Measuring a Mobile App’s Success: 8 Metrics That Matter

It’s already an app world. The app economy is thriving, generating about $25 billion in worldwide sales in 2013. The Apple iOS app store is adding around 20,000 apps a month, and these numbers are expected to further soar.

Now while the number of apps hitting the market is increasing every month, the question is how many are getting noticed and making money?

For mobile application providers the question is how to stay afloat in this sea of apps?
How can you get your apps to be downloaded and used by millions of users around the world? How can you measure the success of your apps?

A professional and quality mobile application development companies has answers to these questions.

As with any successful marketing plan, measuring your mobile app’s success comes down to tracking and working from the right set of metrics. These metrics enable you to create an informed strategy based on behavior, retention, and user engagement.

Many businesses or app providers consider download stats as a measure of their success. But download stats should be taken with a pinch of salt. There’s no way for a user to try an app without downloading it and an app’s download stats remain the same even if the app is used once and then deleted, thus making download rates to an extent misleading.

Here are the 8 most important metrics you should focus on to measure your mobile app’s success:

1. Usage

As discussed before, the download figure only provides a guide to potential success. Instead, one of the most important metrics to measure an app’s success is tracking the number of people actually using the application after downloading it.

To measure the usage of an app, you have to be able to answer the following questions:

• What is your demographic?
• How frequently are users opening your app?
• Which mobile devices are they using?
• On which operating system are they using your app?
• At what time do they access it?

Analyzing your user base and current active user base will provide insights into how the app is used, thus letting you know where you should make changes. After knowing the engagement metrics, take steps to improve engagement with your users as well as with those who have dropped out of a desired funnel. Engaging your app users on every channel is a great way to drive traffic back to your app.

2. Conversion Rate

Conversion rates are a simple percentage — the ratio of people who took an action out of all those who were presented with the option to act. This metric will vary depending on your industry as the conversion is based on the main functions of the apps.

For example, for an eCommerce app the conversion can be measured by knowing whether the shopping statistics refer to shopping processes that were completed or to those that were abandoned in the middle.

A high conversion rate does not necessarily mean your app users are converting, because conversion rates do not take into consideration the users’ total spend. A visitor may be using your app not with the intent to purchase something but just to browse through the products listed or to find your contact information.

One of the ways to increase mobile conversion rate is to provide a good experience to your app users.

3. User Acquisition

The acquisition reports give you data about how your app is acquiring users — through organic search, sponsored ads, word-of-mouth, or in-app referrals. They also give you an overview of the first launches, or the number of visits in which the app is opened for the first time on a device, the total number of new users, their operating system, the app versions downloaded by them, as well as their geographic location. This information tells you which channels are helping you with user acquisition, thus allowing you to leverage them more effectively to acquire new users.

4. Retention Rate

You not only want to acquire new customers for your mobile app, but also want to retain those who are already using it. But customer retention is not easy.

“Retention is one of the biggest challenges of mobile apps today, as 65% of people stop using them three months after the installation”, says Cezary Pietrzak, director of marketing at Appboy.

Analyzing retention figures allows you to determine what’s working and what isn’t in your app over time as updates occur. Gaining insights into this metric will help you know the value that users find in your app’s new and old features.

5. Lifetime Value (LTV)

One metric that you should definitely dive into is Lifetime Value, which is essentially the amount of money that an app user will help generate over the period as compared to all of your other customers. At the end of the day, the majority of your users will not monetize your app, so it’s important to measure the Lifetime Value of your users to help you decide how to segment your users.

Again, how you determine the Lifetime Value depends on the nature of your app. If you are an eCommerce app, it’s about revenue, but if you’re a news app, then it will be determined by the time users spend using your app. Compare the Lifetime Value of users who came from paid acquisition campaigns versus those who downloaded your app organically. This will help you decide the changes you should make in your marketing strategies.

6. Active Users

This is a very important metric. Active Users includes all users, both new and the returning ones who have opened your app at least once during a selected time period, which could be a day or a month. Your daily active users (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU) are people who are drawn to your app for a reason. Depending on the concept the app is built on, that reason could be anything from actively reading news articles, to checking weather updates, sharing on social networks, booking tickets for a concert, or watching a video.

Once you have analyzed your active users and how they are using your app, create a more engaging app to convert more users into active users and effectively target your non-active users through push notifications.

7. User Session

Length and interval are two primary components of measuring user sessions. Session length is the period of time a user spends in the app per session, whereas session interval is the time between the user’s first session and his or her next one, showing the frequency with which your users open the app.

A session is tracked from app open to app close, or when someone backgrounds the app for 15 seconds or more. This metric analyzes behavior of app users over time to give you a clear view of user patterns. The amount of time your users spend on your app is a pretty good indicator of the engagement level of your app.

8. Load Time

Apps that take too long to load are usually avoided by users. If your app takes more than 5 seconds to load, it will frustrate your users and cause them to leave your app and jump to your competitor’s app instead. Make sure your users are able to launch your app, load new pages and take actions without having to wait for too long.

Make sure your app is noticed and favored by customers. Most failures happen when a business or an app provider fails to keep track of these metrics.

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