Once you’ve come up with an idea for an app and began developing it, you’ll undoubtedly want to see it succeed. But how do you measure that success? The answer to that is by setting KPIs, also known as key performance indicators. These are the measuring sticks for your app’s performance. There are a variety of KPI metrics you can use to evaluate your app, but today we are going to examine some of the most important metrics to set in order to aid yourself as a developer.
Downloads are probably the most straightforward metric to rely on when it comes to tracking the success of your mobile app. On top of that, it’s the foundational KPI for the other metrics that dive deeper. You won’t have any growth rates or retention rates to measure if no one is downloading your app, this is the place to begin. If you’ve executed an app marketing strategy, you should have a core base of users already to begin tracking. If not, it’s likely that your first step will be figuring out how to attract users so that your app is downloaded.
App downloads don’t always convert to full installations. If there are many downloads but not many installs, it could signal that there are issues developmentally. There is also the aspect of completing the setup process. If users are dropping off at a certain point in the process, you’ll want to know why. For example, are people having trouble signing in through Google or inputting a code that was texted to them? This is valuable information, especially if a large number of users drop off the installation process in the same place. Analyzing the user experience from early on will set you up for continual success.
Your app’s growth rate is the rate at which you obtain new users. This is of course important because you want to make sure that your user base is growing. And on top of that, you want to be aware of what may affect that growth rate. For example, is there any correlation between a spike in growth and key moments such as price changes, in-app events, or UI and UX design.
App installs are an unfortunate but unavoidable part of the mobile app journey. This is simply because your app cannot give every single person what they need all the time. Therefore, it is likely that at one time or another, users will uninstall the app for any number of reasons that they do not disclose. However, it’s still essential to keep track of this metric because it can signal towards necessary changes. If you see a large amount of uninstalls, this shows that for one reason or another they don’t see your app as worth keeping. And, if a large amount of uninstalls coincide with certain events, then it’s worth researching in order to try and discern what occurred and why.
If your app has a paid component, you’ll definitely want to be tracking conversions. Once people install this app, how many are making in-app purchases or subscribing? If they are subscribing, how long is the average subscription? If they’re making in-app purchases, what is the average spend or package/service purchased? And if your app offers a paid upgrade, you’ll of course be tracking how many people purchase this option as well. You will also want to note how long it takes users to perform any of these actions. Through this information, you will learn more about the behavior of your user base and what you can do to help steer them in the direction you need them to go with your app.
Retention is arguably the most important KPI for your app because it helps you identify how much value your app is providing to users. You can find the retention rate by looking at the amount of users you have after uninstalls compared to the amount of installs you had at the beginning of a certain period. In other words, retention measures how many users return to your app after using it for the first time.
Of course as a developer, you will be interested in making sure that your retention rate is as high as possible. Therefore, a large portion of your app marketing efforts will be geared towards the upkeep of this KPI. Unfortunately, retention rate is also very difficult to keep up, so you will need to focus on making sure that your app is packed with value so that people have a reason to come back over and over for more. Planning a comprehensive UX strategy ahead of time, including aspects like a CRO audit, will help ensure that the user experience with your app is above average and appeals widely to your audience.
“Stickiness”, determined by the amount of sessions your app generates, is calculated by the amount of times that a user opens up the app. The more sessions that your app generates, the better, as this an indicator of the popularity of your app amongst users. Additional factors to consider when analyzing your session data include session length and session interval. Session length is how much time your users spend on the app each session, while session interval is how often users revisit your app. Depending on your goals, one of these factors may be more important than the other. It is up to you to identify exactly how to quantify stickiness for your app in order to accurately assess its popularity with users.
With these essential KPIs at the top of your list, you will be armed with a concrete way to analyze the performance of your app over time. This will help you to continue to optimize your app post launch so that you can enjoy continued success as a developer.