Big data is exploding at every fringe of the internet. Did you know that in the August of 2015, Facebook experienced one billion users in a single day? With the proliferation of cheap apps and their usage, how can businesses measure how well they perform with respect to their competitors? The key to making sense of all the big numbers and crunching them into their essence lies in how well you decode your metrics.
Metrics lie at the heart of app development. Metrics drive innovation by providing app developers with quantifiable, concrete evidence of how well their business is doing which can then be translated into actionable strategies. The advent of mobile apps represents a bold new age in the digital marketing era. With over 6 billion mobile users expected in 2020, businesses should secure their footing in app development to tap into unchartered markets that could carry them to unparalleled heights. If you want to stake your mark in an ultra-competitive industry that’s only going to go upswing for a while to come, then you should know the secrets to decoding mobile app metrics that will catapult your company.
This is actually the most fundamental unit of your mobile app metrics, and measures how much time your users spend on your app. Numbers like monthly active users (MAU) and daily active users (DAU) are key starting points for any app since they represent the viability of your business. Any app needs a critical mass of users to sustain itself, so if you find your monthly active users gradually falling, then it’s a sign that your app may just no longer be as engaging as it once was. That’s why it’s so important to track your MAU and DAU from time to time and make sure that your app is delivering to people’s needs and preferences.
But simply relying on MAU and DAU as measurements can give a distorted picture of your app’s progress. You also need to consider how long your users stay on your app, which is measured by metrics like sessions per use and session length. After all, what’s the point of gaining users if they don’t really bother to look through and explore the wonderful functions your app offers?
You may wonder how these relate to different industries. The truth is that metrics are highly flexible app measurements that can fit any business model. Viral apps like Instagram for example would probably have engagement metrics at the top of their list, while e-commerce industries like Amazon would focus more on their conversion rates and leads.
The next step in decoding your mobile app metrics is acquisition. Acquisition is an integral way to find out how users stumbled across your app, whether it’s through paid advertisements, native advertising, organic search, or simply word-of-mouth. By pinpointing the exact channels that attract the most quality traffic, you can strategically plan your marketing efforts and exploit your knowledge to gain new users. If you don’t make a continuous effort to expand your app, then you won’t have a reliable and sufficient pool to measure your metrics – you can’t generalize the patterns you find from 40 users over 100 days forever. That’s why it’s important to look at factors that lie beyond your app; it’s hard to improve your app’s engagement if it isn’t even reaching the right audiences at the right time through external distribution channels.
What more could there be than engagement and acquisition? In the dizzying algorithms of metrics, there’s a lot more. But one of the key pieces that completes the puzzle is retention, which measures the rate at which users come back to your app after their first visit. This is one of the biggest challenges businesses face: 65% of people stop using apps three months after installation. Your app won’t stay around for long unless you have compelling, refreshing, and perennial content that people would always want to read about. Make it a point to measure your retention metrics at least once a month, or you might get a highly misleading idea of your performance.
There are many other metric tools such as user ratings and loyalty that you can use to analyze your app’s growth. The three metrics mentioned above however are indispensable to your app development, so you should periodically review them and thereafter strategize.
Analytics 1.0 was about exploring data management tools. Analytics 2.0 was about recognizing the potential those tools held and playing the chessboard to your favor. Now, Analytics 3.0 is about empowering every business and consumer to capitalize on the rich offerings of the data economy, and work together to create products that generate real value and innovation.
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