How to Track Success of Your Business Mobile App

By: Roma Kapadiya
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After spending a lot on mobile app development and marketing, one should strive to know the return and success of the app in the market or whether the app has achieved the intended goals. To measure app success, today we have enough KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and the current post is illustrating how it could be and should be.

Introduction:

Red Hat Surveys on Mobile App Strategy in Business

Recently, I encountered with RED HAT’ mobile maturity survey report 2015. They have covered a big lot of respondents from IT decision maker groups working under Gov. & private sectors across the globe.

To measure mobile app adoption, they have surveyed that how many organizations & businesses have implemented mobile app strategy to embrace mobile applications into their businesses at different levels.

In 2013, there were only 7% have implemented mobile strategy fully, but in 2015, they were more than 52%. However, mere implementations of mobile strategy is not a sign of maturity in the adoption of mobile apps in business. It needs to review the app strategy regularly and improved it whenever it needed.

Now, the question is that how they have measured app success in their app strategy reviews? The survey for this question has revealed that more than 85% of respondents have used KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in due course.

Interestingly, one-third of those organizations, which have implemented mobile app strategy and used appropriate KPIs to measure the app success and executed changes in strategy and implementations accordingly have seen positive ROI.

Now, the question is,

Which KPIs a Business Should Use To Measure App Success?

It is a big question indeed. Before deciding the KPIs and their categories, let’s know that who is responsible for tracking KPIs for mobile app success.

Target Audience Interested in KPIs

According to Red Hat, Senior IT heads, and their managers are responsible for organizations to track the KPIs, but predictions indicate that line of the business head will take over the said responsibility in coming years.

It means these two groups are our target audience who are interested to know KPIs regarding their app success.

At present, app marketplaces have categorized apps into numerous categories based on various parameters and each category has unique needs of KPIs to measure its success. Therefore, only an Experienced Team of App Developers like SysBunny can help you to define 100% right APIs for your business.

KPIs to Track Success of Your Business Mobile Apps

In the current post, we have taken general approaches to categories app KPIs to measure app success, and those categories are:

  1. General KPIs
  2. Engagement KPIs
  3. Financial KPIs
  4. UX (User Experience) KPIs
  5. Mobile App Marketing KPIs

Let’s get into details and see how different categories of KPIs enable developers and business line people to track the success of mobile business apps. Of course, to measure this wide range of KPIs, you should have powerful analytics and service providers with analytics engines to give you accurate reports with presentations in comprehensive ways. It is another chapter, and we will see it in another post.

#1: General KPIs for Mobile Apps

These measure general performance of mobile applications and you or your mobile app development/consulting team have to decide the significance of each KPI in-app success based on your app category and your business niche.

Number of downloads

What is it?

It is a number of times an app being downloaded from the respective app marketplaces or source/s.

What is it tracking?

It tracks the popularity of an app.

No. of installations

What is it?

Many users download your app but don’t install it due to known and unknown reasons.

What is it tracking?

It tracks actual installations and provides clues if anything goes wrong in the installation process.

No. of Uninstallations

What is it?

After successful installation, a user may uninstall the app whether using it once/twice or not at all. This KPI provides numbers of uninstallations.

What is it tracking?

We can correlate uninstallation with recent app updates or changes in apps like allowing ads or retargeting.

No. of Registrations

What is it?

Provide numbers of users who accomplish user registration process.

What is it tracking?

It provides data of users who have willingly registered and provided the required info to assist in various causes like offering personalization experiences or use data in email or other marketing campaigns.

No. of Subscriptions

What is it?

A number of subscribers of your content or offerings.

What is it tracking?

You can get data of users who had subscribed your content/updates as well as get clues how many have registered by unsubscribed due to various reasons.

No. of Crashes

What is it?

How many crashes took place during app lifecycle on a mobile device of a user?

What is it tracking?

Give opportunity to dive into user processes or journeys and improve the app performance correcting it.

No. of Upgrades

What is it?

When you have offered an option for app users to upgrade the app to a premium/paid version, it provides a number of users who upgraded the app.

What is it tracking?

You can track what much time a user takes to decide an upgrade as well as which other factors influencing the app upgrade decision by statistically correlating the analytics data. It gives clues the level of app engagement and financial commitments.

Growth Rate of Users

What is it?

You can apply following formula to measure the growth in numbers of users.

((Present — Past) / (Past)) X 100

Here No. of users in past and present.

What is it tracking?

To track that whether presently users are growing or declining in numbers against the measurements taken in the past. It also gives ideas that, which factors are influencing the growth rate of users like events, prices, updates, and so on.

 

#2: Engagement KPIs

It indicates that how users are engaging with your app and which factors are influencing it like time, place, methods, features, functionality, performance, UX, usability, and much more.

Retention Rate

What is it?

It indicates a number of users come back to use the app in a given period.

What is it tracking?

High retention rate means your app is engaging and value adding. The formula is

Retention Rate = ((CE — CN) / CS)) X 100

Where,

CE = Customers at the end of Period

CN = New Customers Acquired During Period

CS = Customers at Start of Period

AOR (App Open Rate) or Sessions

What is it?

No. of times a user opens the app in a period.

What is it tracking?

It indicates quality and popularity of the app so, users tempt to use it frequently.

Session Length

What is it?

Time user spends on the app per session.

What is it tracking?

Length of the session, and the correlation between other parameters. More length is good.

Session Interval

What is it?

Amount of time between two sessions

What is it tracking?

The shorter the interval, better the app performance.

Session Depth

What is it?

No. of interactions per session.

What is it tracking?

Provide insights into user journey on the app.

Avg. Screens per Visit

What is it?

No. of unique screens/pages that a user hits in a visit.

What is it tracking?

Higher numbers indicate better results for your app.

DAU (Daily Active Users)

What is it?

No. of active users uses the app in a day.

What is it tracking?

It features the app growth when looking at a period of weeks or months.

MAU (Monthly Active Users)

What is it?

No. of active users uses the app in a month.

What is it tracking?

To track repeat & unique visitors who are visiting app multiple times in a month.

Social Shares

What is it?

No. of times app shared on social media sites.

What is it tracking?

High numbers tag app social-friendly.

Brand Awareness

What is it?

How many times your brand appears in SERPs, social search, and other ways to reach the targeted audience.

What is it tracking?

More users mean more awareness of your brand.

Churn Rate

What is it?

Uninstallation or un-subscription rate.

What is it tracking?

The high rate indicated potential issues in the app like crashes,

 

#3: Financial KPIs

It indicates the success of monetization schemes or strategies and stability of app in terms of giving decent returns over your investment. It measures how app generates revenue.

ARPU (Avg. Revenue per App)

What is it?

Value or money generated per users by your app.

What is it tracking?

It tracks revenue per in-app purchase, ad impressions, subscription, download, and via other monetization schemes.

LTV (Life Time Value)

What is it?

Revenue generated by app throughout app lifecycle.

What is it tracking?

It gives an idea of the prospective value of an app or revenue when it combines with ARPU.

Time to First Purchase

What is it?

Amount of time user takes for the first purchase through the app after downloading and installing it.

What is it tracking?

It indicates usefulness and usability of the app in the market.

Purchases

What is it?

No. of buys or exchanging a fund.

What is it tracking?

It indicates the success of monetization or intents/goals of the app for conversion.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

What is it?

Cost of acquiring a new customer.

What is it tracking?

To track expenditure on acquiring a new user so you can take appropriate actions to cut the cost and try to retain users already acquired through appropriate schemes.

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

What is it?

Cost per conversion acquisition. It includes both, new and repeats customer acquisition cost.

What is it tracking?

To track the conversions against user acquisition.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

What is it?

Measurement of net profit generates a customer via app usage over time.

What is it tracking?

A high value indicates the success of the app.

eCAC (Effective Customer Acquisition Cost)

What is it?

The actual or effective cost to acquire a new app user/customer.

What is it tracking?

You can track ROI of expenditure on organic methods, paid ads, time spent, and other expenses to acquire a user.

eCPM (Effective Cost per Mile)

What is it?

You can set a milestone like 1K impressions or actions by app users and count the cost of a milestone in analytics.

What is it tracking?

You can measure the results of your marketing efforts.

Paid Conversion Rate

What is it?

It measures the conversion rate via paid marketing methods or ads.

What is it tracking?

You can check the performance of paid ads on search engines, social media, and other traditional methods to boost your app conversion and consumption.

Organic Conversion Rate

What is it?

Conversion rate via organic marketing methods

What is it tracking?

To know how your organic marketing campaigns are going on.

ROI

What is it?

Provide figures for your return on the investment on the app marketing.

What is it tracking?

You can track various expenses on the app and find what you get against it all.

CPI (Cost per Install)

What is it?

Customer acquisition cost per installation.

What is it tracking?

It provides ideas that how many users download the app and how many out of those actually install the app and complete the installation or registration processes.

 

#4: UX (User Experience) KPIs

It measures the experiences of a user with your app based on various parameters/KPIs and UX is a most critical factor.

Load Time

What is it?

Time to load the app from the initial tap. It also uses for app screen loading time from one to another screen transition.

What is it tracking?

It measures that how fast your app overall performance right from initial is loading to screen transition.

Devices

What is it?

Gives clues regarding mobile devices used by your app users.

What is it tracking?

You can types of devices like smartphones or tablets, mobile OS, and versions of OS.

Carriers

What is it?

Mobile carriers.

What is it tracking?

Which carriers used by your app users.

Mobile OS

What is it?

Mobile OS or OS platform

What is it tracking?

You can check which mobile OS used by your app user bases like iOS, Android, or Windows Phone.

Screen Resolutions

What is it?

Screen dimensions or resolutions

What is it tracking?

It measures the dimension of device screen or resolutions in various units like dpi, mm. Inch, etc. It facilitates app developers to adjust the responsive design code and images during optimization processes.

Permissions Granted

What is it?

No. of permission or amount of access

What is it tracking?

It gives clues regarding permissions granted to access the app and used in security as well as performance management.

API Latency

What is it?

It is a time interval between API proxies being called/triggered.

What is it tracking?

It provides clues about API loading and behavior of users.

 

#5: Mobile App Marketing KPIs

App marketing is ever-growing niche and measuring app marketing success becomes daunting due to a variety of KPIs involved in it, and numbers are growing over the time. Following are general KPIs and applicable in most of the app’s categories.

Install Source or Attributions

What is it?

When you have referrals and source located more than one places, you can know the source of download and its installation.

What is it tracking?

It helps you to run various campaign including referrals. How users reach the source of downloads like paid ads or organic campaigns.

K-factor & Viral Marketing

What is it?

Measures word of mouth factors surrounding to app marketing.

What is it tracking?

Measuring viral marketing capability of your app and allows you to adjust your other marketing campaigns accordingly.

Channel Breakdown

What is it?

For users, types of channels to access your app.

What is it tracking?

Provide data that which channel user used to access your app and give clues in marketing.

Geo-metrics

What is it?

Locations of users.

What is it tracking?

To run location-based campaigns.

Demographics

What is it?

For the gender, ethnicity, and age like demographic parameters.

What is it tracking?

Track the demographics of your targeted audience and adjust the marketing campaigns accordingly.

Cohort Analysis

What is it?

Group user-base in categories and collectives based on demography, geography, and behavior like characteristics.

What is it tracking?

By grouping and observing, patterns of user behaviors can give meaningful insights that help you in a various marketing campaign for your app.

Behavioral Metrics

What is it?

Unique behaviors of your app users to your app.

What is it tracking?

Provide valuable insights into minds of users that what going on and how to leverage it in favor of you.

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