3 Main Mobile App Metrics to Keep in Mind When Analyzing Your Users' Behavior

January 18th, 2017

Mobile / Marketing // Zee

Main mobile app metrics to understand your customer's behavior

Besides basic “how many times did people download your app” metric, how can you know the users are interested in your app? We have an answer to that.

Like we said, the number of downloads is a good number, but it is far from the most important.

Consider Super Mario Run iOS game. It was announced at the Apple’s annual iPhone event in September and finally became available in December 2016. Considering that many Apple fans have seen the announcement, the expectations were high.

The day of the launch comes.

Number of downloads on its first day: 2,850,000 (during the first four days, the number of downloads has risen to 40 million)

Faster than Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run has topped the charts… only to knock billions off Nintendo’s market cap due to poor reviews.

At the moment, there are more one-star reviews than all the other reviews combined. (And that’s for the app that costs $9.99 in the app market!) Globally, there are over 40,000 one-star reviews.

Global statistic:

The trends continued for a few days, where negative reviews prevailed: 

Local (Ukraine market) statistic:

Therefore, just knowing how many people have downloaded your app doesn’t tell you anything. They might delete it right away, or keep it and use very rarely or not at all.

Therefore, we need to dig deeper to find out what our users are thinking and which weak places in your app need improvement.

Numerous metrics can be used at different stages of design, testing, and analysis. We’re going to check out three metrics that help gauge the users’ interest.

MAU / DAU (Monthly Active Users / Daily Active Users)

Once the number of downloads indicator shows steady growth, we can analyze how many people who downloaded the app have converted into its permanent users.

This data is available in the Google Analytics in the “Active Users” report.

The metric shows how often users interact with the mobile application. In particular, Google Analytics service allows to see user activity for the previous day (DAU - Daily Active Users), week (WAU - Weekly Active Users), two weeks’ period, and month (MAU - Monthly Active Users).

Something to keep in mind regarding these stats: while these metrics are considered “unique users,” you should remember that, for example, in the DAU measurements, one user who runs the app several times a week would be considered unique every day.

What is a standard range for the DAU / MAU ratio?

  • Successful game apps should be in the range of 20-30%
  • Social network apps should yield about 50%
  • Business applications rate is within 30-50%

Some analysts believe that daily activity must be 10% of the total number of downloads, monthly activity - around 30%.

Sticky Factor: How Regularly the App is Used

Sticky factor index is calculated as a ratio of DAU / MAU. It shows how often the person is using the app, based on app launches.

For example, if there are 1,000 users and each of them uses the app every day, then both MAU and DAU will be equal to 1,000, and the sticky factor will be 100%.

If each of those 1,000 people will use the app once within a month, the Sticky factor will be only 3.3%.

In other words, the higher the score, the more regularly your app is used by those who downloaded it.

Loyal Customers

LDAU (Loyal Daily Active Users) along with LWAU and LMAU is another useful metric. This indicator is the number of loyal users who run the app on a given day. Some define a loyal user as the one who launches the app at least once after the first visit.

There are several options for this metric, namely

  • 1-day retention - number of loyal customers who return to the app the day after installation
  • 7-day retention - those who launch the app after a week
  • 28-day retention - the users who remembered about the app a month after the download

To calculate LDAU for 1-day retention, use the following formula:

LDAU = D1 / Z

D1 is the number of users who run the app on the next day after the installation, Z is the total number of downloads. (To get the analytics for the 7-day and 28-day retention, substitute D1 for D7 and D28, accordingly.)

The higher the result, the better, because it means that users who downloaded your app, quickly returned to it.

A high LDAU means the users are interested in the app. A low rate is a sign that something went wrong or the users didn’t enjoy the experience.

To analyze the number of loyal customers, compare the figures for the DAU and LDAU. If they are close to each other, this means a significant number of users have returned to the app, and, accordingly, the number of one-day-users is small.

To get the whole big picture of the app analytics, you need all three metrics, and, most importantly, their dynamics.

For example, a high LDAU rate indicates a positive reaction for the application’s interface. 7-day retention rate means that the user considers the app necessary or interesting and is probably ready for continuous use. And LMAU is the indicator of high user rating and app’s necessity for the daily use.

We do mobile app development: from idea to launch!

Author: Zee

Zee is in charge of the Marketing at the APP Solutions/Grossum. Her areas of interest include quantum physics, astronomy, new trends in the web & mobile development (especially in the areas of AI and machine learning) and digital marketing instruments.

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