After the initial release of an app, developers must realize that the app’s journey has merely begun. The success and longevity of the app depend highly on the team’s ability to follow the app’s roadmap into the future. Feedback from surveys and analytics tools built into the apps highly influences an app’s roadmap. Developers must determine the most important performance indicators and use the right measures to track them. Whether you are an Android or iOS developer, here are 8 insights you should know.
The primary metrics for the development team are performance metrics. If the app requires the support of network services, it would be critical to monitor the number and frequency of network errors. Network problems, such as HTTTP failures, cause low responsiveness and app crashes. App crashes result in poor ratings on app stores thus affecting future download numbers.
Other performance metrics include API latency, which is the amount of time it takes for a request on the app to be resolved. Latency needs to be less than 1 second so that users do not experience drags in their experience of the app.
The first kind of insights to track will be on app acquisition. Tracking the number of new downloads on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis indicates where the app is in its lifecycle and how the product team needs to act. For instance, if the number of downloads has been slowing down, they may decide to refresh the app through rebranding and introduction of new features.
Tracking metrics also helps you to assess of marketing campaigns that you might be running currently.
Beyond the downloads, the product team should track the channels through which new users are coming. These numbers help to determine how to utilize the marketing resources to maximize return on investment.
Activation metrics go beyond the download numbers. The activation rate is the percentage of new downloads that launched the app on their devices. An activation rate that is below 80% could point to an underlying problem. Perhaps the users experienced a bug when attempting to launch the app, and ended up not trying again. A long registration process or a poor UI could be other factors hindering your app from hitting healthy activation rates.
Tracking the ratio of first-time app launches over total launches over a 30-day rolling period is a great indicator of app growth. A 5-15% growth is considered healthy in most cases.
The ability of an app to retain users is perhaps the greatest indicator of the app’s revenue potential. Whereas people have more than 50 apps on the phones on average, they normally use less than 10% of them daily.
One method to track an app’s retention ability is to categorize users into retention cohorts. This is done by tracking people who download an app on a given day or week then tracking their usage thereafter. You might find that by day 7, only 20% of the cohort members logged into the app and are likely to continue using it thereafter.
Another retention metric is the number of uninstalls. On average, 24% of all newly installed apps are uninstalled after a single launch. The reasons are varied but the most common reasons include bugs, poor user interface, or failing to solve the problem that a user had. It’s important for developers to investigate the reasons for app uninstalls, even when they are just a small proportion of first-time app launches.
Beyond monitoring the number of downloads of an app, it is important to drill down into the figures to realize what they mean. For instance, developers may want to know what the age distribution of their audience looks like and whether that was what they expected when making a business case for building the app. The geographical distribution of the audience matters. Developers may find the need to optimize the app and its content for different markets.
Importantly, developers must also monitor the different operating systems and devices that users are accessing the app from. When developers have built different iOS and Android versions of the app, they must ensure the quality of the experience is quite similar on both platforms. A too small of a market share on one platform could indicate perhaps a poor user experience that needs improvement.
An important indicator of the app’s performance is the conversion rate. This is a calculation of the proportion of people who could have performed an action that ended up actually performing it. For a commerce app, how many people searched for an item, clicked on it, and completed the purchase as opposed to exiting? A high drop-off is an indication of an underlying process. A complicated UI might make it difficult for users to find what they are looking for. A long checkout process could also result in a high percentage of abandoned carts.
Opt-in Rate and Click-Through Rate
Within the app, the product team will invite users to allow such things as push notifications or allow location access. You might also request users to allow in-app notifications as well as sign up for newsletters. Tracking the proportion of users who have opted into these requests indicates how invested they are in the product. If more users are opting out than those that are opting in, it might be an indication of the app’s growth decline.
In order to understand the stickiness of an app, it’s important to measure the monthly active users and daily active users. The monthly active users the number of unique users that launched the app while the daily active users is the same metric calculated per day. The stickiness is calculated as the daily active users divided by the monthly active users. It is an indication of how likely users are likely to come back to the app.
It’s also important to track the number of daily sessions per user. It indicates the engagement level people are having with the app. The interpretation varies depending on the purpose for which the app was built. For a social app, one session might be considered as a low score. For a taxi-hailing app, a single session per user might be considered high.
The team should also track the average session length as an essential metric, too. This is straightforward because longer sessions mean users enjoy using the app. However, a more nuanced metric is to measure how long it takes the average user to find what they are looking for.
Indeed there are numerous metrics that developers can use to gain insights into their apps. The initial release of an app is only the start of a journey towards improving features, adding new ones, and acting upon feedback from analytics and user comments. A successful app is largely the result of a development team dedicated to incremental improvement.
If your company is seeking to build and maintain a successful app, reach out to NS804 as your Android and iOS app development partner. Our team carries the experience of delivering hundreds of successful business apps to clients. Together, we will prepare and build an app with a clear roadmap. The team will track the right metrics for your app to ensure optimal user satisfaction. Book a consultation session with us here.