According to the Pew Research Center, more than 85% of people in the U.S. have smartphones, while the numbers for the rest of the world are also high. In response to this growing mobile-first economy, companies are developing their own mobile app KPIs in record numbers. While the number of apps is growing, the competition isn’t driven by who does or doesn’t have an app—it’s driven by how companies manage their apps.
Let’s be real, having a poorly managed app is just as bad as not having one at all—maybe worse. To manage your app well, it’s important to look at mobile app KPIs. Utilizing mobile app KPIs is a major key to success in today’s mobile-driven market.
What Are KPIs?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. In a nutshell, KPIs are performance statistics for your business. When your app does something like direct customer traffic or facilitate purchases, KPI measurement tools can monitor specific behaviors, process them, and report back to you on how well your app is performing.
Put more succinctly, mobile app KPIs are like an ongoing performance evaluation for your mobile app. No one likes evaluations, but they make us all better. With most mobile app KPIs, you receive a report every day (or in whatever increment you desire) on how your app is performing, so you can make important decisions based on that information.
Mobile App KPI Examples
KPIs for apps aren’t much different than standard KPIs for business—they’re just a bit more niche. Mobile app KPIs can be just about anything that you want to measure, which is why business owners can have a love/hate relationship with monitoring KPIs. You can track anything your app does repetitively over time, allowing you to create a very detailed report of exactly what you want and need to know.
For example, KPI monitors can check how many people use your app. You can set up monitors to track a range of KPIs for your app related to user numbers, including:
- Total number of users (lifetime)
- Total daily users
- Users per hour
- Users per device type (i.e., mobile, desktop, etc.)
- Users per browser type (i.e., Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.)
- Percentage unique users
- Users by location
This list starts generally and becomes more specific by the end. Your mobile app KPI reports will likely be the same, starting with more general options and giving you more detailed, more granular options as you look for specific performance issues.
The number of KPIs you can track and the information you can look for are seemingly endless. The trick is determining what you want (and need) to know in each report to help you improve your mobile app performance metrics.
Why Mobile KPIs Matter
The number of users that can filter through your app is endless, making it one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Mobile KPIs matter because they let you manage the touchpoint to your company that most users are likely to use.
If your company is going to benefit significantly from having a powerful tool like a mobile app, it’s crucial to understand how it works and where adjustments may be necessary to improve performance—measuring KPIs lets you make better-informed decisions about how to optimize your online offerings to make your app investment a successful one.
The Most Important Mobile KPIs to Measure
Like we said, you can measure nearly anything as a KPI, but there are specific ones that you should measure to ensure you get the best overview of your app’s performance.
Here are some of the most important mobile KPIs to measure:
1. Load Speed
Load speed measures how long it takes for an app to fully load and be usable on a mobile device once activated. When a user clicks on the app icon, the load speed is how long it takes to be able to well, actually do stuff in the app.
You measure load speed using KPI monitors that record messages from the app that are sent when events happen. This requires some backend development to set up but can be valuable. It tells you if your app is performing slowly, which is one of the leading reasons why users abandon apps.
2. Session Length/Churn
Session length refers to how long a user has your app open and is using it. Churn (also called turnover) measures how often your app acquires and loses users.
This, again, requires some backend work to set up since you need to watch for specific events like opening apps and deleting or closing apps. Both of these KPIs are important to measure because they show how long users stay and how often users leave your app. If churn is high and session length is short, then there is a problem driving potential customers away.
A great user experience is one of the ways to keep users on your app longer. Check out these top UX design trends for inspiration.
3. Conversion Rate
When users open your app, the session doesn’t always end with them making a purchase. (wouldn’t that be nice!) You want to know how many of those users turn into actual conversions.
To measure this, you need to know the total number of users on your app and the number of users making purchases. Tracking conversions is important because it lets you know if your app is good at selling and if the user experience is facilitating sales.
Before launching your app user testing is a great way to ensure users find it is to complete your app goals. Here are four great remote usability tools to help with this process.
4. Event Tracking and Engagement Metrics
If there are specific things you want people to do on your app as a part of its user interface, you can use event tracking and engagement metrics. Engagement metrics take a broader look at how your customers interact with the app, while event tracking shows when a user performs a specific action, such as clicking on a button.
You guessed it! Event tracking and engagement metrics also require backend work to set up the tracking aspect, but you can compare the total number of users against the results to see how many of your users perform the actions you want.
Planning ahead and having a great user flow will make your app more successful and help you establish events you’d like to track.
Learn more: UI vs. UX: What’s the Difference?
Develop Your Own KPI Report
When you apply a KPI monitoring tool to your app, the possibilities for measuring app performance KPIs are endless. Start simple and build your own KPI report to get the insights you need to take your business’ performance to the next level.
The 3 Best App KPI Monitoring Tools
- Sisense— An end-to-end data analytics software for any sized company that wants to track data discovery and intelligence. The reason it’s so great is that it’s accessible to users of all technical skill levels. It can be on-site, private cloud-hosted, a fully managed SaaS, or a hybrid strategy.
- Tableau— A cost-effective platform that encourages data literacy for everyone, not just for analysts—Tableau allows users of all skill levels to explore their data. Tableau has a mobile app for iOS and Android for those who want to monitor KPIs on the go.
- Grow— A cloud-based data solution; this is an excellent option for small to midsized businesses. They’ve designed their software to, you guessed it, help businesses grow.
Measuring KPIs makes decision-making easier—because it provides accurate and concrete data. KPI tools help users who don’t have much time or experience see an overview of the metrics for their mobile app.
If you have a big idea that you want to develop into an app, we’d love to launch something great together. Let’s chat!
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