Brazilians give up on apps and challenge internet giants

According to AppsFlyer, 57 out of every 100 mobile apps downloaded by Brazilians in 2020 were uninstalled in less than 30 days; in 45% of cases, they gave up in less than 24 hours

Photo: REUTERS/Rahel Patrasso
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Brazilians are increasingly uninstalling mobile apps, challenging digital companies that need to increase their user bases to make their operations more profitable.

According to the performance measurement company AppsFlyer, 57 out of every 100 mobile apps downloaded by Brazilians in 2020 were uninstalled in less than 30 days. In 45% of cases, Brazilians gave up on the app in less than 24 hours.

This rate of uninstallation is much higher than the rate of about 40% observed in countries such as the United States, Japan, Korea, France, and Germany. Compared to 2019, that rate increased by 10%.

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The curious thing is that the high rate of uninstallation occurred in a year in which marketplaces and digital wallets doubled their base of Brazilian users last year, driven by the social isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced a transition to the digital environment.

While gaming, education, and fitness apps were the biggest victims, virtually no segment was immune, with 30-day uninstall rates reaching nearly 40% of finance apps and 30% of shopping apps.

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According to AppsFlyer Brasil, the dropout of apps is greater in developing markets such as Brazil, as cell phones are generally simpler and with reduced storage capacity. However, in an increasingly competitive market, this user behavior can lead companies to rethink their customer acquisition models, which are often based on cashback and other rewards.

The loss in the budget of an app because of this evasion of users is BRL 4 million per year on average. This at a time when large e-commerce and financial services companies are investing heavily to increase the recurrence of their users. One solution, says AppsFlyer, would be to improve the quality of its apps so that the user develops consumption habits via apps.

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Companies such as Mercado Libre, Magazine Luiza, B2W, and Via Varejo, among others, recently revealed an increased focus on sales of all types of products through apps, such as grocery stores and meal delivery.

Meanwhile, financial services platforms such as XP and Mercado Pago launched their credit cards last week, also to increase the frequency of their users’ transactions.

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