen in Indonesia, a gap of 64%. This is due to the smaller storage spaces on the average Android device, where the population in many developing markets have basic smartphones and only keep apps they really need on their devices. This is especially relevant to Indonesia, where Android phones form 90.05% of the smartphone share, according to Indonesia’s App Marketing Report 2020

Globally, after the January 2020 holiday season, strict lockdowns were enforced by March 2020. With many people spending time at home, and turning to their mobile devices, marketers had to run aggressive campaigns, especially in the gaming vertical. However, high install activity leads to a rise in uninstalls. Hyper Casual and Casual games in particular. For example, 60% of Hyper Casual games were uninstalled within seven days of install in April. By December 2020, gaming apps saw a 62% average monthly uninstall rate in both Indonesia (54.41% in January 2020) and Malaysia (48.78% in January 2020), with Singapore seeing lower rates with 48.53% in December 2020, compared to 39.92% in January 2020.

Apps in non-gaming verticals also saw high uninstall rates by December 2020. In Singapore, apps in the Entertainment vertical saw a high uninstall rate from 58.89% in December 2020, from 32.63% in January 2020, a drastic increase in uninstalls in comparison to Indonesia, which saw a drop in uninstall rate (43.78% in December 2020 compared to 50.72% in January 2020). AppsFlyer’s report also highlights that the reason for this is branding goes a long way in lifestyle-related apps and brands after often known to users beyond the apps, hence the connection is stronger, and enjoy a lower uninstall rate. 

“In a time where competition is rising, it is important to ensure marketing budgets do not go to waste. App marketers should measure their uninstall rate and understand when, why and from which source uninstallers came from. Therefore, marketers can prevent uninstalls by using all channels, pushing for retargeting to keep their app at the top of customers’ minds. Retargeting is a key approach to boost profitability and lifetime value,” said Mense.

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