App success doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to maxmise your app’s success you’ll need to measure its key performance indicators using insightful metrics. In this guide, we will unpack the different metrics that you can apply to your app and identify which ones to use.
The Pokemon Go app became a huge success around the world the moment it launched. As a big fan, I got in on the craze. It also got me thinking about app success.
It seemed like the winning formula was: 1. Come up with amazing idea, 2. Create app, 3. Watch the money roll. Little did I know that I’d be completely wrong. First of all, I haven’t done any research to validate my idea and secondly, you can’t just sit back and do nothing.
In order to maximise on your app’s success, you’ll need to measure the app before and after it goes to market.
As there are many different metrics, you’ll need to focus on ones that are most relevant to your app. By choosing irrelevant metrics, you might not discover issues with your app.
Source: Perfecto Mobile
Whenever we work on apps for our clients, we always measure and monitor before and after launching to ensure that it performs efficiently, looks appealing and is giving the users the best possible experience.
What metrics can I use to measure app success?
There are lots of app metrics that you can use to measure the success of your app.
Here are some of the essential metrics which can help you maximise app success.
1. Performance Metrics
App crashes: This metric helps identify the average frequency of your app crashing after launch. The more your app crashes, the more negative feedback and less retention you would get.
The typical crash rate of a new app would be 1-2%, but depends on thinks like app type and usage.
Network errors: This metric looks at how often the app is cannot connect to a server. Additionally, it also looks at network overload within the app.
Having network errors could cause the app to crash or even slow load times.
For instance, my mum uses an email app on her tablet. Almost every time she launches it, the app would unable to detect WiFi, leading to the app crashing whenever she tries to send an email.
Installations and downloads: Here, you can identify information on the amount of times users have downloaded, installed and/or deleted your app using this metric.
However, it is important to note that thousands of downloads and installs of an app doesn’t mean it’s successful.
This metric becomes ineffective if users install the app app but don’t become active users.
Benefits of measuring performance metrics:
- Helps you maximise app performance, ensuring that the app runs efficiently and smoothly.
- You can decrease user frustration and dissatisfaction from the app by reducing issues like errors with UI and UX, network or app functionality.
- Having a high performing app compared to competing apps will most likely increase app installation, positive feedback and usage
2. Engagement Metrics
Users: This metric identifies and gives you in depth information about the target market for your app. It looks at their behaviours, how they are using the app, geographic locations and demographics of users.
Session Length: This metric looks at the duration of time users are on the app in each session. A higher user session length indicates more engagement with the app. Here, you’ll be able to identify which users are spending the most time on the app and on which screens.
Session interval: This shows you how often users open your app by identifying the time between first and next time they open the app. This metric allows you to discover whether users find the app valuable.
Time in App: Identifies how long the user was in the app. This allows you to identify how users behave and pick up behaviour patterns. However, note that some app categories tend to have higher use times than others, such as: food delivery or games.
App screens accessed per session: Identifies how many app screens the user visits in one session. Furthermore it looks at which screens users visit.
Retention rate: Helps you identify how many users continually use your app after a certain period of time (E.g. Weekly, Monthly, Yearly). Localytics found that across a 90-day period, the average retention rate is around 20%, while above 25% is the desired rate.
Benefits of measuring engagement metrics:
- Measuring engagement will help maximise user interest with your app, while also achieving a high retention rate.
- These metrics give you the opportunity to identify the type of content and/or features that users find more engaging.
- Identifying user behaviour lets you know what in-app purchases users are interested in and when they’d spend money.
- You have the opportunity to increase user loyalty and conversion, leading to more user and, in turn, more revenue generated.
3. Revenue/Business Metrics
Lifetime value: This metric shows the value of each user and the financial value of the app overall. The Lifetime Value also helps identify the costs of user loyalty, overall app success and forecasts for future growth.
Acquisition cost: This metric helps measure the cost of gaining customers and generating revenue. It also identifies how users find your app (E.g. Google Play Store, Word of Mouth etc.) and their app behaviour.
The most effective user acquisition strategies for mobile apps. Source: VentureBeat
Benefits of revenue/business metrics:
- Allows you to identify which user segment brings in the most revenue.
- You can identify and capitalise on the best app marketing channels to reach your target users.
How do I know which metrics to use?
App metrics are essentially key performance indicators (KPI) that you’d find in any business or marketing plan. The metrics you use ultimately depend on your app goals and objectives, found in your mobile app strategy .
For example: An online fashion retailer might have the objective to provide a smooth and efficient checkout process. The metrics that would be suitable might be: app crashes, network errors, retention and time in app.
In addition to your goals, other useful aspects you can consider are desired user app behaviour and the direction you want to take your app.
But just note that choosing too many metrics may overwhelm and confuse you. On the other hand, you might not get enough information if there are too few metrics.
App Metric Tools
There are many tools and resources online that make gathering and analysing app metrics easier than ever. Each app platform has accompanying metric tools which you can monitor through Google Play or Apple iTunes.
However, the measurement and information they display is quite basic and features are limited. For more detailed information and features, you could use third party apps. There’s a range of paid and free tools like Google, Flurry, Mixpanel and Localytics.
For good measure…
In conclusion, it is imperative that you measure your app metrics before launching it to maximise on the success of your app. This would not only increase engagement, performance and the number of downloads, but most of all, increase the revenue your app can generate. Start your journey towards app success by keeping track of the metrics the matter most.
As the saying goes: when you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail
Are the any other app metrics we should be keeping track of? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.