April 27, 2020
The market for mobile apps is flourishing.
There are 2.2 million applications available in the App Store and 2.8 million in the Google Play Store – the competition for users’ attention is fierce. It’s predicted that by 2022 mobile app downloads will reach 258 billion, which represents both a huge opportunity and a huge challenge for software companies.
Why is that? Switching between apps is easy. In fact, one in four users abandon an app after one use – how can you ensure higher retention rates?
You can achieve it by implementing mobile app analytics and optimizing your tactics.
Analytics for mobile apps have two main purposes:
Using app analytics is the only way to find out who your users are, how they engage with your app, and why they churn. It can help you identify parts of your app which drive most conversions, as well as reveal stages where conversion drops (think of e-commerce apps).
All of these insights will help you make better business decisions in the future.
People have zero tolerance for bad user experience, which isn’t surprising considering the number of alternatives available to them. 65% of users admit that bad mobile experience negatively impacts their brand perception.
Use mobile app tracking to improve user experience. Discover the most widely used features, as well as the underused ones. Check if there are any features missing or if there are features in your app which users find confusing. This is a great source of information that should drive your product roadmap development.
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of mobile analytics, it’s time to discuss what tools you can use for data tracking. There are plenty of options available, here are a few that you can consider:
Irrespective of the tools you use, it’s worth checking they have the following features:
Filters are a must-have for data segmentation. Without them it’s hard to draw any conclusions. What can you filter by?
It tells you how many people installed your app. By monitoring the number of downloads you can verify the effectiveness of your marketing efforts like:
Few downloads or lack thereof might indicate that your marketing needs more work.
This metric differs from app downloads as it tells you how many users actually use your app which is a good engagement indicator. It’s important to define what an active user means to you. The definition of an active user varies between tools. For example, Google Analytics views this metric through the prism of sessions. For Google Analytics, an active user is a user who starts a session.
Average visit time tells you how long the user spent in your app, while the number of screen views shows you how many screens they interacted with.
Both of these metrics are a good indicator of your user engagement. Think about this way: the longer the user stays in your app and the more screens they see, the more engaged they are.
It shows you the flow of users, from acquisition to conversion. You can check how many steps your users take before they convert. If you offer in-app payments, you must define the conversion steps to create a sales funnel within your app.
The total sales your app generated from all revenue sources. You can verify your most profitable sources and check what the average revenue per user and per paid user was for your chosen time period.
It tells you how much you spend to acquire new users. This might include advertising, PR, customer support costs, etc. You can also check your most effective acquisition channels and the lifetime value of your customers (CLTV). You’ll want to keep your customer acquisition cost (CAC) below your CLTV.
It gives you the percentage of users who return to your app after their first visit. To reveal why users fail to return to your app, measure your retention rates over daily, weekly and monthly periods.
If your retention rate rises, it means your users find the app valuable. If it drops, it’s worth investigating why. Did you run any updates that might have had a negative impact on your app’s usability? It’s a good idea to ask your users for feedback.
Measures the percentage of users who stop using your app. It’s especially painful if your highest paying or most engaging customers leave you. According to Localytics, 57% of users churn within their first month. This number increases to 71% by the third month from using the app.
Mobile app analytics can provide you with a wealth of knowledge – if you know how to use the data. One of the best ways to draw data-based conclusions is by using cohort analysis in Google Analytics. It tells you how well your app performs among different user groups, also known as “cohorts”.
Cohort analysis helps spot different behavioural patterns among customer segments. It might show you that your churn rate or retention rate is higher or lower within specific segments. It’s a great starting point for analysis. There are 3 things you should keep in mind while conducting your cohort analysis:
One of the steps you should take before setting up your mobile app tracking is defining your goals. Is it increasing your revenue, raising brand awareness, generating a specific number of downloads, or maybe a mixture of all of the above? When you decide on your goals, you’ll know which metrics to focus on, which will impact the selection of your analytics tools.
After selecting your toolkit, you’ll need to configure it. To enable data collection you’ll have to install a tracking code. It’s worth it to appoint a person responsible for setting up the tools and configuring the dashboard so that it displays the metrics you’re interested in monitoring.
Implementing mobile app analytics brings no value without regular reporting. After you install tracking in your mobile app you’ll be able to collect and send data to your Google Analytics account. Use the Mobile App Sources report to reveal how users found your app, i.e. what brought them to your download page in iTunes as well as other marketplaces.
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