Now that you’ve launched your app, what’s next? Apparently, you’ll be interested in a number of downloads to see if it took off or not. The better your target audience responds to the brand and positioning, the more installs you’re getting. However, this is just one side of the coin: Downloads don’t tell you much of your app’s value, performance or usability. No app is perfect, and consistent improvement requires deeper insights into your application. This is where mobile app analytics metrics can be of great help.
These metrics will help you glean the audience behavior patterns and realize whether your app addresses users’ needs. Employing mobile app analytics, you’ll also detect the bottlenecks and inconsistencies that interfere with user experience and impede better engagement.
Mobile app analytics helps you visualize the paths users follow, what works for them, and what causes friction. This way, you can optimize the touch points and tweak the app based on verified data.
In this posting, we’ll focus on:
- Functional (app) metrics
- Information (user data) metrics
- Engagement metrics
- Revenue metrics.
Without further ado, let’s look into various criteria and assess their relevance.
Looking to accomplish a clean front-end and fast back-end? Want your app to be feature-packed, yet not cluttered? Not sure how to measure app performance? Functional metrics are at your disposal.
What’s there to track?
- Response and screen rendering time
- Device compatibility
- Server response
- TCP connection, and more.
Tools like Crashlytics, Google Analytics, or Xcode will help you monitor these metrics and eliminate possible glitches before your churn rates turn menacing.
Now imagine you unveil an incredible promo or start a tournament that will bring in hordes of people. Is your app ready for high loads? Are you sure you can take care of possible slowdowns and crashes?
Mobile app analytics tools are a must-have to understand in-app user behaviors and your app’s potential.
Polished functionality is a nice thing but you also want to earn some cash and boost app development ROIs. In that regard, you need to know your audience and consistently track usage, CTR and conversions. Monitoring in-app events provides you the essence of actionable data. What are your users doing in the app? Which buttons do they click, which features do they prefer? Leveraging mobile app metrics, you can make more improvements with every iteration.
Mobile app analytics is also instrumental in your user acquisition (UA) efforts. UA is a data-driven comprehensive technique that factors in user geo, organic results, paid traffic, in-app referrals, etc. Once you have this data, you’re off to a good start.
Functionality aside, what are the key user data metrics you need to keep an eye on?
Daily Active Users (DAU)
The first question ad platforms ask about your product is: What’s your DAU? Daily active users is a metric that counts the number of users returning to your app on a daily basis. The more ‘live’ users you got, the greater the ad reach. Regardless of monetization, DAU is a key indicator of engagement and one of the major mobile app KPIs. It has little to do with installs though. Once installed, the user may abandon the app for good or, on the contrary, tap into it every 30 seconds. That’s up to you as a developer or marketer.
Other mobile metrics that matter include WAU and MAU — weekly and monthly showings. Employ them to gauge overall dynamics: pitfalls and spikes in app usage. How can you urge people to open your app more frequently? The short answer is push notifications. To make this invasive technique less aggravating and more beneficial for the user, consider offering special deals or promos, complimentary in-app currency, etc.
Devise incentives for monthly active users so they add up to your DAU showings as well, make them look into your app for daily inspiration. Gently but convincingly.
One of the key metrics for mobile apps is user geography. Learn your key markets so you can tailor the app accordingly. This data also enables marketers and developers to identify in-app or external, cultural issues. Imagine your app targets a global audience but some regions just don’t generate traffic despite smooth localization and custom features. This is one of the red flags to deal with.
How do users access your app? Is this a smartphone or a tablet, an old cellphone that lets you play Snake or a state-of-the-art iPhone? Having these stats in your data lake will determine where to apply most efforts in terms of compatibility.
Call it customer journey, user path or whatever floats your boat… Screenflow is a mobile app metric that tracks user navigation between various screens and touch points, and stores data of customary user interactions with your application. Some mobile app analytics tools can even record user journeys for you to examine and draw relevant conclusions. That’s how you discover pain points, conversion blockers — and hidden gems you might have underestimated as developer.
These insights will empower data-driven development and help deliver a more personalized experience to your app users. Once you get to know which features inspire people, what their usage goals are, where they come from, you are poised to build a user-centric ecosystem that eventually yields greater ROI.
There are many ways how to measure app success. One of them is to detect how long your user typically stays in the app. The session duration metric measures time from app launch to when the user quits the app. That’s how you gauge user engagement: longer session length is great for your app, this means you’re on the right track. If users would repeatedly bounce just after a few seconds, beware: something goes wrong, and there are user path gaps you need to patch.
A curious fact: The size of the user’s screen may affect session duration. Research reveals that bigger screens somehow incite gamers to spend more time playing. Keep this in mind when employing the metric. You may also consider another mobile app metric — the quantity of screens viewed by the user during each session. To boost this amount, the app design should urge users to make more clicks when they see a new screen. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and inadvertently damage the UX.
How often do the users open your app? Monitor the session interval to optimize app use and grow DAU. Think of it as a deeper insight relative to daily active user stats. Knowing average time between sessions, you can introduce more incentives for users to launch the app, make it their daily routine and reach your mobile app KPIs.
Retention and Engagement
A multitude of downloaded apps may be used just once and never revisited. This may happen due to poor user experience, misleading positioning or lack of value. Unused apps thus have zero retention. You goal is to monitor the ratio of users returning to the app after the first entry.
Tracking retention and other mobile app engagement metrics is instrumental in building long-lasting relationships with your customers, optimizing conversion rates and users’ lifetime value (LTV). Apparently, it’s way easier to help existing users stay than acquire new users. User acquisition (UA) may be a costly and time-consuming task whereas better retention is totally in your power. Just be creative and attentive to your users’ feedback and behavior.
User acquisition costs
Speaking of the UA devil, how much do you have to pony up to attract one user — all costs aggregated? Make sure you know your UA metrics to keep the app rolling. Users jump into your app from a variety of traffic sources: organic, ads, in-app referrals, and more. Be careful with your channels and feel free to eliminate those that just don’t work for your budget. How do you know which campaign rocks and brings you most users? By using attribution services like Adjust, Kochava, Tune, and many other.
Needless to say, you want to keep UA expenses low — but be alert to the nuances! The amount of downloads generated by a specific channel is a sound mobile app metric but is this quality traffic after all? Are you investing into solvent customers? That’s a long story: cling to user acquisition metrics as Ariadne’s thread in this labyrinth and tap into users ARPU and LTV for further analysis.
Among all mobile app metrics that matter, the conversion rate is king. How well do your users convert into paying customers? Are there any showstoppers or pitfalls in the funnel? The rule of thumb here is: Go through the customer journey and see if everything works fine. Keep it simple: The more actions users have to take on the way to conversion, the greater your abandonment rates.
Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and Lifetime Value (LTV)
Divide the total revenue by the number of subscribers, and you get the ARPU. Keep these figures at hand: ARPU reflects the users’ buying potential and your app’s ability to generate revenue. Once you know the current mobile app KPIs, take it further. How much do you expect to earn per user before they leave your app for good or the app is discontinued?
Lifetime value is of utmost importance. It reveals revenue from each customer during the ‘lifetime’ of app usage. LTV may show increase for specific user segments and potential bottlenecks. This mobile app performance metric goes beyond ARPU and factors in the churn rate and the customer’s referral value (CRV). Apparently, your user’s LTV should be greater than your UA costs so you can make a profit. Once again, you should strive to make your app part of the users’ daily routine to boost their LTV.
Yet another critical feature in mobile app analytics tools is measuring churn rates. This metric shows the percentage of users who simply stopped visiting your app. Altogether a sad thing, churn rate is a relative factor. The graveness of the situation depends on the kind of users who leave. Are they ‘whales’ or low-value sticker-shocked users who miss the whole point of the app? In any case, churn rates have direct impact on your revenues and bottom line.
Once a downward trend is detected, make sure you get to the root cause and communicate with your audience. Learn what happened, send them a notification or any message/offer that could lure them back in, deliver on the promised, and keep up your mobile app KPIs. Revisit your engagement strategy and tactics to minimize the churn rate.
Abandonment rate measures the ratio of intended in-app transactions (such as checkout) compared to cancelled, or abandoned transactions. A large amount of such cancellations may be indicative of poor user experience. Thinking of how to measure app performance? This negative metric is your good friend.
Average Order Value (AOV)
You can track AOV of each paying user and see how much they generally spend in the app. For better accuracy, leave the non-paying users out of the picture and compare the two AOVs. If there’s a yawning abyss between them, most of your user base don’t spend a dime in the app, and you need to act now and tackle the issue.
This was a brief overview of mobile app engagement metrics. Last but not least, here’s a piece of advice on store rankings and customer feedback.
Do a fair share of optimization to get high ranks in the app store. Focus on the store SEO, category, and the competition to see how you can stand out. If your app works for both Android and iOS, pay attention to your results on the two platforms. For example, your app might be a hit in the ‘high-end’ Apple AppStore and — concurrently — a low performer in Google Play Store. You need to understand why that happens and whether your mobile app KPIs are met.
Keep an eye out for user reviews and feedback. Poor ratings in a store will steer newcomers away from your app. Make sure you address the issues and boost UX to avoid negativity. Be proactive and ask your users for feedback through push notifications or in-app elements. Reward them for sharing their thoughts and ideas, start building a loyal community that will back your app and deliver valuable inputs.
Do you have other suggestions or actionable mobile app metrics in mind? Give us a shout!
Originally published at insightwhale.com on November 22, 2018.