The "Crash and Burn" Report Findings
January 19, 2017

Andrew Levy
Apteligent

Share this

The correlation between mobile app crashes and increasing churn rates (or declining user retention) has long been suspected. In the report, titled Crash and Churn, Apteligent set out to understand the impact of per user crash rate on churn, using both approaches to the definition of churn. Whereas an app's crash rate is the total number of crashes divided by number of app loads, the analysis employed a per user crash rate to allow us to consider the segments of the population experiencing that issue.

The report contains many key takeaways for digital marketers, product managers, and mobile development teams:

Crashes can increase churn by as much as 534 percent

This represents a six-times increase from your "average" churn rate. The report found a more accurate depiction of crash and churn relation when viewed through Android devices over IOS. IOS displays a lower churn rate compared to Android, but, due to the platform design, users cannot send a crash report until the next time a user opens the app. And, in some cases, the user could use the app, the app crashes and that user may never go back to that app again so, that crash won't be counted as a churn cause.

Crashes have a significant impact on next day app opens by as much as 8x the normal rate

The report calculates how likely a user would be to return the day following a crash taking into consideration that 1.8 percent of users don't return to an app the next day even after a crash-free experience. As the per user crash rate approaches 100 percent, the churn rate increases to almost 15 percent. Again, IOS limitations led us to believe that Android had more accurate data.

Less engaged users, or users with lower app opens per day, tend to churn at higher rates based on crashes

The fewer apps a user engages with, the more sensitive they are to crashes, increasing their churn rate. The report notes that as crashes per day increase, we see a steady stream of churning users, especially those that load an app ten times or fewer per day. Perhaps one of the most interesting behaviors discovered was that the inverse of this is true as well. The more a user uses an app, the more resilient they become with crashes.

The impact of crashes on churn also varies by app store category

Shopping and finance apps, the most revenue-critical, were particularly vulnerable to crashes causing increased churn rates, while games and travel were much more resilient. While the data proves the aforementioned to be true, we cannot prove why users of games and travel are more forgiving of app crashes. We can only speculate that games and travel apps crashing may not be be enough to sway users away from addictive games or travel necessities, regardless of frustration with the experience.

For app owners, the report underscores the immediate return on investment that comes with applying the right resources to app performance. There are immediate and medium term revenue losses associated with churning app users and customers. In addition, the cost of acquiring new users is much higher than those associated with retaining existing users.

In 2017, the organizations who win on mobile will be those that select vendors applying proven data science techniques to big data collection. Data, without insights, is noise.

Andrew Levy is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Apteligent.

Share this

The Latest

February 26, 2020

For the past 10 years, the majority of CIOs have had a transformational focus (currently 42%), however, this year, there is strong momentum in CIOs taking on more strategic responsibilities (40%), according to the 2020 State of the CIO research from IDG's CIO ...

February 25, 2020
A widening gap between IT resources and the demands of managing the increasing scale and complexity of enterprise cloud ecosystems is evident, according to <span style="font-style: italic;">Top challenges for CIOs on the road to the AI-driven autonomous cloud</span>, a new report based on a global survey of 800 CIOs conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Dynatrace ...
February 24, 2020

The tech world may be falling in love with artificial intelligence and automation, but when it comes to managing critical assets, old school tools like spreadsheets are still in common use. A new survey by Ivanti illustrates how these legacy tools are forcing IT to waste valuable time analyzing assets due to incomplete data ...

February 20, 2020

Over 70% of C-Suite decision makers believe business innovation and staff retention are driven by improved visibility into network and application performance, according to Rethink Possible: Visibility and Network Performance – The Pillars of Business Success, a survey
conducted by Riverbed ...

February 19, 2020

Modern enterprises rely upon their IT departments to deliver a seamless digital customer experience. Performance and availability are the foundational stepping stones to delivering that customer experience. Along those lines, this month we released a new research study titled the IT Downtime Detection and Mitigation Report that contains recommendations on how to best prevent, detect or mitigate brownouts and outages, given the context of today’s IT transformation trends ...

February 18, 2020

While Application Performance Management (APM) has become mainstream, with a majority of tech pros using APM tools regularly, there's work to be done to move beyond troubleshooting ...

February 13, 2020

Over the last few decades, IT departments have decreased budgets in part because of recession. As a result, they have are being asked to do more with less. The increase in work has amplified the need for automation ...

February 12, 2020

Many variables must align for optimum APM, and security is certainly among them. I offer the following APM predictions for 2020, which revolve around the reality that we will definitely begin to see much deeper integration of WAN technology on the security front. Look for this integration to take shape in the following ways ...

February 11, 2020

When it comes to growing a successful company, research shows it isn't about getting the most out of employees, but delivering an experience that empowers them to be and do their best. And according to Priming a New Era of Digital Wellness, a new study conducted by Quartz Insights in partnership with Citrix Systems, technology is the secret to doing so ...

February 10, 2020

Only 11% of website decision-makers feel that they have complete insight into the scripts that they use on their websites. However, industry estimates state that about 70% of the code on a website comes from a third-party library or service. Research highlights a clear need to raise awareness of the potential threats associated with the vulnerabilities inherent in third-party code ...