How Analytics Can Help Drive the Success of Your App

There’s more to creating a successful app than engineering and code. Once the app has been released, your next steps can be challenging: measuring your performance across platforms, growing your audience, improving the user experience - the list goes on. In order to build, grow and monetize a successful app, you must understand what people are doing in-app to enhance the experience and quickly troubleshoot any roadblocks. Analytics tools can provide the deep in-app insight that you need.

Analytics 101

There are many analytics tools that can help you better understand how people are using your iOS or Android app. You must evaluate your app and audience to understand what insights you need; this will help determine which analytics tool is the best fit.

What many developers don’t realize is that analytics can vary based on what capabilities are integrated into the tool, and who powers the analytics. Facebook Analytics for Apps is one of the analytics tools available to app developers, and provides them with the ability to better understand their app's audiences and optimize conversion and retention.

No matter what analytics tool you choose, there are several key steps you should be considering to continue building your app and growing your audience.

1. Map Your Customer’s Journey

  • What are the key actions people typically take in your app? Are there key points where it would make sense to insert ads? What are the actions that are correlated with successful customer outcomes? You may want to discover when people are leaving your app so you can craft a plan to keep them more engaged.
  • Each app is different. However, most apps will want to track the following key metrics that mirror the path most people will follow:
    • App Installs
    • App Launches
    • Completed Registration
    • Completed Tutorial
    • Viewed Content
  • If your app sells goods or services, you will also want to make sure to measure your purchase flow by logging events for when people Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, and Purchase.
  • Once you've settled on the metrics relevant to your app, you can set up your analytics solution and begin to discover opportunities to improve your app or marketing performance.

2. Optimize Your User Flow with Segments and Funnels

  • Segment your audiences to understand how they use your app. For example, depending on your choice of analytics tool, you should be able to create a segment of Android users that accounts for the top 10% of your sales to gain insights into who those people are. This is how segments help you refine your target audience and content accordingly.
  • Funnels, or sets of steps that people follow on the way to your app’s goal, help you track your customer's journeys and discover when they have problems using your app so that you can start improving their experience. What’s causing your customers to drop off? Funnels help you improve processes in your app such as registration, purchases and checkouts, invitations and sharing flows.
  • For example, you can filter or pivot your funnels based on:
    • Device OS
    • Age
    • Language

In the above example from Facebook Analytics for Apps, the developer’s funnel  involves a four-step journey (represented by the bars in the graph columns in the table); Search,  Add to Cart, Initiated Checkout,  Purchase. As is typical with most funnels, customers drop off with each successive step. People are segmented here by language, under Breakdowns. Analytics show how largest funnel drop-off was for the Canadian French segment, where more than 1,200 customers searched but didn’t add items to their carts.

One real life example of how developers improve their app performance using funnels can be found by looking at the example of MomentCam. MomentCam, an app that lets you snap photos and turn them into funny cartoons, provides an example of how funnels can help discover points where the user experience breaks down. Using funnels with demographic breakdowns, MomentCam discovered that people who speak Arabic languages were having a higher failure rate when they used the app. Previously, the MomentCam team had debated whether they should translate their app into Arabic or Portuguese first, But funnels showed them that Arabic customers needed some extra support to improve their user experience.

Aydin Ghajar Aydin is a product manager at Facebook where he runs Analytics for Apps. He was previously CEO at Thinkfuse, a SaaS company sold to Salesforce.com in 2012.

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