User Experience

Mobile Application Performance Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Alara Kurt
June 6, 2022

Around 48.16% of the world’s population now owns smartphones, so eCommerce currently operates through mobiles. Several studies show that most businesses have high conversion rates through apps and mobile sites.

Also, the mobile app market will continuously keep on evolving with time. It’s interesting to note that approximately 54% of marketers say they currently use a mobile app platform to market to their prospects and customers.

A mobile application can be a very powerful tool for businesses if once the app becomes a success. However, the success of an app is measured through numbers, metrics, and analytics. Developing an app takes quite a lot, so once you’ve dedicated much time, money, and effort to the process, it’s mandatory to measure mobile app performance.

Why Should You Monitor Your App's Performance?

You see, most marketers put an emphasis on application performance metrics. Monitoring your app’s performance is essential as marketers use mobile analytics to increase mobile app engagement and performance.

However, if you do not measure metrics for your mobile apps, you wouldn’t make profitable decisions, which will eventually lead to app performance failure. And truthfully, nobody wants a setback when all you have to do is analyze key metrics for mobile apps.

Users’ relationship with an app and app retention, along with other mobile app performance benchmarks, are measured through these metrics. The main metrics to monitor an app’s performance are

  • Acquisition
  • Engagement
  • Conversion
  • Performance
  • Outcomes

Taking measures and making some improvements is necessary to success. Therefore, launch an app and keep track of all the metrics and data to make informed decisions. Ultimately, these decisions help you become successful at your venture.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

As an app builder or marketer, you should be concerned about your customer relationships. The product you have launched, its features, and how it works are all the indicators that help you build the relationship.

According to Oxford Dictionary, KPI is “a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an app, organization, employee, etc., in meeting objectives for performance.”

A key performance indicator measures how effectively an app is performing and if the objectives are met. Identification of these mobile app performance KPIs is vital to enhance long-term achievements. Investopedia further explains its importance as, “KPIs specifically help determine a company’s strategic, financial, and operational achievements, especially compared to those of other businesses within the same sector.”

KPIs give objective evidence to make informed decisions towards getting desired results by balancing leading and lagging key app metrics. Choosing the right KPI is essential for your business as the most important KPIs might change for different app categories according to business goals and desired objectives.

KPIs and Metrics to Measure Mobile App Performance

Developing a perfect KPI requires clear objectives to reach your end goals. Key performance indicators and metrics are used to measure an app performance, and you can do that only when you have the desired outcome in mind. These indicators are mandatory to forecast and measure success rates in the future.

Here’s a list of key mobile app performance KPIs that are crucial for any application. These metrics tell how well an application works, how engaging it is, and how much money it makes. Moreover, all the technical aspects of an app are studied to make informed decisions.

Likewise, these KPIs improve the understanding of your target audience and help you develop the app’s performance from a business standpoint.  

1) Metrics for App Revenue

After publishing your app on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, the next thing is to increase the traffic reach so more people can download the app. The more installs an app has, the more revenue it generates.

However, app download statistics can sometimes be misleading as most apps are used only once and deleted later. Hence, apart from downloads, you need to consider different metrics as well to have a complete understanding of app performance.

Making money is the first and foremost goal of every business. Below is the list of some vital app metrics perfect for analyzing app revenue.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

Lifetime value (LTV), aka customer lifetime value (CLTV), is a crucial app metric that informs you how much value a particular customer will generate for you as long as they are your customer. In other words, this metric helps you know how much money an average customer will make you before uninstalling the app.

As long as they haven’t deleted the app, they are your customers and will tend to generate revenue by using the application.

It is interesting to note that this metric helps you understand if you are spending more and earning less than the value/money your customers are generating for you. This can be a dangerous situation for your business.

In that case, you better put effort into increasing your CLTV.

How to measure your app’s CLTV anyway?

CLTV= Average value of conversion X Average number of conversions over a time period X Average customer lifetime

For example, a customer spends $100 on a purchase from your brand, makes five purchases a year, and stays for around three years. Your LTV is $1,500.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the amount you spend on every download of an app. In other words, it is the money that app owners spend on advertising or other forms of campaigns to boost user acquisition.

As an app developer or marketer, you would ideally want to spend as little as possible and keep the costs low for making the acquisition possible for a larger number of people. On the contrary, if your CAC goes above LTV, it is a red alert as you are losing money instead of making it on every download. This is a big setback for your business.

You can calculate the CAC of your app by dividing the total marketing cost by the number of total acquired users. For instance, if you spent $1,000 in your marketing activities and get 100 installs, then your CAC becomes $10.

Average Revenue Per Users (ARPU)

The average revenue per user is the amount of money your average customer generates for your business. This is a vital application metric to measure app revenue. If you have achieved your target revenue, you are good to go; however, make amends right away if you lag in generating desired revenue. Look out for the gap between and balance the factors.

You might notice that LTV and ARPU are somewhat similar in the objectives they analyze. However, the difference is that LTV tells the average revenue your future customer will generate for you, while ARPU is the average revenue your customer generates now. In other words, LTV forecasts the amount of revenue generated by your future customer throughout their lifetime. So, future estimates and predictions are made via LTV.

How to calculate ARPU?

ARPU= Lifetime revenue / Number of lifetime users

For instance, your customer generates lifetime revenue of $5,000, and you have a total of 100 users/customers. Your ARPU or revenue each user generates is $50.  

Time to First-Time Purchase

This is the amount of time a user takes to make their first purchase after downloading and installing the app. A purchase can be a subscription, eCommerce purchase, or upgrading to premium versions of the app.

Time to first-time purchases can be measured as follows:

Date/Time of first purchase – Date/Time registered (in days)

The first-time purchase depends upon how much value your app provides to your customers based on their decision to make the first purchase.

2) Mobile App Engagement Metrics

Being an app developer, you want to focus on how your app engages with your customers and what’s the retention rate among other basic application KPIs. Building apps means you also want to build customer relationships with the app.

Like any other relationship, a customer relationship needs time and effort, to begin with. You want to give your users a perfect user experience so that they come back to your app again. In this relationship, both the builder and the customer get what they want out of this bond.

Following your strategies of increasing customer engagement, you can study and analyze the following KPIs and benefit from this mutual relationship with your customer. Here is a list of engagement metrics for mobile apps.

App Engagement Rate

The engagement rate directly depends on what users want on the app. The key features that the customers want in an app increase the engagement rate. This metric helps you make long-term customers and users and eventually improve your app’s retention rate.

The high engagement rate tells you about the quality of the app and the user experience you are providing your customers. Engaging your audience is key, and the rest of the analytics follow accordingly.

For instance, if an app has a high engagement rate, then you are in good luck. A good engagement rate increases customer retention, and they come back time and again to visit your app.

Eventually, the conversion rate also increases on the basis of the quality of experience you provide your users.

App Retention Rate

Most of us download different apps at regular intervals without ever using them for a long time. And hence, we might uninstall the app as it does not interest us anymore. Therefore, an average retention rate of an app gives the whole idea of its quality and user experience.

The app is either not really used or gets deleted because of its complicated design or bad user experience. This experience affects an app’s retention rate, making it a nightmare for the app metrics and its builder or marketer. Also, your app update can affect the retention rate badly if your users do not find it engaging or interesting.

To measure an app’s performance, its retention rate is a fundamental metric that must be carefully dealt with.

You can calculate the retention rate by:

(Number of users at the end of a time period – Number of users acquired during this period) / Number of users at the start of the time period X 100.

You can measure your retention rate monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Not all customers will use the app at all times and will only return to it in time of need.

The best retention rate might change from category to category and app to app. However, on average, it is 42% for 30 days, while a 90-day retention rate is 25%.

Daily Active Users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU)

The most important mobile application engagement metrics are measuring daily active users and monthly active users to analyze the app performance. Approximately 28% of apps get uninstalled during the first 30 days. So it is not certain if the users will use it or not after they install it. Or at max, they might not use it daily or even monthly but once in three to six months or so.

DAU is the number of unique app users on a daily basis, while MAU is the number of unique users on a 30-day period. These numbers should shoot upwards to ensure active users on your app. However, if the numbers are going down, you want to use tools to move the trajectory upward to get your users back. In that case, DAU and MAU help you identify how engaging your app is and what’s the retention rate.

As crucial as this metric might sound, DAU and MAU are mandatory metrics for measuring the performance of social apps. However, these metrics might be useless for calculating healthcare apps’ performance, engagement, and growth. So the industry your app belongs to is vastly important before measuring daily and monthly active users.

How can you calculate DAU/ MAU?

The numbers of users that perform an action on your app on a daily or monthly basis are your DAU and MAU.

Churn Rate

Churn rate is the rate at which your users uninstall your apps or cancel subscriptions. This is the opposite metric to retention rate and is quite helpful in identifying the drawbacks, quality, usefulness, and performance of your app.

It becomes a red flag for your business if your most valuable/top users churn. It badly affects the overall health of your business. You want to get alert if this rate keeps rising without any regard to what industry you operate in.

Finding out why your users are churning can be a little intimidating until you get feedback or review for your app’s performance or reason for downgrading. Well, there can be multiple reasons, and finding that out is essential to your business life.

You can calculate your churn rate by subtracting one from the retention rate. You can tackle the churn rates and retain your customers if timely steps are taken.

Average Session Length

Average session length is the average amount of time each user spends on your app. Like DAU and MAU, this app’s performance is applicable based on the industry your app operates in. As clear from its name, this metric helps you identify how well a user finds your app content, how engaging your app is to make the user spend average time on it.

Different apps find this metric quite helpful as they find out their customers’ preferences and show them the content they are most likely to engage with. Netflix, Spotify, and other apps like these give recommendations to their users and can increase their app’s average session length.

On the other hand, the cab apps do not need their customers to spend a lot of time on the app as this counts as a bad user experience. You can easily calculate an app’s average session length by dividing the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) during a specified time frame by a total number of sessions during that same time frame.

Exit Rate

Exit rate is quite different from the bounce rate. The former refers to the percentage that users leave or drop off from a screen. Meaning, in exit rate, you want to identify which screen of your app the users leave or exit. On the contrary, bounce rate is the number of users that abandon or dump your app without engaging with the content. As far as mobile app metrics are concerned, exit rate is more important than bounce rate.  

Exit rate is about the pages or screens that customers leave, so you can easily fix them as you can figure out the issue in that screen. It can either be because of little to no value from that particular screen or a bad user experience. In either case, you want to tackle the reason down and lower down your exit rate.

How to measure exit rate?

Total number of visits to a screen / Total number of exits from that particular screen

Marketing automation software tells you the total number of drop-offs from every screen.

Stickiness Ratio

The stickiness ratio is the amount of value your users get from your app and is measured over a period of months. This metric is one of the key application performance metrics and takes into consideration both DAUs and MAUs. The higher ratio tells about how appealing, useful, and engaging people find your app.

If your app has the potential to stop your users from scrolling down or exiting the app, it definitely is a high revenue-generating. The higher the stickiness ratio of an app, the better performing metric it is. The ratio increases if the user has a high number of sessions.

The ratio can be calculated by

Daily Active Users/ Monthly Active Users (MAU) X 100.

According to Andrew Chen, over 20% stickiness ratio is good while over 50% stickiness ratio is great.

Average Visit Time

Average visit time is an important metric that depends upon how much time a user spends in your app. The more screens they open, the more interaction they have with the app. In other words, it is the amount of time a user takes to visit your app. This average visit time tells how much value your user is getting from your app. The higher the value your app provides better retention it gets, eventually making your business profitable.

App Event Tracking

App event tracking goes one step forward and enables app owners to track users’ overall view of the posts, screens, events in the app. Your app users use the services and actively interact and engage with its features.

Such activities give you explicit indicators about your app’s quality, performance, and value it provides its customers. App event tracking allows you to improve app retention, engagement, and performance. There are different tools to track app events to let you know what users are doing inside the app.

Tracking app events helps you recognize the amount of revenue the customers are generating while doing certain activities when operating.

3) Metrics for User Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is one important metric that needs to be measured for an overall understanding of the app performance. These metrics tell you which features of your app are working and interacting well with your users.

User satisfaction is the perfect KPI to find out which changes an app requires to improve its customer retention. Once your customers are content with their first interaction with the app, there are higher chances for app retention. The user can come back to your app time and again.

Apdex Score

Apdex score is the user satisfaction metric to measure the response time of mobile apps. An excellent Apdex score falls between 1 to 0.94, while an average to a good score counts from 0.84 and above. This score is taken into account for measuring user satisfaction levels.

You can calculate the Apdex score of your app as follows:

{Count (satisfied) + ½ Count (Tolerating)}/Total Samples.

It is the ratio of satisfactory response time to unsatisfactory response time. PowerMetrics and other tools can be used to check the Apdex score.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net promoter score is useful to measure the estimate of your users sharing your app with their friends and family. A user will not share the app if it provides them no value. Conversely, if a user gets what they want from the app, they are more likely to share and promote it.

The ranking is measured on a scale from 1 to 10. It is estimated by subtracting the number of detractors (people who aren’t likely to promote) from promoters (people who are likely to promote your app). A score of 50 or above makes a great promoter score.

Ratings and Reviews

Customer satisfaction metrics can be measured by getting proper feedback from customers. All you want to do is ask for user reviews and ratings the moment they are about to exit the app. You can ask them for their rating to know where your app stands in terms of its performance, value and quality provision, and engaging the user.

Fix the complaints as soon as possible and improve your app ratings to attract more users. Customer reviews and ratings leave a strong effect on potential users, so put some effort and time into improving your app score and ranking.

In-App Surveys

Doing in-app surveys is important to measure user satisfaction, and it can be done in a variety of ways. You can gather the data through reviews, comments, and feedback by doing surveys and asking your users to rate the app. The moment your user asks to exit the app, make them rate your app through a pop-up that takes only seconds.

The interesting part is in-app surveys help you realize where your app stands from a business standpoint. Also, the user will not have to leave the app to rate it. Other methods to do surveys could be asking active users to fill contact forms and making them leave comments about the app in the app store.

4) Mobile App User Experience Metrics

Keeping your users happy is the primary factor to make an app successful and doing great business. For making an impact on your user, it’s essential to give a great user experience to your customer. Among the rest of the mobile application performance metrics, the user experience is the top one to give the perfect retention to your app.

It’s interesting to note that once a user gets a great user experience, the chances of returning to the app are much higher compared to the rest.

Below is the list of user experience metrics necessary to measure to improve app retention and interaction.

App Speed

An app speed is the amount of time in which the app loads on your device. The speed of an app is the major factor that adds to the user experience. The better the speed, the higher the user experience and satisfaction.

The speed of an app tells how much an app makes its users wait before actually running. This is the time a user can finally give commands to the app and perform actions. The ideal app speed is 2 seconds and can be tolerated between 5 to 8 seconds on average.

App Latency

App latency is another important feature to measure the user experience. These mobile app metrics are technical aspects of an app that allows the users to give the command and get a response as a result.

The shorter the time, the better experience a user gets. App latency also tells about the average interaction time between the user and the app. App latency is different from app speed as it is about performing an action and getting a response in return. This is the engagement of the user with your app and the time it takes.

The perfect app latency is 20ms to 40ms, while 100ms is tolerable on average.  

App Load per Period

App load per period is the amount of pressure an app can handle when different actions are performed at once. When you give too many instructions or commands at once to an app, it can literally freak out and stop working. However, if an app passes this stress test, the user gets the perfect experience and high satisfaction.

This feature allows you to perform multiple actions at once without the app stopping and irritating the user. When a user is in a hurry and wants to perform different actions at once, they must not find it disturbing or fidget at irresponsive performance.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, the best metrics to measure for mobile apps are the top indicators for high-performing app quality. Once you have launched an app, you need to devote enough time and effort to measure the KPIs to give an amazing user experience.

To achieve target goals in terms of your business, you must provide highly engaging, well-performing, and goal-oriented strategies. The above-mentioned mobile app metrics are essential to track app performance and quality.

The article mentions application performance metrics examples as well to help you understand what essential analytics is to identify an app quality and the amount of value it provides.

You’ve got to keep improving these metrics to provide a better user experience and good app performance. Launch your app, keep your users satisfied, and continually updating and improving customer satisfaction.

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