The Top Metrics & KPIs for Measuring App Success

Jenna Rodrigues
March 10, 2021

Nothing is quite as exciting as the launch of a new app. But the work doesn’t stop there. Once the product’s out on the market, you need to measure its performance.

This is the only way developers can empirically identify where they’re excelling, but more importantly, where there’s room for improvement. This same data can also inform decisions for future updates or even entirely new products.

This is why keeping an eye on the metrics and KPIs of the apps you’ve launched is crucial. The key metrics worth watching out for cover entirely different areas — most notably your marketing efforts and in-app insights. Both offer different yet vital intelligence.

Why Is Measuring Your App’s Success Essential?

It’s easy to draw a line under a product once it’s launched — but don’t fall into the trap of doing that. Good app development never ends once users start rolling in.

Instead, to create an engaging product, you’ll have to consider updates, maintenance, quality of life improvements, and more.

Until a large user base tests your app, you might not be aware of all of its usability and performance issues. This is especially pertinent if your user numbers far surpass those you tested the app with.

This is why measuring your app’s success (using the metrics and KPIs we’re about to explore) is essential. More specifically, you can use this data to:

App Metrics

The below KPIs are useful for assessing your app’s performance, and more specifically, how users engage with your app:

Downloads/Installs

One of the most telling metrics for measuring an app’s success is how many downloads and installs it boasts. Capturing your target market’s interest isn’t an easy feat — especially when you consider that fewer users are downloading apps in the US than ever before. That’s despite over 30,000 new iOS apps appearing in the Apple App Store every month.

With those stats in mind, it’s clear why the number of downloads/installs you achieve is a good indicator of your app’s success. You can see how many downloads an app’s had by simply logging into your Google Play console. Then, from the dashboard page of your app, go to the ‘Lifetime’ option. Here you’ll see download numbers, app crash statistics, uninstall figures, average app review ratings, and so on.

As for iOS, they provide a simple guide on how to measure your app’s performance. You can access reports on download numbers, the performance of your marketing efforts (including Facebook, paid ads, email, etc.), analytics on app user engagement, and much more. The average install rate for apps on the Apple App Store (across all different categories) is 3.42%, so this is something to shoot for!

There are a few factors that impact the download and install rates of your app. For example:

Active Users & Retention

For the uninitiated, ‘active users’ refers to users that engage with your app repeatedly. You can set your own threshold for how often users have to engage with the app to be classified as ‘active.’ For example, an active user might log into your app daily, weekly, fortnightly — the choice is yours.

If your app doesn’t have a high number of active users, this could indicate that the app isn’t primed for long-term success. While it’s successfully attracting visitors, those visitors aren’t sticking around for long. However, if the opposite is true, it’s a significant sign you’re running a successful app. So, take note of what you’re doing, and be sure to apply that to future projects!

On top of that, tracking your active users gives you an insight into your users’ behavior. For example, you can monitor whether your users install app updates, complete surveys, make in-app purchases, and so on. With this info in hand, you’re better positioned to publish content and offerings users actually want to engage with.

You can use several app tracking tools to monitor your active users — most notably: App Annie, Mobile Action, and appFigures.

Retention is similar to active users. It measures how many users return to your app after a specified period of time. How long does it take for a person to return, if they return at all? Like before, the more successful the app, the more likely customers will return.

In-App Conversion Rate

Your in-app conversion rate shows how many users are completing a goal behavior within the app. Goal behaviors vary from app-to-app, but should be something with a close relationship to your business objective for the app. A goal behavior could be purchasing a physical product, buying a monthly or annual service subscription, filling out a form, booking an appointment, or using any other particularly economically valuable feature in your app. In any case, this metric is paramount for assessing whether your app is effectively fulfilling its business objectives. Knowing your conversion rate will help you decide which strategies meant to drive users towards those goal behaviors are most effective.

CLTV — Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value is a metric used to calculate the total predicted (and, in the case of former users, actual) value that an average user will be worth to your app-based business. This takes into account all anticipated interactions they will have, purchases they will make, or other ways which each individual user may help you generate revenue throughout the entirety of their patronage of your app.

CLTV is an important tool for forecasting growth, and is a great way to measure success and user loyalty. This metric is important to help you set caps on your marketing budget, as it allows you to understand the net difference between the average revenue value you can earn per user and your average cost to attract and acquire each new user. The difference between these figures may give you insight into whether you’re spending the right amount to acquire new users, if you’ve priced your services correctly, and if you have a strong product/market fit.

Product/App Marketing Metrics

Now, let’s turn our attention to the metrics you need to measure to assess the success of your marketing efforts.

App Store Conversion Rate

This metric indicates how well your app’s converting in the app store based on how many downloads you’ve achieved compared to your clicks and visitors. In other words, how many of the people viewing your app decide to download it? As such, your app store conversion rate is excellent for getting a feel for whether your marketing efforts are capturing your audience’s interest.

CPI — The Consumer Price Index

The consumer price index looks at the average price of a consumer basket. It’s a key metric in determining the profitability of your product. How much are people willing to pay for extras? Are you marketing your complementary products well enough to entice customers to buy? Your CPI should provide the answer to both questions.

ROAS — Return on Ad Spend

ROAS is similar to Return on Investment (ROI). It measures how much profit you make in return for the money you spend on ads. As paid ads are commonly used for app marketing, it’s an important metric to consider. If your ROAS is low, save the money you’re spending on ads and find a better way to market, whether that’s refining your paid-for ads or investing in other marketing channels. Without this insight, you might be hemorrhaging money on ineffective advertising without even realizing it!

Are You Ready to See Your App’s Success in Numbers?

Measuring your app’s success using the above metrics will help you pinpoint what you’re doing right and where you may have got it wrong. Whatever the outcome, you can use this data to improve your existing products and fuel the creation of new ones. If you need help setting up and evaluating your metrics, you don’t have to go at it alone. We offer a free consultation to get you started. Just get in touch with us today to get the ball rolling.

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