While developing and launching a mobile app is a big task on its own, it’s a humongous effort to make it successful. One must invest a lot of thought, effort, time, and finances to perfect their app.
But how do you find out whether your investments are paying off?
In this article, we will explain essential mobile app KPIs that help measure your app’s success.
A mobile app Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a quantifiable and measurable metric to help you monitor your app’s performance with regard to your business goals. You can study KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate reaching revenue targets, improving the user experience, boosting user retention, growing conversions, and so on.
Your mobile app KPIs are unique to your app’s industry, users, and functionality. Here are a few important mobile app KPIs that everyone must monitor:
Let’s start with discussing the industry-agnostic mobile app KPIs starting with the most important ones. And then we will look at a few examples of industry-specific KPIs.
User engagement is the measurement of the interactions between the customers and the app. A healthy user engagement is a good indicator that the customers are finding value in your app. But engagement can mean very different things for different apps. Hence, you need to decide which activity on your app is considered engagement.
For example, Facebook uses sharing posts as an important engagement metric. Whereas for Airbnb, it's the number of confirmed bookings.
App engagement is measured mostly over a certain period of time. These can be categorized into: Daily Active Users (DAU), Weekly Active Users (WAU), Monthly Active Users (MAU). Here the definition of active is not simply a session activity but based as per your unique requirements.
It is the number of unique users performing a key task or action on your app at least once a day.
It measures the number of customers performing key task/s on your app at least once a week.
It also measures the traffic of customers performing unique actions on your app at least once a month. The important part is determining what classifies as an active action critical for your app’s success.
The DAU/MAU ratio tells you how a daily critical activity performs when compared to the last 30 days of such activity. Higher DAU/MAU means there’s more ‘active’ engagement with your app. So it can be a useful indicator to understand how valuable your app is.
Retention rate, simply out, determines how long our app users have stayed as users. What new apps and businesses must understand is that even though adding new users is better, dollar for dollar, it's less expensive to keep an existing user happy than acquiring a new one. Here is a simple formula to calculate the customer retention rate:
The churn rate is the rate at which customers abandon your app. It is most commonly explained as the percentage of users who have stopped using your app during a period.
The churn rate and growth rate are diametrically opposite factors. While the former measures the loss of customers, the latter measures the acquisition of customers.
Quality experience makes a huge impact on the longevity of the user base and the app in general. For apps specifically, it is critical to attract users with a good user experience and user friendly. There are many factors when it comes to the user experience of an app.
The app load time can be defined as the amount of time taken by the app to completely initialize before the interface opens and the app becomes actionable or clickable for the user. On average the load time of most applications is 2 seconds.
Cold Load: When you first open an app after restart or after it's been cleared from the RAM, the system has not yet devised the app’s processes. This is the type of load that usually takes the longest time but it should not take longer than 5 seconds.
Hot Load: This type of load is comparatively much simpler than a cold load. Here the system just has to bring all the game processes to the foreground. A hot load should take 1.5 seconds or less for an average application.
API latency is the time an API system takes to respond to an API call. This latency can be the delay user experiences after they take an action on your app. A high latency will directly impact the app’s user experience.
No one likes app crashes. If an app doesn’t provide a seamless performance, the users have no compunction about uninstalling it and moving on to a competitors’ apps.
The UI Freeze event indicates time intervals where the application was unable to respond to user input. Specifically where the process of a particular input or message takes 200ms more than it is supposed to.
Rage tap is an important metric to measure user frustration. It refers to when a user repeatedly taps the screen in the hope of an action taking place. These can be tracked using heatmaps and are very useful to determine the lagging or unresponsive sections of the application.
A financial KPIs measure revenue, expenses, profits, or other financial outcomes, simplified for gathering and review on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. There are a few things to monitor when reviewing the financial KPI.
LTV is the average revenue a single customer is predicted to generate over the duration of their account. It is mostly time referred to as customer lifetime value.
ARPU is the revenue generated (on average) by each active person using the app. The ARPU can be calculated by dividing the total revenue generated during a specific time period by the total number of active users during that time.
This is just the average expense of gaining a single customer. CAC can be calculated by dividing the sum of total sales and marketing costs for a period by the number of new customers over that period.
The Cost Per Acquisition is the metric that is the total cost of acquiring a new customer via a specific campaign. This is different from CAC by its granular application. Looking at specific campaigns instead of the average cost for acquiring those customers across all the campaigns and the headcount.
The metrics in marketing are measurable values used by marketing teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns across all marketing channels.
There is a possibility that an app was downloaded but not really used. The number of installations refers to the number of people who actually set up the app after downloading it.
This is an important metric that will tell the position of your application as compared to the competition. A high App store ranking will mostly result in increased downloads. An application must always be App store optimized to gain higher traction.
App rating is the numeric representation of the reviews an app is getting. The higher the individual rating, the high is the average rating. People trust people. Hence, potential prospects are more likely to use an application with a high app rating and positive reviews.
Whether you are looking to track digital marketing performance, ASO progress, or your social media growth, having measurable marketing metrics and KPIs set up can help your business reach targets month-over-month.
Even though we discussed the most commonly used KPIs in the industry, there is still a lot on the platter when it comes to your specific industry. Now let’s get ourselves familiar with these.
The KPIs needed for running an online store application can depend on the following metrics.
The Average Order Value is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of orders placed. Often, this metric will be calculated monthly (i.e. total revenue from the month divided by total orders placed that month), but it can also be calculated weekly or even daily.
Cart abandonment rate is the percentage of people who leave their cart after putting items into it in your store. It shows the rate of interested potential customers who leave the app without buying anything compared to the total number of shopping carts created.
Tracking the number of orders or typically known as Order Management metrics is used to track the trends of the sequence of order and return processing of products or services.
These metric measures how effective the app is at generating profit on each dollar of revenue brought in. This provides important knowledge that’ll help you make long-term financial decisions revolving around your app.
This is the percentage of app visitors who have been completely converted into regular app users. It's easily calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors.
One of the most popular applications is gaming apps. There are approximately 477,877 mobile gaming apps on the Google play store from 2015-2021. To stand out amongst these many applications, the top KPI metrics for gaming apps are as given below.
There is a simple formula to calculate this session length. You need to subtract the time when the user became inactive from the time the app was opened.
Your main goal has to be, to keep the session time as long as possible (within reason)
The number of gaming sessions by the user is an important metric. The more frequent the sessions are, the better. This proves that the user had found a deep interest in the game and hence keeps coming back.
Now you can’t fully decide the size of the app, you can optimize the rendering and texture sizes to try and minimize it. Anything over a gigabyte is considered an AAA title in the mobile gaming world, so try and stay below. the smaller the app is, the more accessible it is.
This factor is insignificant for offline games, but is of significant importance to games that require an internet connection. If your games have high internet usage, then it might deter those with a substandard internet connection, limiting your player base.
Battery usage measures the total percentage and mAh of battery drained across the full session. But it is important to make your game efficient and not make the user think twice before opening it. There should be less friction between the app and the user.
CPU usage measures the average load on the CPU across the whole session. High CPU usage will result in higher thermals, causing throttling in most devices. Similarly, the GPU usage for a game should be balanced perfectly, high usage would cause frame drops and hinder the user experience.
In the world of tracking an app’s performance, analytics and metrics are your friends. These numbers will provide a clear visual of the growth and success of your app. KPIs will also help you figure out what is wrong as well as what is right with an application. They are of tremendous help to pinpoint the process that needs to be modified, updated, or discarded. Every app is different and is developed with a specific intention. Hence, you need to also pay attention to your unique KPIs.