The Most Important Metrics That Matter For Your Mobile App

Mar 2019 / Wendy Dessler

The Most Important Metrics That Matter For Your Mobile App

You’ve developed an elaborate mobile app that has all the ingredients needed to become a success. But how can you determine whether its successful when it does go live? Data metrics give you the ability to differentiate between resounding wins and catastrophic fails.

Remember, your app doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are likely dozens or hundreds of apps out there that provide a similar service. Ergo, users are not out of options. It’s by knowing how well your app is performing that you can be equipped to do what it takes to stay ahead of the competition.

Here are the metrics you should keep an eye on.

1. Activation Rate

The activation rate is the proportion of users who download your app that proceed to follow through on registration. An activation rate of at least 85 percent is often considered acceptable. Anything below this should be a cause for concern and require further investigation.

Some of the reasons for a low activation rate include a lengthy registration process, requesting for personal data that the user deems unnecessary, and typos on the launch screen and registration forms.

2. User Retention Rate

Getting a user to activate and use the app is a crucial milestone. It won’t matter much though if the user stops using the app shortly thereafter. The retention rate is the proportion of users who’ve downloaded and activated your app that continue to use it. The higher the app’s retention rate, the more likely you’ll be to meet your traffic and revenue targets.

To retain users, keep the app interface clean, intuitive and error-free. You could for instance use a log analyzer (see to catch errors and fix the root cause early. Scale your retention metrics based on the nature of the app. For example, users are unlikely to use an accommodation app like AirBnB or as frequently as they would social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram.

3. Loading Time

One of the biggest factors in user retention rate is loading time. The average user is astonishingly impatient. One study found that 2 in 5 website visitors will abandon it if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. This metric is unlikely to be much different for mobile apps. Strive to keep loading time at two seconds or less. Investigate the root cause whenever your loading time increases.

Of course, unlike a website, how fast an app loads also depends on the specifications of the phone it runs on. The more the RAM and the faster the processor, the faster the app will load. Nevertheless, you should try to keep your app reasonably fast even on phones that have lower specifications.

4. Session Length

This is a measure of the time between when a user opens the app and when they eventually close it. How long a user spends on your app has a direct impact on your conversions. It’s also a metric that advertisers will want to see as that tells them how likely your users are to see and click on their ads.

Increasing average session length is possible by improving mobile app design, speeding up loading times as well as increasing the volume and quality of content.

5. Uninstall Rate

The rate of app uninstallation is closely tied to app activation and user retention rates. The lower the app’s activation and retention rates are, the higher the number of uninstallations are likely to be.

Uninstallation is the one thing you want to avoid at all costs. When someone gets rid of your app, it’s a sign that they want to permanently end the relationship. It means they don’t see any hope of your app ever meeting their expectations. Each uninstallation sends down the drain all the marketing effort and spend you used to get that one user to download the app.

App uninstalls are the truest reflection of your app’s churn. They are a result of chronic dissatisfaction and this may be for myriad reasons—slow loading times, security vulnerabilities, inconsistent performance, inaccurate outputs and inadequate functionality.

Have a clear picture of your app’s objectives and focus on the metrics that will help you achieve them.

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