Whatever be the purpose of creating mobile app, it is the performance of app that defines its success. When discussing about the performance of mobile app, developers usually talk about optimizing it for different devices, browsers and operating systems. In order to check whether you are getting good returns on investment from your mobile app development services, measure the performance of mobile app with respect to a set of predefined metrics.
Improve End-User Experience and Optimize the Back-End Performance of Mobile Apps
While calculating the success quotient of mobile app, you need to consider both front-end and back-end performance metrics. Let’s start with core performance metrics and then move ahead sequentially to understand user, engagement and business metrics.
Core Performance Metrics of Mobile App
- App Load Period: How many transactions or requests can the app handle at the same time? You need to take care that your app is capable of handling multiple requests without degrading the performance of app. In short, mobile app should handle sudden changes in load without slowing down.
- API Latency: How much time does the app take for a round trip - starting from submitting the request to generating the response? The ideal duration of latency is approximately 1 second. Considering the low patience level of mobile users, apps with high latency time have lesser chances of being successful.
- App Crashes: How many times does the app crash while it is being loaded? Crash rate is the average number of crashes per app loads. The ideal crash rate is 1 to 2%; however this number differs depending on the type of app and usage.
- Network Errors: Does your app encounter HTTP errors? These network errors occur when the app is interfacing to a networked service and result in crashes or slow response time.
User and Demographics Metrics
- User Devices and Operating Systems: Where is your major user base? In order to gauge the success of mobile app, you need to study and analyze the devices, i.e. mobile or tablets, which users utilize to access the app. Another factor to keep track of user’s operating system version i.e. Android 5.0, 6.0, 7.0 or iOS 9, 10 or 11. This data helps you to focus on customizing app for optimal performance with respect to device and OS.
- Geographical Location: Identify where does your major chunk of user base belong to? Once you know the location from where your maximum users belong, you can plan a strategy to cover other region users or optimize location specific users for greater exposure.
- Daily Active Users (DAU): How many active users does your app have daily or monthly? Keeping a track of this metric is important as during the initial phase of deployment, DAU and MAU is quite higher, which decreases at the later stage if unable to retain users. Maintaining consistency and increasing DAU and MAU is helping in taking your app to new heights of success.
- Monthly Active Users (MAU): Similar to DAU, monthly active users provides you the unique number of people who are using your app or used your app. MAU is concerned with either a specific month, or the prior 30 days. There are a few mobile marketing automation platforms which are set to automatically capture MAU, based on one of these approaches.
- Say if your app has been used 30,000 times by 15,000 people in the last 30 days, your MAU is 15,000
- Stickiness: The word “Sticky” is not simply a clever way of describing how often people come back to your app, it is also a potential it’s also a formula. In order to calculate stickiness, just divide DAU by MAU to get a percentage. The higher your percentage ranks, the more often your users return to your app This means that the closer your daily active user count is to your monthly active user count, the higher the stickiness or engagement for your app is.
User Engagement Metrics
- Retention Rate: How many users return to your app after the first visit? Retention rate determines how engaging, interesting and useful your app is to audience. Low retention rate is a clear sign that your app has some missing element, be it in design, UI, UX or core features and functionalities offered.
- Length of Session: Duration of user engagement with the app, i.e. the time period between app open and close determines the average length of session. This metric helps in knowing how much time users spend inside your app. Longer the length of session, better it is for apps.
- Session Interval: How frequently users access your app? Session interval is the time between two consecutive usages of the app from the same user. Low session interval indicates the high interest of user. This metric gives insight on how valuable or useful or entertaining the app is for the user.
- Event Tracking: This metric helps you analyze the in-app experience of the users individually. You can figure out exactly what they are doing when they are on the app. This provides you more in depth than the session intervals and average usage time. You can also figure out what buttons a user is clicking on and on what screen they are on through screen tracking unique events. This can give you actionable data to improve the performance of your app with each update.
- Cohort Analysis: This metric is slightly related to retention analysis. With this metric, you can analyze when people are “dropping off” in their usage of your app. Most people have a tendency to download a lot of apps and use only a handful of them. The retention of your app can be improved and create long-term users by knowing when – and therefore why – people quit using your app.
Business Metrics of App
- Abandonment Rate: This metric specifies the number of transactions stopped or cancelled to the number of transactions initiated. The reason for abandonment can be poor user experience, app crash, high loading time or anything else. With this ratio, app team can analyze the root cause of abandonment and resolve the issue to improve the overall app performance.
- Acquisition Cost: From where did users come to your app? Users can land on your app page through multiple sources such as paid campaigns, organic search, word-of-mouth publicity or in-app referral. This metric helps in knowing the source of your users and determining the value users drive during the app experience.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The start may seem rosy and all sunshine, but there comes a time when you will start thinking about how much this is all costing to you or your company. There is a significant cost to acquiring app users. For you to measure the CPA of a campaign, just total your costs for that campaign and divide it by the conversions or acquisitions the campaign produced.
- CPA= costs / # of acquisitions or conversion you’re tracking
- Lifetime value (LTV): Lifetime value formulas are designed to help you assess whether you are paying too much for your customers, considering the value they bring to your company. Note that the LTV should be greater than CPA, otherwise you’ll be in the red.
- A few of the factors that include LTV are how often your users make transactions, the monetary value of those transactions, and how long your customers usually remain customers, considering the users who bounce off early and those who remain loyal to your brand for years and years).
- Projected LTV= average value of a conversion x average # of conversions in a time frame x average customer lifetime
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) And Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU): As an owner you can also calculate the existing LTV that your app has achieved since the time of its inception. Just divide the total revenue of your app by the number of users that you have had. This can also be called ARPU, or average revenue per user.
- ARPU or Current LTV= lifetime revenue of your app / # of lifetime users of your app
On a Concluding Note…
Mobile app performance metrics help in identifying UX related issues as well as major problems of features and functionalities. When analyzers from a mobile app development company study these metrics and compare the numbers, they generate the report and submit to app performance improvement team. This team further takes the necessary steps to enhance the app for optimal performance.
Albert Smith is a Digital Marketing Manager with Hidden Brains, a leading Enterprise Mobile & Web App Development Company specializing in mobile & web applications, IoT, Cloud and Big Data services. He provides innovative ways to help tech companies, startups and large enterprises build their brand.