9 reasons why customers are deserting your apps


Your company's success is directly tied the success of your apps. But the statistics are sobering: apps usually lose more than 75 percent of their initial users in the first 72 hours after they're installed, and after a month, just 10 percent remain. The article reveals nine reasons why this happens.

F5 Miniature
Published January 20, 2017


Whether rolling out mission-critical enterprise apps or distributing mobile apps in the Apple and Google stores, more and more C-level executives are learning that the success of their companies often hinges upon the success of their apps.

But competition amongst apps is ferocious. The typical app loses more than seventy-five percent of its initial users within three days of downloading. In a month that figure climbs to 90 percent.

Why the drop-off? From speed and security to user experience and design, making really good apps is really hard. There are any number of reasons why your app may be alienating your customers instead of delighting them.

Here are nine ways most apps fail to make the grade.

1. No “Wow!” factor

One in four users loads a mobile app once and never looks at it again. Four out of ten drop the app after two sessions, and nearly half don’t come back after three. If there’s no immediately compelling benefit to your user—no reason for them to say, “This is fantastic!”—your app won’t last.

2. Your app crashes and burns

It’s impossible for your customers to learn how great your app is if it won’t launch and stay launched. Eighty percent of users will abandon a mobile app if it crashes more than twice in a row. More than half will delete it with extreme prejudice.

3. Your app loads too slowly

A whopping 96 percent of users say good performance is essential. Nine out of ten expect apps to load in four seconds or less; nearly half want it to load in under two seconds.

4. Your app is poorly designed and hard to use

Nearly 27 percent of users uninstalled apps because they were confusing or too hard to use. Another 16 percent dropped them because the registration process was too complicated.


Eighty percent of users will abandon a mobile app if it crashes more than twice.

5. Other apps do it better than yours

Large enterprises use 730 cloud services on average—or 15 times more than their IT departments were aware of. If that enterprise productivity app you sell doesn’t outperform an app that your users can download for free, those users will vote with their fingers. Enterprise apps need to compete feature-for-feature with these shadow IT services or risk becoming irrelevant.

6. Users forget about your app

A failure to stay in contact leads to dramatic drop-offs in usage. Apps that communicate with users via in-app messaging systems get used 27 percent more than those that don’t.

7. Your app nags users too much

On the other hand, sending too many notifications will have users lunging for the delete button. Push notifications are “an annoying distraction” for 52 percent of app users. Send more than five per week, and a third of your users will stop using the app altogether.

8. Your app is a battery and bandwidth hog

More than one-third of users report they stopped using apps because those apps drained their batteries too quickly. One in five say they dropped an app because it consumed too much bandwidth.

One in five say they dropped an app because it consumed too much bandwidth.

9. Users perceive that your app is insecure

In a 2016 survey of 2,200 IT pros, 53 percent cited security concerns as the number one barrier to adopting cloud apps—up from 45 percent the year before.


One of the biggest branding mistakes you can make is releasing an app that isn’t ready for prime time. Just over 50 percent of all users hold the maker of the application responsible for poor performance; nearly 40 percent say a bad app damages the company’s reputation. In other words, if your app doesn’t delight, users won’t just abandon that app, they might abandon your company.

Bottom line: Launching an app is the ultimate labor of love. Avoiding these nine common pitfalls is a great way to give your app—and your company—every chance to succeed.

Ryan Kearny was appointed the Executive Vice President of Product Development and Chief Technology Officer at F5 Networks in October 2016. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s technology roadmap and leading F5’s engineering team. Kearny joined the company in 1998 and was named Vice President of Product Development in May 2004 and Senior Vice President of Product Development in January 2012. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.