5 Mobile App KPIs You Should Pay Attention To

Just in case some people are a little behind the rest of the class, KPIs or key performance indicators are a type of performance measurement. They enable an organization to define and measure progress towards its goals.


You can also call it KSI (Key Success Indicators), if KPI doesn’t sound sexy enough.

The mobile app industry is really booming these days, with an expected revenue of around $36.7 billion. Competition is getting fiercer and fiercer as more and more brands go mobile.

If you haven’t considered adding value for your customers and fans through an app, you probably should. Because if you don’t, your competitors will.

By apps, I don’t mean a mobile version of your brand or company’s website, by the way. Apps can present new opportunities for brands to get creative and come up with a stellar new way to give value to people.

The best apps have something called “stickiness”.

Think about it this way. Your brand now has the opportunity to be in the hands of your customers 24/7.

Such a chance shouldn’t be wasted.

Your app needs to be something new and fresh, and it needs to be something that enhances customer experience and boosts brand loyalty.

That’s what makes an app sticky: it needs to provide an experience that you can’t get anywhere else. 

With that said, the question remains: which metrics should you be paying attention to when it comes to your mobile app business?

This is both easy and difficult to answer.

Number of downloads seems to be an obvious answer – but that’s where you’d be wrong.

The number of downloads do not indicate the actual success of an app. It’s not the same as measuring the number of ad views or something.

Instead, here are the KPIs you should be tracking:

1. Usage


Also known as the 5 W’s.

You need to know the who, what, when, where and why when it comes to people using your app.

What’s your demographic? How frequently are people using the app? What time of day do they usually use it? Do they use the app on their phones or tablets? Android, or iOS?

This info will provide insight as to how people are using your app, which will give you a clearer picture of good and bad points. It will show you what you need to fix, and what you can improve on.

2. Retention and attention

If a million people download your app, but none of them actually stay and use it, then your app has failed to meet its objectives.

It’s probably not giving you any returns on the time, money and effort you put into it, either.

Your app needs to strive for longevity, which isn’t easy, since retention is one of the biggest challenges for mobile apps today.

65% of people stop using an app just three months after downloading and installing it.

So keep an eye on your retention rate. This will tell you your app’s viability in the market and tell you how effective it really is.

3. Length of use

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Session length is like a kiss. There are short ones, and there are long, really good ones.

However, there’s a difference between using an app while waiting for your food to arrive, and opening it and using it for the length of your daily commute home everyday.

The session length metric can help you determine the depth of a user’s relationship with your app.

By the way, the stickier your app, the longer the session length per user.

4. App load time

If your app takes ten seconds or more to load – well, there’s a meme that sums that up.


The shorter the app load time, the better. Even when using your app, users need to be able to browse and load pages as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Basically, if people have time to think “What the hell is taking so long?”, they also have time to go look for other solutions… which may be your competitor’s app.

5. How they found you


Knowing how most of your users found you can help you focus your efforts later when you’re trying to bring in new users.

Was it through searches, paid advertisements, user recommendations?

It’s useful to know how best to reach your target audience, and what drew them to your app.

Consider that aggressive paid advertising was what helped convert 20% of US iPhone users to addicted active Candy Crush players.

As a conclusion, I will say: before diving into the analytics of your own app, make sure to determine which KPIs are most relevant to your app and your business. The metrics listed above are important, but depending on your industry and your goals, you might want to focus on tracking different things. That’s fine. Track what is relevant for you.



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