Hints and tips to make apps work harder

Mobile marketing platform CleverTap has published a set of benchmarks for travel apps to give marketers an idea of how well – or not – their own app performs in context.

Industry Benchmarks for Travel Apps is based on analysis of anonymous users performing over 55 billion events on one billion devices this year.

The report suggests that apps must be designed for stickiness “to hook users” at every stage of the lifecycle from acquisition through to advocacy. CleverTap includes KPIs that can be used to measure app performance at various stages of the lifecycle.

Almitra Karnik, global head of marketing at CleverTap explained:
“Without any context on the benchmarks from the top performing apps, it gets challenging to support your marketing investment decisions.”


The average travel app loses 64% of users after 30 days, 76% after 60 days and 82% after 90 days. To address this, CleveTap suggests a strong onboarding with a positive and beneficial experience that encourages repeat use.

Travel apps enjoy 63% opt-in rates, defined as the number of users who grant permission for notifications in-app, by push notifications, email, SMS and similar channels. CleverTap suggests this performance could be improved through personalized in-app messages as a welcome on the first launch, promoting opt-ins by making the clear the value to users of notifications, and knowing when users are most active on the app to engage with them at the right time.

The average time between download and first log-in for travel app users is 18 minutes, which reflects a sense of urgency and interest in the app. CleverTap suggests that this time could be reduced by welcoming users by email to encourage a response, A/B testing the creatives on the app and email welcome messages, and using social logins to reduce the time it takes to get detailed user profile information.

Other metrics to monitor are average app load (launch) time, average cost to the brand per user registration, and the crash rate of the app.


CleverTap reports that 80% of users perform a search and engage within 44 minutes of onboarding. To encourage further engagement the company suggests sending offers and coupons to first-time users via SMS, using geo-location to send personalized recommendations, and using deep links directly to the booking page.

The travel industry benchmark for click-through rates (CTRs) on campaigns is 8.32%. CleverTap suggests that can be improved by finding the optimal time of day for messages (with 8-11 pm generally producing higher CTRs).

Messages should be personalized based on purchase and search history as well as location. CleverTap also recommends using a custom alert sound for messages which helps reinforce brand recall.

The shopping cart abandonment rate is 78.6% for users showing purchase intent. To reduce this figure, CleverTap suggests streamlining the path to purchase to eliminate points of friction, finding the window of opportunity to re-engage with dropped users, and engaging with users in real-time by sending personalized messages to those who abandon their cart.

CleverTap also suggests knowing the average session length for users of the brand’s particular app.


The industry benchmark for retention is that 63% of users converted in the apps move to the retention stage within a week. And a 10% increase in retention can increase the value of the business by more than 30%, CleverTap claims.

To drive users towards retention, CleverTap recommends that brands use psychographic segmentation to learn user preferences and interests. Brands should also understand the most popular categories that drive conversions and promote those. Brands should also create ‘potential loyalist’ user segments and focus on nurturing those.

To benchmark for app stickiness—the measure of how much users engage with a product or feature—is 27.4% of retained users. The average retention rate is 48.3% after 30 days of users.


Churn—app deletion—is another factor to monitor closely. The industry benchmark is that 35% of users churn within two weeks of downloading the app and 42.5% uninstall the app within 30 days of install. Brands should know their own average churn time and time personalized offers, or promotions of underused app features prior to their “churn” time to keep users engaged.

Even after uninstall, brands can regain some users through well-timed personalized offers. An average 57.6% of users will reinstall the app one month after uninstalling it.

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