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Travel apps retain users for the long haul by providing value while on the road

Oct 22, 2012 11:07 am

Skift Take

Travel apps whose loyal users continuously return to the apps over several months are well-suited for a subscription-based business model that capitalizes on the travelers’ reliance on app functionality.

— Samantha Shankman

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Travel apps are used an average of 2.6 times a week and retain 45 percent of their users over a 90 day period, reports mobile apps analytics firm Flurry. Travel applications include booking and rewards apps, as well as flight tracking and translation apps.

Flurry’s research report plots application categories on four quadrants based on frequency of weekly usage and retention over 90 days. Travel apps fall within the fourth quadrant, which Flurry describes as apps that are “used infrequently but deliver very high value when used.” Business travelers may only open a booking app while on the road, but will hold on to the app for a long time if it proves useful.

“Apps that keep users month over month are good candidates for a subscription-based business model,” explains Peter Farago from Flurry.

These utility-based travel apps focus on necessary travel transactions and provide a clear purpose for the user. On the hand, content-based applications such as guidebooks or social travel apps for leisure travelers would likely be used fewer times per week and have a much lower retention rate. Leisure travelers not only travel less often than business travelers, but would likely delete a destination app upon their return home.

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