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November 15, 2016
Measuring and increasing the success of your mobile apps
By: Michael Hobbs

So you’re releasing a mobile app into the marketplace. How will you know if it’s a success? How will you understand how it’s performing and how to improve it over time?

Answering those questions is an important aspect of AppOps—Accenture’s term for managing and operating mobile applications. AppOps can help you (1) target the right KPIs for your app and your business, and then (2) unlock the value of mobile data to deliver customer insights and enable faster, better decisions.

What are you measuring?

Mobile devices bring customers into contact with a business in so many different ways (at home, at work, on a commute, in virtually any part of daily life) that mobile strategists can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all measure of success for judging an app’s performance.

Instead, a business needs to assess performance against a range of potential factors, such as:

  • Downloads
  • Upgrades
  • Revenue
  • Engagement
  • Deletions

It’s essential to understand which of these factors (and others) are most important, given your company’s particular area of the market and your business goals.

A key to remaining competitive in today’s market is:

  • Having a starting theory of how users will use your application and being prepared to constantly modify this based on what happens in practice
  • Defining measures of success for the lifecycle of an app from varying perspectives including user experience, marketing and technical performance
  • Regularly reviewing performance against those measures
  • Keeping the application up to date with changes in what mobile operating systems and hardware permit.  An example is touch-login.  For a short while this was a novelty.  Now it is a customer expectation and applications without it feel dated

What insights are you delivering?

With the explosion in the number of mobile interactions, analytics solutions and tools can provide previously unattainable levels of real-time insights and predictive modelling to all parts of your business. Analysis might focus on, for example:

  • User journeys
  • Abandonment rates
  • Dwell time
  • Service availability
  • Crashes and anomalies
  • Load time and latency

Analytics solutions for mobile apps are in their relative infancy. Only 46% of eBusiness professionals surveyed by Forrester currently use a mobile analytics solution. That means that a business with access to real-time data about its app’s usage can gain an edge over the competition.

Consider a mobile app solution Accenture delivered with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU). The cross-platform solution includes apps, a mobile enabled website and a new ticket-vending platform that emphasises social content and data storytelling.

The digital engagement platform offers exclusive content across all devices, allowing fans to have a truly immersive experience that can create new revenue streams for the ARU.

The solution also includes notable analytics innovations.  For example:

  • Real-time feedback on campaign performance and sales is delivered straight to wearable devices on the wrists of those administrating the game.
  • Fans can access real-time analysis during games and a complete post-match wrap-up. Supporters can also view and share this information through online and social media channels.

When it comes to analytics, select the correct tools and platforms for your particular circumstances. Make sure that those tools are correctly implemented and rigorously tested. Poor implementation can mean poor data, and no business wants to be surprised by negative app store ratings if their analytics are reporting nothing amiss.

Extending your impact

Just a few years ago, mobile applications were regarded as an addition to a brand’s marketing presence, often in a “me-too” fashion.  Recently, we have seen major brands attributing the bulk of their sales growth to mobile in areas as diverse as fashion, banking, transport and DIY.  This again raises the stakes and heightens the requirements around app design and management.

A mobile strategy built on sound KPIs and advanced analytics can help build stronger relationships with existing customers, reduce barriers to adoption, and extend a company’s reach to a more diverse set of users.  

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