April 12, 2010Brian Vogelsang
Mobile developers have been creating applications for over a decade, but until recently most have had little or no insight into how engaged their users are with their application or how well their application is performing. Recently, companies such as Flurry, AppClix, and tapmetrics have emerged with in-application analytics to help developers monitor consumer behavior and make sense of how their apps are actually being used.
With these services and others like them, a developer can glean important information like how often their app is being used and for how long, where the users go within the application, sales and update trends, and even how often their application is crashing and why. The transparency that these services provide helps developers get a 180 degree view of their user and enable them to make fact-based decisions about how to improve their applications.
While measuring behavior of a developers user base is fundamental to building quality apps, an equally important but more elusive set of metrics to obtain is how the application is performing in the store. The challenge is that most application retailers are unable or unwilling to share information about their consumers’ behaviours to developers, just as most brick and mortar retailers do not share information about their customers’ in-store behavior to the manufacturers and distributors who provide them products.
Most application stores provide revenue reports to developers enabling them to monitor sales transactions and returns, and some also let the developer know where in the store the application was purchased from, or which marketing campaign the transaction is related to. But most fail to provide developers with merchandizing analytics, such anonymous information about consumer behavior within their store or how their application is performing in relation to its competitors.
Merchandizing analytics such as which store categories receive the most traffic, conversion rates for the categories in which their applications are in, and what percentage of consumers who browse their application fail to purchase it, are all crucial pieces of information for the developer. When combined, in-application analytics and merchandizing analytics can help the developer get a 360 degree view of their business, resulting in better quality applications that provide a much higher level of consumer engagement.
4April 12, 20100