iOS Users stay 4x longer in Swapit than Android Users

We recently updated Swapit for iOS with the feature to sell items through your iPhone. We’ve also updated our Android app too. In fact, we are constantly updating Swapit with workflow improvements, new features to make the live of our users better.

Now, we are also constantly looking at how our users use Swapit. A while ago I mentioned we are using Crashlytics for in-app analytics. After having the iPhone app on the App Store for a while and the Android app on Google Play for about a year, it is time to compare the two. Though, the number of Android users still exceeds by far the number of iPhone users, we have enough to do a meaningful comparison.

Retention Retention Retention

swapit_marketing-chart-growFor everyone, it is hard to acquire users. We are no exception to that. However, it is also hard – if not even harder – to retain them. We believe by providing a great platform from the onset and adding more and more value (i.e. through our constant app updates), we can retain our loyal users.

One metric we like to look at, is Session Length. Session Length means, how long are people in our app and for how long are they using it at each session. I.e. how long is each session in minutes and seconds. That’s rather easy to track, but at the time it’s an important indicator – especially for marketplace apps, like Swapit. If we have enough marketplace liquidity and the content in our marketplace (i.e. the items posted) are of interest to our users, then we can achieve a high session length. Interestingly, Android and iPhone users have a rather different usage pattern.

iPhone users stay 4x longer in Swapit than Android users.

To put that into numbers, yesterday on July 7th, 2016, the Median Session Lengths were:

  • Android: 29 seconds
  • iOS: 1 minute 54 seconds

Even when we’re looking at the whole period of the last 30 days, we can see that those numbers are pretty stable across each platform:

Android Session Length:


iOS Session Length:


We can even see a little uplift on Android over the past two weeks. I believe our core fan base on iOS are the first ones to use our iPhone app right away. I am talking about the great folks who signed up for the iOS beta even before it launched. Those are our most loyal users and they have much stronger relationship with Swapit, which in turn results in longer usage time. At the same time, on iOS we have a lot more of those in terms of overall percentage compared to Android. So therefore, I am assuming that has partly an effect on the higher session length. However, a 4x higher session length is a rather significant number.

swapit-blog-immediacyGlobal Comparison

Besides Crashlytics, we also use Flurry for in-app analytics. In there, we can also compare Swapit to the industry’s benchmark. With 30 seconds of median session length for “Shopping” apps worldwide, Swapit hits exactly the benchmark on Android. On iOS however, Swapit seems to beat the benchmark significantly.

Nature of Swapit Sessions

swapit_marketing-messagingIf you look at traditional shopping apps like eBay, Amazon, Lazada, etc. you will notice that they’re structured differently. They are B2C apps where you go into the app, search what you want, if you find it, you add it to your shopping cart, go to check out, enter your shipping address, check the price and shipping costs again, enter your credit card number and finally confirm the order.

On Swapit, though, the whole experience is different and much more engaging. Let’s say you find this beautiful Armlet and want to buy it from Julia, you’d hit “Chat to buy” and you’re ready to chat with her. You send a message and perhaps leave Swapit. Your session has ended. You leave the app and crush some candy. 20 seconds later Julia replies (she is usually super fast, I can definitely recommend her!), you receive a notification in your Notification Hub (Android) / Notification Center (iOS) and you go back into the app to confirm you’ll meet up with Julia and close the deal.  Thus, you just had a quick short session to send your message. So actually, some of Swapit’s sessions are much shorter due to the nature of the app with built-in chat. That kind of user behavior is not expected with the eBay, Amazon, Lazada kind of apps. Therefore, I am actually surprised we can even hit the shopping industry benchmark on Android.

The Future of Swapit Retention

Is bright 🙂

In fact, we are right working on putting more features in place that allows us to even increase our retention metrics and add more value to our users. There are of course, many other metrics we are looking at and they all have their individual purpose and meaning. It would take a little while to list them all here, but I am sure, I will share some more retention stats in future — especially with all great secret sauce we are currently brewing at the Swapit HQ.

Stay tuned for the next Swapit update. It might actually surprise you!

Have you tried Swapit yet? You can download it at:


Co-Working Spaces in Hong Kong – A Real World Price Comparison

About two months ago, the Swapit team moved office because our old one was way too big for us. So there is a lot of talk about co-working spaces in Hong Kong. Especially the government and related bodies like to talk about the number of co-working spaces available in Hong Kong – almost like it would be a measure for how dynamic a startup system is. And I guess, to some superficial extend, that might be the case.

We’ve looked at all the co-working places we could find. In fact, there is a really great list from the Jumpstart Magazine that we used as starting point for our research. It’s called: Complete List of Coworking Spaces in Hong Kong

While that list is very cool to have and it has most of the information one would need, it is a bit tedious to click through all the co-working places and be able to decide which one is the most cost effective. There various charging models all those places use. There are hot desks, dedicated desks, rooms, charged per month or day, in a combo for more people, and so on. It’s very easy to find a single desk.  But to find a place for multiple people that is cost effective, is not that easy. So let’s look at the following requirements I used for comparison sake:

  • Number of seats: 6
  • Hot or not: dedicated desks (i.e. not hot)
  • Rooms: preferably 1-2 rooms (got to store some paper files and hardware)

Those are really simple, easy to come by with, requirements and I needed to compare actual final prices for those. So for us the winner would have been:

  1. Ooosh in Lai Chi Kok: $9,000 / month
  2. Misso Link in Kun Tong: $12,000 / month
  3. The Good Lab in Cheung Sha Wan: $12,600 / month

The 2 most expensive coworking places for us would have been:

  1. Garage Society in Central: $43,200 / month
  2. Wynd in Central: $37,200 / month
  3. The Hive in Wan Chai: $36,000 / month

There is obviously a very huge difference in pricing! Here is the full list of our own comparison:


You can download the full document here:

To Co-Work or Not To Co-Work

So in the end, we decided to move within our existing office building, just to a smaller unit a couple of floors down. Hence, we’ve decided not to go to a co-working space. If you’re building a business a growing team and do some seriously creative, innovative and disruptive work, we figured it is more important to us to ensure we have a quiet office, without much traffic, with private space where we can leave all of our hardware around and which we can re-arrange as we wish at any time.


As you can see, we can even place our great Swapit T-Shirts prominently there. That’s definitely worth getting your own office for!

Have you tried our Swapit app yet? It’s free. Get it from:

iPhone Users: Do you kill apps?

Hey iPhone users, we have a very simple and quick question:


Why we ask

We are currently working on iPhone app and we’ve noticed some issues regarding to PUSH notifications that are sent to apps which have been killed by the user manually. Therefore, we’d like to find out how many of you are actually killing your apps manually. Your feedback will have direct impact on how we integrate our PUSH notification mechanism in Swapit on the iPhone and iPad.


Have you tried Swapit yet? It’s free. You can get it from

Research Infographic: Facebook Groups in Hong Kong and their Buy & Sell Activity – Week 1,2,3 Combined

Two weeks ago we published our first research infographic on trading activities in buy and sell groups on Facebook and shortly after the research results of week 2. Today it’s time to look at the results of week #3 and combine all three weeks into one result set. If you have seen our previous infographics, you will find this week’s one to be quite different, but yet similar.


So over this very short period of 3 weeks we saw the number of items that are being traded were stable. There was a continuous influx of new items being posted and the average price was more or less stable. The number of total inquiries increased correlated directly with number of members and items posted in such Facebook groups.

This is a very encouraging of an active trader market of pre-loved items. Since we launched our public beta of swapit about 2 weeks ago, our user base is growing rapidly as well. Our goal is to reach a widespread adoption like the those Facebook groups by providing a much better user experience to buyers and sellers – allowing them to trade easier and quicker.

If you haven’t used swapit yet, you can get it right here at:

The content in this article and its infographic is based on research done by Kevin Hsu of the swapit team.

Research Infographic: Facebook Groups in Hong Kong and their Buy & Sell Activity – Week 2

Last week we published our first research infographic on trading activities in buy and sell groups on Facebook. Today it’s time to look at the results of week #2. If you have seen our last infographic, you will find this week’s one to be very similar.

swapit_trade-stats_fb-2To quickly compare the results to last week we saw:

48 items more being posted (+20%)
$8 less in average item price (-1.5%)
10 more inquiries posted (+3.5%)
499 more members trading (+1%)

So over this very short period of 1 week we already saw an increase in the number of items that are being traded while the average price fell slightly and the number of total inquiries increased moderately at an increasing number of members in such Facebook groups.

These findings look very promising and we are confident our swapit will app will penetrate that market with huge success. Since we launched our public beta a week ago, our user base is growing rapidly as well.

If you haven’t used swapit yet, you can get it right here at:

The content in this article and its infographic is based on research done by Kevin Hsu of the swapit team.

Research Infographic: Facebook Groups in Hong Kong and their Buy & Sell Activity – Week 1

We at swapit believe there is a huge market for buying and selling second hand items in Hong Kong. So we have been talking a lot about how people are buying and selling such items, what their process is and how we can improve it through swapit.

It is also very interesting to look a bit deeper into what people are actually selling on Facebook groups for example. For that, we selected 5 Facebook groups and took a closer look at them. Yet, we know there are several dozen more groups on Facebook as well as Yahoo and there are other websites – some especially dedicated to such classifieds. As we needed to keep it manageable, we chose 5 Facebook groups and analyzed the trading activity that’s happening in such groups.

To make it easier to understand, we put together a nice infographic that visualizes our results. From a very selfish perspective, it helps us to grasp the vast size of this market. Though, we are also happy to share this insights with all of you. Feel free to have a look at the infographic:


The content in this article and its infographic is based on research done by Kevin Hsu of the swapit team.