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Developing a mobile app, and making it easier for the right people to find and download it are solid first steps towards the success of your entrepreneurial project. The next step however, is of a crucial importance, as you will need to make sure that your users continue to use the app. A recent study reveals that only 10-12% of users continue to be interested in an application seven days after downloading it (and only 4-5% after 30 days).

The most efficient way to keep track of which people are using your app, and for how long, is user engagement. By measuring your app’s engagement level, you can get a clearer idea of the level of interest users do find in your app. It can also come in handy, in case there are any aspects you need to edit or improve in order to increase user engagement.

What is User Engagement?

User engagement can be defined as an evaluation of a user’s interaction with a type of offering, in this case, a mobile app.

A user’s level of engagement can be measured directly through his or her interaction with the app or may be assessed through observation of the individual’s behaviour. An app user, for instance, might click on app sections, have a preferred set of features or options, download documents via the app and watch videos, among other possibilities.

How to meaningfully measure user engagement?

The most accurate way to measure user engagement in a mobile app is by using KPIs (key performance indicators). Such app engagement measuring tools can take the form of number of active users, time spent in the app (session length), LTV and retention. These engagement metrics are detailed below.

  • Active users : Active users is an engagement metric, it is defined as the numbers of individuals actively using the app. The activity here is a relative aspect dependant on the product team’s preferences. As such, an app developing team may consider every user that opened the app at least once in the past month as an active user, while another team might look at active users, as individuals who used their application at least once in the past week.
  • Time in app : time in app is another useful engagement measuring tool. It basically consists of an accurate tracking of usage duration. Such duration is measured each time the app is starting and stops when the user clicks on the “quit” or “close” button.
  • LTV : LTV is a measure of user’s value over time. LTV can be quantified in numerous different ways. For example, it can be measured as the amount of money a user has spent in your app over time, or the total monetary value of the Ads the user has clicked on in your app during its usage.
  • Retention : retention can be seen as the capacity of your app to retain users and or clients over time. It can be measured by calculating the number of users who still use the app over the total number of users who used the app at least once or downloaded it. This can be done by using consumer retention KPIs.

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