Always Add Analytics

So you’ve started to release early and often, adjusting to what your customers need? Great! Now how do you gather information on what to release next? If customer feedback is key, how do you know what your customers are doing?

One of the quickest ways to get an idea of how people are using your app is by using analytics tools such as Flurry or Google Analytics.

Right out of the box, these tools provide fantastic information on how your app is being used. And if there’s one thing that’s tough to argue against, it’s stats from real-world usage.

We’ll take a look at a few features these tools provide so you can see the benefits of always adding analytics to your app.

New Users
The app stores will let you know how many users have downloaded your app, but they won’t tell you how many users actually launched your app. And while downloads are great, actual usage is what you’re really after!

Returning Users
A key metric along with new users is how many continue to use your app after their first run through. If you can’t retain your users, then your app is doing something wrong. Not all users will return but you can set a goal to retain at least 70% of your new users, and make that a key performance metric for the future.

Devices and Operating Systems
There are a lot of stats out there on which platform – iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry – has the most market share. This is valuable information when making your initial decision on which platforms to release your app on. But once your app is in use, the stat that really matters is what platforms your customers are using.

If you launch your app on iOS, Android and Blackberry and your stats tell you that 90% of your users come from iOS and Android, you might decide to forego future Blackberry development and focus your money on the bulk of your users.

Demographics
The world is a big place, and cultures vary dramatically across countries. If you release an app that you find has a lot of users from Europe compared to North America, you might look at tailoring your strategy towards European users. Likewise, if you’re a big hit in Japan, you might need to adjust your features to target that market more directly.

Navigation Flow
How are your users navigating through your app? Are they taking a route you didn’t expect to reach a certain feature? Are they backtracking a lot, indicating they may be a bit lost in your app? By analyzing your users navigation flow, you can find which screens they are heading for most frequently and where they may be getting stuck. With this information, you can then make adjustments to remove friction between users and their favorite features.

Custom Events
The above features all come right out of the box. But if you want to go deeper, you can program in custom events. These events can be triggered by nearly any action a user takes in your app, and are very customizable and powerful.

For example, you can trigger an event when a user scrolls to bottom of a screen in your app, to see if people are viewing all your content. Or you can even set up an event to fire when a user hasn’t done anything for a few seconds in your app, so you can see which screens are holding up your users.

 

The possibilities are endless, so you have to be careful to only focus on what’s important. With metrics, you can lose sight of the big picture by getting lost in a forest of data. But if you focus on the right things and analyze trends, you will be able to reward your users with a better app experience.

Shane is the COO at Push and has over ten years of tech-related experience. Shane has had a long-standing love with his many smartphones, tablets and e-readers and knows that "only nothing is impossible".

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