In-app purchases are the lifeblood of many apps, and although it may seem like getting users to the sale proposition quickly is ideal; a new Localytics study ( finds that building relationships with app users and fostering long-term usage are more important.

Of all users in Localytics’ study who made an in-app purchase, 44% didn’t do so until they had interacted with the app at least 10 times. On average, a user who makes an in-app purchase will do so 12 days after first launching the app.

In research from last year, Localytics — which provides a real-time mobile app analytics platform — found that 26% of apps are used only once after being downloaded. As a result, the app publisher community has made a concerted effort to shift away from incentivized downloads towards engagement and customer lifetime value (CLV).

With this new data, that shift is shown to be even more important. With a high correlation between highly engaged users and in-app purchases, developers and publishers with a goal of maximizing CLV have even more reason to obsess over user retention, says Localytics.

Users who interact with an app multiple times before making their first in-app purchase are more valuable in the long run, making 25% more in-app purchases over their lifetime as a customer. First session purchasers will make an average of 2.8 purchases in a given app during their user lifetime, compared with 3.5 purchases for all other purchasers, says Localytics.

While moving users towards a purchase quickly is often considered the primary objective, this suggests that turning purchasers into repeat users should be a top priority. While a first-session purchase is excellent, we found that only 16% of users who make a purchase their first app session go on to engage with that app 10+ times, versus 26% of overall app users. Thus, app developers and marketers must pay attention to their analytics solution’s loyalty features, notes Localytics.