Although many marketing professionals and app development companies rely on third-party analytics and tracking tools to monitor engagement and behaviour, the free analytics service offered by Apple is often enough to help you make sense of your user base. App Analytics on iOS are available for free for all app developers with an Apple Developer account, and they contain unique insights with data you won’t find anywhere else, including information on sales, trends, payments, and app usage. Available inside of App Store Connect, these tools require no technical implementation – if you already have an app on iOS, you can use them.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of using Apple’s in-built analytics suite is that you can gain an insight into your users, learn how potential or future users find your app on the App Store, discover the most popular devices your app is being used on, monitor the time users spend on your app, track sales from the App Store as well as in-app purchases, and even filter your data based on date, app version, referrer, and region, offering you smart, actionable insights.
To access App Analytics, sign in to your Apple Developer Account, click on the Dashboard, and then App Analytics. You should find that the full suite of tools are available immediately, though you may need to turn on additional tracking or functionality. Bear in mind the changes that Apple made as part of iOS 14.5, and moving away from third-party analytics programs to Apple’s native solution could be advantageous and show users you care about their data.
Inside of the App Analytics pane, there are eight key metrics to track and monitor. The first, and perhaps most important, is impressions, which outlines the number of views your app attracted on the App Store. Impressions only count views that lasted more than one second – so those who scroll past your app without looking won’t be counted – and incorporate things such as search results, as well as featured placements, the Explore tab, Top Charts, and product page views. Each is broken down so you can see where impressions were made.
App Units refers to the number of first-time purchases or downloads made on the App Store. For example, if you had 200,000 app units, you can assume that 200,000 people have downloaded your app from the app store for the first time. It’s important to note that those who redownload your app after uninstalling it, and those who download your app onto a secondary device, such as their iPad, aren’t counted, which gives you a clean number.
Product Page View
A good app store optimisation (ASO) strategy involves updating the content on your app page to maximise your placements on the App Store search engine results pages, as well as impressions and conversions. The Product Page Views metric refers to the number of times your app’s App Store product page has been viewed on an iOS, macOS, or iPadOS device.
One of the best ways to monetise your mobile app is to offer in-app purchases, allowing users to unlock additional features or functionality for a small additional fee. Inside the App Analytics window, you’ll find the In-app Purchases metric, which lists the number of first-time purchases made from an iOS device. This is useful in determining how many people (or what percentage of users) have paid for extras and those who are exclusively free users.
Next up is perhaps one of the most important for businesses hoping to generate significant returns from their app: Sales. This metric refers to the total amount of revenue generated by your app to date, adding together the cost of your app, as well as in-app purchases and app bundles. It’s possible to input dates and other variables for more accurate sales reporting.
If you’re looking for a way to see how many times your app has been used, Sessions is where to look. This represents the number of times your app has been used for at least two seconds, and only logs if/when a user agrees to share their data with you. Therefore, you might want to consider using third-party analytics software if you’re looking for sessions data.
If you want to monitor when users are engaging with your app, such as whether users open your app during a sporting event like the Superbowl, look to Active Devices. This will outline the number of sessions running during a particular period, such as at 10 PM on Friday night. This metric is really useful for determining the effectiveness of marketing campaigns such as TV advertisements or guerilla marketing for a particular date, time, and geographic location.
Finally, spend some time looking at the Crashes section of your App Analytics report, as this will outline the number of times your app has crashed in a selected period. If you’re currently suffering from bugs, you can use crashes to see how and where your app is getting stuck; it’s this data that can help you resolve issues faster and get your app back up to full speed.
Yet to develop a new app for iOS? Turn to the UK app developers at Zudu for assistance.