As e-commerce majors in the country gear up to attract the next 100 million users to shop online, a study across the top cities has revealed that over 56 per cent of the users uninstall apps within the first seven days of installing them.

The study, conducted by MoEngage, a customer engagement platform, revealed that 23 per cent of the uninstalls happen within the first 24 hours. Further analyses of Day Zero user behaviour showed that 23 per cent did not open the app on the day of the install and 15 per cent of the users uninstalled on the same day without opening the app even once. The study analysed the data of over three million e-commerce app users over 90 days across tier 1 and 2 cities.

Why users uninstall apps

“When my phone storage gets full, I review and delete that have outlived their utility and have unappealing user interfaces,” Gauri Kumar, a final year degree student who has installed 45 apps on her Android phone, of which she uses seven daily and five weekly, told BusinessLine .

Sushant Jha, a sales executive who has installed 102 apps on his top-end Android phone, reviews his apps once a month. “I uninstall apps that I haven’t used over the last 30 days. However, I also download top rated apps from the Playstore to see why they are top rated,” he said.

A point to note is that e-commerce apps compete with social media apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook that not only take up a lot of space but are also much more frequently used than shopping apps.

“Quite often people find that the app does not live up to their expectations. For some ease of use is important, and most users prefer stable apps that do not crash or freeze,” said Raviteja Dodda, founder CEO, MoEngage. Consumers are very selective about the data they share with apps. If their apps constantly request access to their social accounts or sends out invites on the user’s behalf without approval, app uninstalls will be high, added Dodda.

Additionally, the study findings show that users prefer apps that require less space, load faster and do not store much data locally. They tend to uninstall apps that require a constant mobile internet connection for updates and background refresh. While push notifications are a great medium to engage users and boost retention, users tend to delete apps that send them irrelevant notifications. Most users install apps over the weekends and are more likely to uninstall e-commerce apps on Wednesdays/Thursdays.

The retention rate

“An interesting trend that we noticed was that once a user has completed three or more transactions on an e-commerce app, the retention rate goes up. However, the boost in retention rate was higher in week 1 and week 2, implying that if you are able to retain a user after 24 hours of installation, chances are they will stick around longer,” said Dodda.

According to the ‘App Annie State of 2020’ report, consumers averaged 3 hours and 40 minutes on mobiles in 2019, up 35 per cent since 2017. Also, per data from Statista, mobile e-commerce sales have more than doubled since 2017 from $16.81 billion to $37.96 billion. “Companies from every vertical are benefiting from making mobile the centre of their digital transformation investments,” said Dodda.