5 Mobile App Analytics Stats You Need to Stop Ignoring

mobile app analytics

Source: Freepik

Mobile analytics: every app needs it, but many don’t know quite what to look for.

Most metrics tracked by mobile analytics platforms fall into one of three buckets: engagement, conversion, and retention. Within these categories, a few popular metrics attract all the attention.

  • For retention, look at daily active users (DAU) or monthly active users (MAU)
  • For conversion, look at the in-app event you count as a conversion
  • For engagement, look at push notification open rates

Mobile teams that get tunnel visioned into these key metrics miss out on insight from lesser-known stats.

In this post, I’ll outline five underappreciated metrics that mobile teams need to start paying attention to. Track these stats in your mobile analytics platform of choice, and you’ll find yourself with a more holistic view of your marketing ROI.

1) Addictiveness (DAU / MAU)

Daily and monthly active users are useful metrics in themselves, but they don’t tell the full story.

By themselves, DAU and MAU are quoted as raw numbers rather than a percentage of total users, which is quite useful for PR but less useful for the app team itself. Yet even when expressed as a percentage, it’s often more interesting to look at DAU and MAU together than in isolation.

By dividing DAU over MAU, we essentially see the addictiveness or “stickiness” of the app. It answers the question, how many of my monthly users have already become daily users?

In a perfect world, the addictiveness value would be 1.0, meaning that every monthly user was also a daily user. In reality, the number will always be between zero and one.

Addictiveness is useful to track because it gives you a feel for how many potential DAUs you have. By definition, a person can’t become a daily active user before being a monthly active user, so MAUs are all potential candidates to become DAUs. With enough nurture, you can raise your app’s “addictiveness” and bring more users into the DAU category.

mobile dau

Source: Unsplash

2) First-Time Users

A lot of mobile user acquisition happens through paid advertising, so it’s tempting to focus solely on attribution. But, the total percentage of first-time users helps mobile teams grasp App Store Optimization (ASO) in addition to paid acquisition.

By combining organic acquisition with paid acquisition, you can answer one simple question: what percentage of my users are new to the app?

For one, answering this question will reveal whether your growth is too slow. If you aren’t attracting enough new users and the app isn’t already huge, it may be time to look into ASO or increase acquisition spend. Likewise, a high percentage of first-time users might indicate that you’re biting off more than you can chew, and that you can afford to cut back on paid acquisition.

mobile app store

Source: Freepik

3) Time in App per Daily User

These next few metrics are a bit more granular. Instead of looking at the app’s overall addictiveness and growth rate, we’re drilling down to understand how our daily users are behaving.

Time in app is one of the most relative metrics — you can’t compare time spent in a game to time spent in a shopping app, because they’re used in such different ways. For this metric to be useful, you’ll need an understanding of how much time users spend in-app before triggering the key events that your team counts as conversions.

Once you have this data, time in app per daily user answers a very important question: how engaged are my most engaged users?

DAUs are the cream of the crop — they’ve shown daily dedication to the app, and they’re the most likely to convert. But if the time it takes to convert is far off from the time spent by the average daily user, you’ve got a problem. This metric helps teams see when the cream of the crop needs some extra encouragement.

time in app

Source: Freepik

4) Percent of Daily Users Who Purchased

This metric works in concert with time in app per daily user. By tracking what percentage of daily users have made a purchase in the past, we can answer the question of how effectively are we pushing our users to convert?

Maximizing app engagement is important, but it’s revenue that keeps the business running. And we know how important that first purchase is. Users who convert are that much more likely to keep converting — so it’s a problem if your most engaged users aren’t taking the final step to their first purchase.

If this metric is too low, consider prompting first-time buyers with discounts. It’s clear that they’re fans of the app; all that remains is to tilt the odds in your favor with an extra incentive or two.


Source: Freepik

5) Average Revenue per Daily Paying User

This metric is purely a question of effective monetization. By this point, we’re only looking at genuine fans of the app — users who visit every day and who have already made a purchase. The question is simply, how efficiently have we monetized our top users?

It’s hard to be pushy with these users, because you don’t want to risk your relationship with them. But with the right promotions combined with the right selection of products, you can maintain customer goodwill while earning a slightly higher revenue per user.

Games often excel at monetizing highly engaged users, because playing more gives you reason to pay more. But other app verticals can optimize this metric too. A UI re-design that better highlights new products in a retail app could increase revenue per user, without spending a dollar on discounts or sourcing new items.

mobile metrics

Source: Freepik

The Hidden World of Mobile Analytics

Hopefully the five metrics I’ve discussed shed some light on the lesser-known side of mobile analytics. Beyond retention and conversion funnels, there are stats that answer very specific — but important — questions about app marketing.

All of the metrics highlighted in this post are available out of the box in Leanplum’s analytics dashboard. But app teams are encouraged to add their own custom metrics by combining pre-existing ones or by including their own in-app events.

These granular metrics offer insight that high-level metrics don’t, so don’t overlook them!

Leanplum is building the marketing cloud for the mobile era. Our integrated solution delivers meaningful engagement across messaging and the in-app experience. We work with top brands such as Tinder, Tesco, and Lyft. Schedule your personalized demo here.