16 Metrics to Ensure Mobile App Success: Part 3 Business Metrics

May 06 2015

In post 1, I walked you through the metrics 1 through 5 on how to properly monitor and analyze performance metrics. These stats include app crash rate, API latency, end-to-end application latency, app loads per period, and network errors. By properly monitoring and optimizing for these metrics, a mobile app development team can ensure their app performs at an optimal rate to best suit their user experience. 

However, in post 2, I took the analysis to the next step so you can adequately measure your user and engagement metrics. Statistics such as MAU/DAU, device and OS metrics, and geo metrics allow an app developer to understand their users and how they’re getting to the app. While metrics like session length, session interval, and retention rate allow you to understand how your users are using your app. 

Today, we’ll go into business metrics. The vast majority of app devs are here to make money, so how can you optimize your app to bring in the most revenue? 

Business metrics:

  1. Acquisition cost – Customers find your app through a wide variety of channels – organic search via the App Store, word-of-mouth, paid campaigns, or in-app referrals. This metric allows you see where users came from, but also how they behave once they start engaging with your app. The number of app downloads from a given source is important, but not as important as the value users drive when they’re immersed in the app experience.

  2. Transaction revenue – Transaction revenue is the value of transactions supported via the mobile app. While transaction revenue applies directly to apps that support mCommerce transactions (shopping, travel, financial services, etc.), it can also be approximated for non-commerce apps. For example, an app that supports a field service agent can be assumed to support $X of transactions per use (where $X is the cost of executing the transaction thru an alternate channel like phone call or a truck-roll)

  3. Abandonment rate – Abandonment rate is the ratio of transactions annulled to transactions initiated. Transactions may be abandoned due to a wide variety of reasons: the performance and experience of the app were not up to the user expectation, the app crashed, the user changed their mind, etc. Whatever the reason, it behooves the app team to understand the user journey and analyze why the transaction was abandoned.

  4. LTV – Lifetime value is your primary revenue metric, representing the value of the app and how much each app user is worth during their lifetime. LTV isn’t limited by whether you consider revenue as a dollar amount or some other metric like social sharing or articles read, and can be split by average monthly value or value per customer across all channels.

How to track these metrics?

The business metrics an enterprise cares about could vary dramatically from company to company. Find a solution that can track all these metrics without extensive app code rework.

16. The mother of all metrics – the app star rating

A note about app metrics wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to the most public of all metrics – the App Store ratings. No market provides such a public testament to an app and its effect on its customers. However flawed the system, users – prospective, existing, etc. – pay attention to this rating. A poorly rated app will bear consequences in the long run, so do all you can to improve your App Store rating.

Interested in getting insightful data and performance metrics? Check out a FREE trial of AppDynamics Mobile RUM today!

Kalyan Ramanathan
Kalyan Ramanathan is the VP of Product Marketing at AppDynamics, the leading Application Intelligence solution provider. Kalyan has over 20 years of experience in software and marketing. Prior to AppDynamics, Kalyan was the CMO at Crittercism, the first mobile app performance management vendor. Previously, Kalyan served as VP of Marketing at Electric Cloud, a DevOps automation leader and as Senior Director of product marketing at Opsware/HP, where he oversaw marketing efforts for the cloud and data center automation solutions. Kalyan has also led product management functions at Collation (acquired by IBM) and Portal Software (acquired by Oracle). Kalyan has an MBA from Stanford University.

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