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How Should Development Companies Measure The Success Of Your App?

Engagement, behaviour and retention, three of the metrics you should consider when it comes to the success of your app. But to make these measurable, make sure your developers use KPI's. I sit down with Chief-Changemaker Puff to discuss how app development companies should use metrics and KPI's to measure the success of your app.

4 min read

Strategy

How to measure the success of your app

Questions to ask your app development company:

In this series we look at the most important questions to ask app development companies and how they should answer. Check out Puff’s opinion on how developers should measure the success of your app:

Defining success: Using success metrics & KPI's

When it comes to measuring the success of your app; never assume that this is only done once your app is launched and live in the stores. Success metrics and KPI’s should be set right at the beginning of your project and focus on specific areas or objectives you want to achieve.

These are usually based on the completion of certain events like submitting contact forms or booking appointments. But can be more detailed and cover things things like the number of active users and in-app purchases.

Using metrics and KPI’s:

Metrics describe the area or focus of different objectives you want to achieve; think engagement, behaviour or retention. These metrics inform KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) which are the measurable part of objectives that set more specific goals around your metrics.

The important part is that you and your app development company explore metrics and KPI’s at the start of your project, during the research stage.

Which metrics should you use?

There are many different ways of defining success, which differ depending on the type of project you’ve undertaken. The following however, tend to be the most commonly used success metrics:

Engagement:

This focuses on how people actually use your app; it can cover things like how many times they use your app over a specific time-period, how long they spend in your app per session, and how many pages/views they interact with during their sessions.

Behavioural:

How your app fits into your users’ lives, for example the day of the week and time of day that people use your app, but can even extend to their locations; do they use the app on the bus to work or on the sofa when they get home.

Outcome:

Outcome metrics are used to track specific actions users take after their experience with your app, these tend to have the most range and can be anything from news coverage to event attendance, depending on your app and its content.

Retention:

This measures new users compared to active users, which are defined as users who open and interact with your app multiple times a day (usually four or five). This is by far the most important metric for your app development company as it represents the quality and value of the app without other influences.

I think that too often, the number of app downloads comes up. I appreciate that reach is important, but this is a role for your marketing team or agency.

Puff, Chief-Changemaker, 3 SIDED CUBE

How to decide on KPI's:

Based on the metrics that have been outlined as areas of success, your KPI’s should focus on key points to achieve these, as well as giving the objectives measurability and making sure they can be reflected on to gain real insights from testing that inform your project moving forwards.

Here are a few examples of metrics and KPI’s baed on a monthly basis:

Metric: Engagement.

KPI: 2:00 minutes average time spent in-app, per session.

Metric: Behaviour.

KPI: 70% of sessions use the ‘live map’ feature.

Metric: Outcome.

KPI: 20% of sessions result in sending a contact form.

Metric: Retention.

KPI: 60% of users interact with the app more than three times per day.

You need to look at engagement with certain features and dwell times, but most importantly exactly how the users are flowing through the app.

Puff, Chief-Changemaker, 3 SIDED CUBE

Tools for tracking your success metrics and KPI's:

Reporting on your app could be down to you or your developers depending on the project, but making sure you know the best app analytics tools means you’ll have a far clearer picture of what success looks like. The most valuable aspect of which is informing new features and updates post-launch, once the app is live in the store. Here are a few tools to get you started:

Google Analytics for Mobile: Although this is free and a very simple way of analysing data, it’s kind of seen as a ‘jack-of-all-trades’. The platform will let you track things like how long users spend in your app and how much they spend on in-app purchases.

App Annie: This is an extremely popular platform which is priced upon-request and can cost different amounts depending on the scale of what you want to do. You can use App Annie to gain insights into the app store such as rankings and reviews.

Localytics: This tool is free as long as you have less than 10,000 active users. It’s great for tracking events and users actions and can be customised around different goals. You’ll probably need your ap deevlopment company’s input as it requires software development know-how.

Questions to ask your app development company:

  1. How much does an app cost?
  2. How long does it take to build an app?
  3. Should I get an Android or iOS app?
  4. How will the project be managed?
  5. How often should I update my app?
  6. How should I test my app?
  7. How will my app be submitted to the Stores?
  8. How should I measure the success of my app?

Published on May 5, 2018, last updated on January 16, 2019

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