As mobile devices are increasingly used for content consumption and e-commerce, it’s no wonder marketers and developers want to understand app user behaviour. Analytics are a vital component of app development, and there are already plenty of platforms and services available to analyse app behaviours, despite how young the industry is.

Mobile analytics let you track what customers actually do with your app, so you can learn how to keep existing customers whilst attracting new ones. In 2014, people spent over five and a half hours per day looking at digital screens, with more than half that time spent looking at mobile screens. If you’re not making app analytics an integral component of app development, you could be seriously missing out on the exciting and dynamic opportunities mobile app development offers. Here are 6 tips for getting the most from app analytics.

1. Analytics Should Begin Before Your App Is in App Stores

The day your app goes live is not the day you start thinking about analytics. In fact, you should be considering analytics early in the app development process. You can gather extensive data during early phases of app development that help you create the most user-friendly interface, for example. You can do things like log performance timing and both “caught” and “uncaught” exceptions, and how performance changes affect your analytics, well before customers start downloading your app.

2. Enlist in Test Users to Learn How People Actually Use the App

Sometimes, despite meticulous planning of how users will “flow” through apps, they end up using the app differently. Analytics can give you unbiased information based on things like heat maps, which let you see visually which parts of your apps users interact with most. Combined with verbal or written feedback from testers, this sort of early data can help you ensure the most effective user interface once your app goes live.

3. Choose Metrics That Answer Relevant Questions

Before taking the deep plunge into analytics, you need to understand your target audience and what information you want from your analytics. Naturally, if you’re in e-commerce, you want analytics surrounding purchase conversions. But if you’re in the content publishing business, app analytics should focus on user retention. Define your analytics strategy early in the app development process, and you can prevent problems and be prepared for the analytics that emerge once your app is in people’s pockets.

4. Use Market Data to Learn from Others’ Mistakes

You have plenty of analytics providers to choose from. Some offer market data, which you will have to pay for. But don’t write off this sort of data without considering it. When you’re able to look at how apps similar to yours are doing in the marketplace, you can make better decisions and avoid expensive mistakes later. For example, is an otherwise excellent app underperforming at a $2 price point? This can offer you a clue about the pricing of your own app.

5. Use Insight from Real-Time In-App Analytics

Today you can get analytics that present you with details of all actions performed on the screen by users. This information is immensely insightful, because you can learn things like which part of the app users spend the most time on. You can learn the most popular screen flow as well as which screens present “friction” or bottlenecks. You can even learn which screens have the highest app dropout rates. If you use these tools during app development, you can make changes to address them before the app is rolled out. After launch, you can use the information to plan for upgrades and new features you’d like to add.

6. Don’t Put App Analytics in a Silo

Your mobile analytics shouldn’t be kept separate from your other analytics. Combined with your standard website metrics and social media analytics, your mobile analytics can paint you a broad and detailed picture of how your brand is doing across your digital properties. Pay special attention to social media, because it is often the first place people complain when something isn’t working right. When you gather and utilise all your metrics, you gain a well-rounded understanding of your app’s importance to your brand.

Conclusion

Knowing your user audience, testing early in the app development process, choosing the best metrics, learning from competitors’ mistakes, and gathering real-time app behaviour data can ensure that your brand’s app strategy succeeds.

By working with an app development leader like Glance, you can be confident your app development team will listen to your needs and help you test your app throughout development to ensure it does exactly what you want. Glance has helped businesses just like yours build brand engagement and increase sales with custom mobile app development. To learn more, send us an enquiry, and let us show you how we can create an app that will work around the clock to build your brand.

Simon

Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.

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