What is user stickiness?

Glossary User stickiness


What is user stickiness?

Stickiness measures how often users are returning to an app. It’s an important metric for providing increased context for user engagement and app retention. App stickiness is measured by dividing the number of daily active users by the number of monthly active users.

stickiness formula

In a nutshell, app stickiness tells an app developer the ratio of daily active users that are becoming monthly active users.

What is the difference between stickiness and retention?

An app with sticky users typically has a strong retention rate and a lower churn rate. Although related, stickiness and retention are not the same thing. An app’s retention rate measures how many users are returning to the app month after month or year after year. Stickiness refers to how valuable a customer perceives an app to be.

In marketing terms, stickiness is a customer’s organic interest in returning to your app while retention is more directly impacted by re-engagement efforts like push notifications, emails, and so on.

What is a good app stickiness ratio?

Across industries, a stickiness ratio of 20% is widely accepted as healthy. Anything in the range of 25% or higher is very good. However, to get a more accurate picture, here are the global median stickiness ratios according to Adjust data in H1 2022:

H1 2022 stickiness ratios by vertical

How do you increase stickiness on apps?

Above all else, you have to understand your users. In particular, your regular users and/or high-value users. What do they find valuable? What are their interests? What do they dislike? Fix anything that does not align with what your best users appreciate, and add features that compliment the aspects they already treasure.

Then, you’ll need to take steps over time to make your app habit-forming. Essentially, this looks like gamifying non-gaming apps or adding meta layers to games. Introduce streaks for personal competition, friend challenges for social competition, valuable short-form tips and content, a deal of the day, or badges for your users to earn.

As with any other app optimization, you should test and learn from various methods to determine what, exactly, affects your app’s stickiness.

User stickiness and Adjust

Our dashboard shows you your app’s daily and monthly active users, letting you calculate stickiness with ease. Plus, real-time data provides clear insights into the direct impact of your test and learn efforts.

Learn more about Datascape, which provides all of your data in one unified dashboard to deliver clear insights that facilitate quick decision-making.

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