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Gather and Leverage User Analytics for Web Apps

A survey of 450 product professionals around the globe — SMBs to Fortune 100 firms — revealed that product managers heavily rely on analytics to answer a range of questions pertaining to user behavior and the impact of their product (app).


User analytics allows marketers and the app development team to make smarter decisions, improve customer experience, and grow the app with a customer-first mindset. 

However, most teams struggle to measure the top metrics because they lack access to the right kind of data or do not possess the technical skills needed to leverage that data. Not being able to leverage analytics inhibits innovation and negatively impacts user experience. 

In this post, we will share how app developers can gather data and leverage user analytics. 

What Is App Analytics? 

App analytics is an excellent tool that helps app developers and marketers understand how users interact with a web application. The insights derived can be used to predict patterns and user behavior and forecast the problems the end user may face. 

But web analytics and app analytics are different. Web analytics went mainstream when Google introduced Google Analytics that tracks the user activity as they navigate from page to page. The tool centers around a core measurement unit, page view. 

However, unlike web analytics, the activities within an app cannot be measured based on page views. In apps, the user actions are referred to as “events,” like swiping, likes, and search. Hence, we have a new category of tools for web app analytics and these are based on the events data model. 

How User Analytics Can Help Web App Developers 

App developers and product managers work with the user experience teams to build successful web applications. User analytics can help them to gain insights that can prove useful when optimizing the app. In the absence of data and analytics, the teams would have to try different strategies blindly with no backup for the experiments. 

Here’s how user analytics can help app developers. 

1. It Points Out the Features That Have Made an Impact

Apps are products and the elements of this product that prove to be useful to the user are referred to as features. All development teams aim at introducing the latest features quickly to boost app retention and attract new users. 

Hence, they constantly need to analyze if the features they offer are improving the user experience. App analytics can help the team come up with an action plan to add a new feature that users need or improve the existing one to make the user’s life easy. 

2. It Shows How a User Interacts With the App

The central goal of any app is to help the user get what they are looking for, it could be to book a plane ticket, boost productivity, or sign up for a new course. 

Development teams aim at supporting these goals with as little friction as possible. Here, user flow analytics can help them visualize the users’ journey through the app. 

This analysis can tell you if the user is gravitating towards a specific part of the app. It will also share the factors that are driving users to leave or uninstall the app. 

3. It Tells What’s Keeping the Users Engaged

User analytics helps the development team understand the ways users engage within the app. It also shares the factors or features contributing to user retention. 

There’s a sea of app analytics tools that can be used to improve user experience. Tools like Google Analytics, Firebase, Mixpanel, and Adobe Analytics are built for this type of analytics. 

How to Leverage User Analytics for Web Apps

When used appropriately, user analytics can be a developer’s most powerful tool. Hence, it’s important that they know how to leverage analytics and track the progress towards the app goals. 

Here are a few tips to make the best use of user analytics. 

1. Set Clear App Goals 

To make app analytics work for you, it’s critical to set clear goals. Depending on the revenue model your app follows (paid app, in-app purchases, in-app ads, or any other) different apps have different goals. 

For instance, gaming apps focus on maximizing revenue; hence, their goal is to expand the user base and push for in-app purchases. E-commerce apps aim at increasing store traffic and strengthening brand awareness while online learning apps need users to subscribe to monthly plans or a specific course. 

So, the app goal depends on what you want to achieve through the app and why it was built. 

2. Know What Metrics to Track

There’s a sea of metrics that can be used to measure app performance. Hence, it’s important to know how each of them can be informative enough to feed your business decisions. 

To begin with, let’s know the metrics that can support app developers and marketers in optimizing user acquisition and user engagement. 

  • Cost per acquisition (CPA) — This metric tells how much was spent to acquire a new user. It is calculated by dividing the total campaign cost by the number of users acquired. 
    • CPA allows you to calculate the ROI of a campaign. 
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) — As the name suggests, it’s the average revenue generated for each user. It tells you whether or not you are on track to achieving the targets. 
    • ARPU is also an essential part of a customer’s LTV (lifetime value) calculations. 
  • Lifetime value — This tells you how much a user is expected to spend before the churn or through their association with the app. 
  • Events — This is a user engagement metric that offers insights into in-app user activity. In this, you can track events like signups, purchases, items added to the cart, and others. 
  • Installs — Knowing how many people have installed your app will offer interesting insights about campaign performance. 
  • Sessions — When a user interacts with the app, that is opens or engages with it, it’s a session. Session data throws light on how the user is moving through the funnel. 
  • Retention — It tells you the number of users returning to the app. If the retention is low, you need to plan some re-engagement tactics to encourage users to stay loyal to your app.
  • Churn — This shows the number of users abandoning your app is churn, either by uninstalling it or not using it. The metric helps you determine why users are losing interest in your app. 

For instance, a high churn after the first session indicates poor onboarding experience or technical issues when using the app. 

Remember to track metrics that help meet your end goal. Outline the questions that are most critical to your goals and make sure the metrics you track answer them. 

3. Prioritize Onboarding Experience 

User onboarding starts from the time a person installs and signs up for the app. An efficient onboarding experience hugely influences your app’s UX. 

In a survey, 72% of respondents shared that the onboarding process should take less than 60 seconds. The more time a user spends getting the information they seek the more frustrated they get. 

Hence, app marketers and developers should take the full user journey into account and aim at offering excellent onboarding experiences. 

Here are a few quick tips for making a great first impression. 

Avoid Information Overload

First-time users need guidance on using the app but not all the information. Help the user remain focused on the value you are offering and the process they need to follow. 

Instead of telling the user, immerse users in an interactive app experience. This will help them complete the steps they need to learn, allowing the process to flow seamlessly. 

Check out the Adidas Training app. The app’s user onboarding does a great job of walking the user through sharing their fitness levels, allowing them to craft the perfect workout regimen. 

Get Rid of Friction

Account creation and logins can be tricky. If the experience is bad, it can compel the user to abandon the app for good. 

Make sure you get rid of the friction at this stage. Ask only the information that’s needed to get users up and running. You can ask for more information later. This will significantly reduce friction and improve the user experience. 

Also, keep guides and instructions to the point. Resist the urge to give all the information at one go. This will confuse the user and lead to them abandoning the app. 

Count on User Onboarding Platforms

Creating a compelling user onboarding experience starts with building the right framework. Ignoring this aspect will create little or no value for users, resulting in poor app experiences.

To make the process easy, you can count on user onboarding tools that can help you get your client onboarding right. Customer onboarding software, such as digital adoption platforms, is instrumental in creating easy-to-use in-app workflows. 

For instance, investing in tools like Whatfix and Appcues can significantly improve your onboarding metrics, reduce churn, and convert first-time users into loyal ones. A few Appcues alternatives too can help in upgrading and evolving the onboarding flows. 

These tools make user onboarding engaging by helping developers and app marketers design interactive walkthroughs, product tours, and contextual guidance.

Summing Up

Building an app is only half the battle won! Once your app is live, it’s time to move on to optimizing it. This will boost the app’s experience and revenue. 

User analytics is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to offer a good app experience and stay competitive. With millions of apps out there, no development team can afford to ignore the power of user analytics. 

Use the tactics shared in this post to track your user’s in-app activity and take your application to the next level. 

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