There's no question that mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives. We use them to communicate, entertain ourselves, get work done, and more. We have plenty of choices but we mostly stick to the same apps over time. Succeeding in crowded app markets starts with the ability to retain users’ attention.
Acquiring new users is not enough: In order for mobile app developers to create successful apps, they need to understand how users interact with their apps and what keeps them coming back. There are a number of mobile app metrics that product managers should consider in order to improve stickiness and engagement. In this article, we will discuss the five most important ones.
What is mobile app stickiness and why is it important?
Mobile app stickiness is a metric that measures user engagement with an app. It tells you how often users return to an app and how long they spend using it. A high level of stickiness means that users find value in the app and are likely to continue using it. This is important because it allows product managers to assess whether an app is providing enough weight to keep users coming back.
So, the term “sticky” in this case is synonymous of a very good thing. The most sticky apps not only stand out when it comes to traditional metrics - low churn rate, high engagement, high retention - but also provide an excellent user experience, which fosters customer loyalty, and cultural relevance.
The app stickiness formula can be considered as a moving average of user retention. For any given DAU, WAU, or MAU, it counts how many users used the app divided by the number of users who used it during the previous period (day, week, or month). Expressed as a percent, this is your stickiness ratio.
What can be considered a good stickiness rate? According to Storyly, “20% is considered a successful stickiness ratio for an app, with numbers approaching 25% seen as extraordinary”.
Why should you always measure app stickiness?
Now that we know what app stickiness means, it’s easy to understand why we should always measure it. To sum up, there are at least five key reasons why measuring is important:
To assess the effectiveness of your efforts
If you're spending money on marketing - whether it is acquisition, engagement, or gamification - you want to know if your strategy is actually driving users to your app. Stickiness can help you determine whether your marketing campaigns are successful in getting people to try out your app and find enough reasons to come back on a daily basis.
To make sure your app provides enough value
It's not enough to just get people to download your app — you want them to keep using it. Measuring stickiness can help you understand how much value users are getting from your app and whether they're likely to continue using it.
To track user engagement over time
Measuring stickiness can help you track changes in user engagement over time. This is important for understanding how well your app is doing and for making decisions about future updates or changes.
To identify problems with the app and fix them
If you see a sudden drop in stickiness, it could be an indication that there's a problem with your app. It might be a missing feature, a UX issue, or even a bug. Measuring stickiness can help you identify issues so that you can fix them.
To determine which features are most popular
Measuring stickiness can help you understand which features of your app are most popular with users. And also which ones are less used or interesting for them. This information can be used to make decisions about future updates or changes.
What are the main five mobile app metrics that you should consider?
So, now that you know how and why to measure stickiness, let’s see the ‘what’. There are different mobile app metrics that product managers should consider, but the five most important ones are daily active users (DAU), monthly active users (MAU), retention rate, session length, and conversion rate. Let's take a closer look at each of these.
Daily active users (DAU)
DAU is the number of unique users who use an app on a given day. A user who opened the app once and a user who opened the app 10 times in the given timeframe (24 hours) are both counted as one Daily Active User. DAU is a very good measure of loyalty within an app, and it gives you a hint about how healthy is your community.
Monthly active users (MAU)
MAU is the number of unique users who use an app in a given month. This metric is important because it helps to measure an app's general health in the medium term, and is also the benchmark for calculating other metrics. MAU is also useful when analyzing the efficacy of your app marketing campaigns, and the performance and growth of your users community.
The definition of retention varies from industry to industry. A simple way to describe it is to say that retention rate is the percentage of users who continue to use an app after a certain period of time. It is calculated by dividing an app’s monthly active users by its monthly installs. This metric is important because it is the basis for benchmarking and competitive analysis.
Session length is the average amount of time that a user spends using an app in a single session. This metric is important because it tells you how long users are spending on your app. This can be used to assess your app’s health and understand what’s engaging and what’s not. To increase your session length, you need to make sure that your app is providing value and a seamless experience.
What is your app for? What is your final purpose? Once you know that, you can measure the effectiveness using the conversion rate. This metric shows the percentage of users who take the desired action within an app, and it is important because it tells you how well your app converts users into customers or clients. The conversion rate formula is (Total Conversions / DAU or MAU) x 100.
Wrap-Up: Key Takeaways for improving app stickiness
Product managers should also be aware of other mobile app metrics such as engagement rate, bounce rate, and average order value. However, the five mobile app metrics that we have discussed in this article are the most important ones to consider when trying to improve your app's stickiness.
A few takeaways for improving app stickiness:
First, make sure that your app is providing value and that users are finding it helpful.
Second, track (at least) the five mobile app metrics we discussed: DAU, MAU, retention rate, session length, and conversion rate.
Third, remember that user feedback is essential for improving app stickiness.
Finally, make sure you listen to what users have to say and use their feedback to make changes or updates to your app.