How do you engage, retain, and monetize your mobile app’s users?

First, you must understand your users greatest problems, needs and desires. Then, you find out exactly what they’re doing inside of your mobile app, and make their user experience the best that it can possibly be.

It’s a challenging journey for most successful appreneuers, but we’re convinced that anyone can do this by A: building a valuable mobile app product, and B: pairing it with a reliable mobile app analytics platform and optimizing accordingly.

Fully harnessing the power of a good mobile app analytics solution is a lot like having a “cheat sheet” that tells you what you must do to ultimately achieve success in the mobile marketplace. However, with so many options available, selecting the best analytics system(s) for your needs can be a challenge in and of itself.

It’s for these reasons that VentureBeat recently conducted a groundbreaking report on the mobile app analytics ecosystem as a whole and which systems winning developers use. In Mobile App Analytics: What winning mobile developers use, VentureBeat surveyed 230 mobile developers with an aggregate of over 250 million active users about 40 key solutions on the market. They discussed how those solutions work, what they provide, what they’re good at, and what they’re not so good at. Then, they studied 1.8 million iOS and Android apps using aggregated data provided by MixRank’s analysis of SDKs. Interestingly, although this report touched on a multitude of mobile app analytics solutions and the preferences and focus of top app developers, it also illuminated that a lot of these mobile app analytics solutions still do not satisfy some of the developers’ core needs. Let’s explore what they are still lacking.

 

What Developers Actually Want but Feel They Can’t Get

Towards the end of their report, VentureBeat details an awakening excerpt about what mobile developers truly desire in an analytics platform but feel they still can’t get from any current solution on the market. Below we list their unsatisfied needs:

  • Predictive analytics so I can intervene when usage drops to prompt re-engagement and renew loyalty
  • A perfect flow funnel analysis: a flow chart of events and actions relative to KPIs
  • Answers: why the uninstall happened
  • Feature effectiveness analysis
  • Net promoter score
  • Heatmaps of user activity
  • Intelligent selection of key KPIs to track given your specific app (could be a reason for analytics companies to focus on specific genres). Looking for things that are specific than the common data…for example, a game analytics system you could wrap to a specific type of game mechanics
  • Don’t just give me the metrics, tell me what they mean
  • Suggest new features

To put it simply, Appsee was thrilled to see this list and we actually had a good little chuckle about it. Many of the metrics/answers that developers are craving from a mobile app analytics solution are in fact available right now- via Appsee.

 

How Appsee Gives Developers What They Actually Want

1. A perfect flow funnel analysis: a flow chart of events and actions relative to KPIs

Appsee provides app developers with crystal clear flow funnel analysis paired with user session recordings. Our flow funnel analysis tells you exactly how users are moving from one action to the next within your mobile app. This will enable you to streamline your users’ journeys, remove any underlying friction between actions, enhance your app’s monetization efforts, and improve your UX as a whole.

For example, if your mobile game app offers in-app purchases, the revenue that you’re able to generate will heavily rely upon how convenient it is for your users to access your app’s “money buttons.” Are you giving your users’ an abundance of free gameplay to encourage deep investment in your product? Do you know if you’re delivering your in-app purchase opportunities at the right time? If you aren’t optimizing every facet of your monetization efforts down to a “T”, then you’re likely missing out on a significant chunk of cash. Knowing exactly when and where your users are abandoning certain points of your conversion funnels and WHY (via the play button of user recordings) will allow you to recollect a lot of the revenue that you should be making right now. Ultimately, this is what our unique flow funnel will do for you.

conversion funnel analysis

 

2. Feature effectiveness analysis

User Recordings also provide one of the best ways to get into the minds of your users and assess the efficiency of new and old features. Because Appsee’s User Recordings record your users’ taps, swipes, actions, and habits, you’ll have a clear, visual representation of what is “working” for your mobile app based on real user sessions. By using our User Recordings, you’ll ultimately understand what your users are responding best to, and what isn’t working at all as if you are sitting right next to your user. This won’t have an impact on your app’s performance either. You’ll even have the option of controlling your ratio of recorded users, as well as the opportunity to record specific users based on the screens that they visit most often. This is extremely useful for analyzing the performance, traction, and effectiveness of new features and using your new-found data to improve many other features of your app.

feature effective analysis

 

3. Heatmaps of user activity

Touch Heatmaps are a powerful feature within Appsee’s analytics arsenal which maximizes your UX design, data collection efforts, user interface, and CTA conversion. We aggregate your users’ every swipe, tap and touch to ultimately provide you with a visual “touch heatmap” that represents where users are engaging within your app. By knowing where exactly your users are engaging within your app, you’ll also know where to position your app’s most important assets.

For example, knowing where your audience is most likely to tap within your app’s specific UI will allow you to best position your in-app purchase buttons, social icons or advertisements. Until you know exactly where your users are most likely to move their thumbs within your app’s UI, you won’t be taking full advantage of your mobile app’s “screen real estate.”

Also, because Appsee is integrated with Optimizely’s A/B Testing service, you will also have the opportunity to perform highly-beneficial testing within your app. By testing different samples of copywriting, button sizes, menu positions and configurations, with Appsee’s touch heat maps you can gain an even deeper understanding of which sample test (“A” or “B”) your users like better.

touch heat maps and AB testing

Appsee’s touch heat maps of unresponsive gestures, paired with Optimizely’s A/B Testing.

 

4. Don’t just give me the metrics, tell me what they mean

This is one of the main goals of Appsee’s qualitative, visual analytics. We are not surprised to see this complaint- most mobile app analytics focus on simply surfacing the data yet not conveying it in a digestible manner. From one end of the globe to the other, this need is clear and extensive. It also stems from a focus on providing quantitative over qualitative data. Quantitative data is of course valuable but typically involves a ton of guesswork and time. On the other hand, mobile app analytics like Appsee, empowers app teams to go a step beyond traditional analytics and gain qualitative, actionable insights with our selection of potent tools. No more time consuming guessing games, just answers. There’s nothing better than that.

Ultimately, all the numbers in the world will not help you understand what’s going on in your app if it’s not served in a visual and digestible manner.  In order to truly understand the “whys” behind all the numbers and understand your users, you need a visualization of what’s going on inside your app.

Let’s say a specific user pathway from an “add to favorites” action to returning to your app’s shop has an extremely high drop off. Of course you naturally ask “why is that”? Traditional app analytics will give you the drop off rate but that’s it. You are going to have to do a lot of digging through data until you hopefully get the answers you are looking for. At the end of the day, if you want to understand what’s going on inside your app, you need a system that provides qualitative data on top of quantitative.

Don’t Set Limitations with Your Mobile App Analytics

Another major takeaway from VentureBeat’s study that we couldn’t omit reveals that roughly 2 out of 3 developers use more than one mobile app analytics solution. This is a healthy sign, as there are zero limitations when it comes to selecting winning analytics engines for your mobile app. This is partly due to the rapid specification of the needs of apps and the proliferation of the mobile app industry.

This compelling piece of information also proves that marketplace “dominators” such as Google Analytics and Flurry actually share their monopolized positions with multiple other analytics platforms.

number of mobile app analytics used

 

On top of that, only 30% of the app developers surveyed said Google Analytics is their primary analytics choice. At the end of the day, developers “use a wide range of tools to analyze and understand what is happening inside their apps, and while Google is by far the leader, it’s not the only important player in the space.” Clearly the majority of top app developers are not just committing themselves to one solution. They understand that the diverse needs of today’s app (monetization, feedback, marketing automation etc.) demands multiple solutions.

google analytics market share

 

Valuing ROI over Costs

At the conclusion of VentureBeat’s research, it adds a caveat that reminds all of us that start-up costs and ongoing business expenses shouldn’t be much of a concern for developers who want to build apps that launch towards the top of their respective categories. Instead, visionary mobile developers are typically concerned with using the absolute best mobile app analytics systems that will generate the greatest ROI’s over the lifetime of their products. If you hope to remain competitive in the mobile app industry throughout the long-term, it’s recommended that you obtain the best “talent” you can afford, which absolutely includes your app’s analytics platform. Working with a great analytics provider will pay for itself tenfold, just as if you’re investing in an asset (you are).

Conclusion

The good news is that if you’re a mobile app developer or any other industry professional who’s in the market for a reliable mobile app analytics solution – the hard evidence has already been exposed to your benefit.

This evidence, as revealed by VentureBeat, ultimately proves that the best mobile app analytics for today’s app developer must provide both quantitative and qualitative data and does not have to necessarily be the biggest name.

Are your wants similar to the top developers surveyed? We assumed so. You along, with many others, can fulfill them in a matter of minutes. Click here to learn more.