Not every mobile app company is pinching pennies, but it certainly feels like most are. I can’t fault them. Lean growth has become a staple. Success is not just about growth anymore, but sustainable growth. This type of thinking has spread across companies, and within them as well. No matter which department you are in or what you oversee, you need to be mindful of the bottom line. That means you as a decision maker must be very careful with how you allocate your resources.

This can be problematic because, as professionals, we need things. Some are easy to justify. If you are a sketch artist and you run out of pencils, there is no questioning that you need to purchase more. But in our high tech world, things are not so clear cut. The tools you need aren’t always seen as necessities, even when they are. The best way to contribute to the success of your product, and further yourself along with it, is to have the right set of tools.

All of this brings me back to Return On Investment. You know, that little thing we like to shorten to ROI. It’s key in most decision making, yet it may seem hard to quantify when it comes to tools you are using. Yet there is certainly an ROI there, as with anything else. The trick here is to clearly see where your mobile app analytics tool is helping you identify and gain (or recover) business. Lets use some funnels in our own tool, Appsee Mobile App Analytics, as an example for your basic calculation. We’ll focus on three different verticals: Gaming, Utility, and Ecommerce.

Gaming

mobile app analytics 1

In the above funnel, we can see gamers making their way through an onboarding tutorial. Obviously one is more likely to enjoy a game if they successfully complete the tutorial and know exactly how to play. No matter your business model, having an active player means you are more likely to monetize them. In this funnel we can see two very clear dropoff points, both at Tutorial_6_Ability3 and at Tutorial_9_Back. Users dropped out of this funnel at this two points by a rate of 16.6% and 23.4%, respectively.

An easy ROI calculation here would be a before and after. Knowing what you do about the funnel, you’ll focus on these two points to make improvements in your  gaming app’s UX, UI, or gameplay. Once you do, you’ll come out with more users that make it through. Simply take the difference between the “before” number of users and the “after” number of users, and multiply that by your lifetime value per user. Now you know how much actual revenue you have gained and can calculate your ROI on the tool.

 

Utility

mobile app analytics 2

 

Here we take a look at a very common registration funnel for utility apps. In this example, the last step of the funnel stands out the most. That’s where we see almost half of the users drop out of the funnel after visiting the VerifyEmail screen. Perhaps there is a better way to verify the email than that screen is allowing, or maybe this is a step that can be eliminated altogether. Here you can run a simple calculation for how many users you are losing to at least estimate an ROI on this tool.

 

Travel

mobile app analytics 3

 

Using the above travel app funnel may be the best and most direct way to understand and calculate the ROI of your analytics tool. This is taken from an app that offers hotel bookings, so there is no need to estimate what is being lost. It is clear that when users drop off from the HotelPayment screen by a rate of 41% that you are losing money. Same goes for the next part of the funnel, where another 28% of users actually clicked the “BOOK NOW” button and did not receive a booking confirmation.

Bringing users to a screen where they will hand over their money is not easy to begin with, but to lose them just at that point is crushing. What is causing this behavior in users? Using the right mobile app analytics tool to understand this and make the appropriate changes is how you can recoup those lost sales dollars. If you’re losing $1 million per month from this, you can purchase a tool that costs $1 million and $1 dollar and still be ROI positive.

 

Qualitative Analytics is ROI Positive

Therein lies the problem for most tools. They will show you where your users have dropped off, but they will not show you why. Take a look at those funnels above and you’ll notice a little play button at every step. That is the button within the Appsee platform that will allow you to actually see videos of real user sessions at that stage in the funnel. You don’t have to guess why 41% of your users dropped off from the HotelPayment screen, you can actually see it.

Using qualitative analytics such as user session recordings, you can quickly zoom in to the single user level. This is how you find instant insights on your user behavior and discover what is hindering them from finalizing a purchase. Is there a button that is in the wrong place or unresponsive? You can see exactly this from watching a user encounter this problem. Session recordings will find those golden nuggets for you and do so quickly. Because when there is money being lost every day due to a UX or UI problem, time is of the essence.

Regardless of which mobile app analytics tool you use, you’ll be wise to practice calculating the ROI for it. You want to compare apples to apples, and the only way to do that is to understand not just their price, but how much money they’ll be saving you. Even a basic calculation like the ones above can go a long way toward getting and keeping the tools you need to be successful. One thing we already know is that qualitative analytics tools like Appsee is ROI positive in any way you slice it. We’ve listed examples of just three verticals, but the same rules apply everywhere.