App Marketing

Liftoff app engagement index report: Reservation apps hit critical mass adoption

Dennis Mink
VP Marketing

The App Economy is poised for a new phase of growth and innovation driven by a massive audience that can’t imagine life without them. The not-so-good news? The App Economy has also become a loud and crowded space where users demand more from their experiences, and marketers must do more to earn their attention.

This is where the 2017 Mobile App Engagement Index by Liftoff can help. Armed with analytics, marketers can aim high, but without visibility into benchmarks you can still miss performance targets by a mile.

With that in mind, the Liftoff 2017 Mobile App Engagement Index distills data around costs and conversions across a broad range of apps, to help you benchmark your mobile user acquisition campaign performance and plan the year ahead.

Reservation apps hit critical mass adoption

This year’s Index uncovers a trend with regards to reservation apps worth noting. The Reservation Index measures the cost to acquire a user who makes a reservation in an app – a flight, dinner, hotel or car sharing service.

Acquisition costs for those who make reservations in apps have dropped since 2016 where the overall average cost was $38.66. Compare that to this year's overall average acquisition cost of $29.74, and a promising story for marketers of reservation apps unfolds.

Last year’s Index reported a high in acquisition cost in August 2015 at $61.09. User acquisition costs have steadily declined through July 2016 and has remained flat through 2017. The reverse trend is true for the install-to-reservation rates. From December of 2016 to February of 2017, the reservation booking rate increased from 10.07% to 13.73% respectively, and has remained high through today.

The lower user acquisition cost coupled with higher install-to-reserve rates in 2017 leads to one conclusion: reservation apps have hit critical mass adoption.

Based on these trends, Liftoff recommends app marketers dial down efforts aimed at educating users about their reservation apps and instead invest in re-engagement campaigns to ensure users reach for their apps more frequently.


The 2017 Mobile App Engagement Index by Liftoff draws from Liftoff internal data from September 1, 2016 through August 30, 2017 which spans 120 billion ad impressions, 1.3 billion clicks and 41.7 million events across 30 million app installs. The Index overlays acquisition costs with conversion rates to pinpoint areas of opportunity throughout the year when marketers can get value for money.

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