Google Takes Analytics Mobile With App Reports, Android App

Mobile App Analytics to roll out by end of summer

Google is bringing its analytics chops to mobile apps. Through Mobile App Analytics—which launches in beta today (June 29) and will roll out to all Google Analytics users by the end of summer—mobile app developers for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems will be able to keep tabs on metrics such as downloads, conversions and in-app purchases.

Coinciding with the launch of Mobile App Analytics, Google is rolling out the Google Analytics mobile app for Android device so that developers can check real-time web and mobile app reports while on the go.

With the increased complexity of mobile apps from an interaction perspective, it’s no longer enough for a mobile app developer to only measure downloads or new users, said Google Analytics product manager JiaJing Wang. “Sophisticated measurement becomes core so that app developers and marketers can measure and iterate on the user experience they bring to people and that’s why they need to measure the end-to-end value after developing and marketing an app,” he said.

Wang broke down the product’s reports into three categories: acquisition/users, engagement and outcomes. Through the acquisition and user analysis report, developers will be able to see new and active users by day as well as what countries and mobile operating systems an app’s users are on, and developers of the 500,000-plus Android apps in the Google Play app marketplace will also be able to track the sources of downloads and in-app purchases made through Google Play, such as whether a user came through a mobile display ad.

Google is also working on a deeper integration with Google Play “coming soon” so that Android app developers will be able to see what traffic sources lead users to an app’s Google Play page, the percentage of those visitors who download the app and what percentage of those downloads led to users actually opening the app, Wang said.

The engagement reports will display things like how much time users spend in an app, how many screens they viewed per session and what the app’s most popular screen is. In addition to that and the ability to view app crashes and network timeouts, developers can also track the flow of those sessions to see what paths users take to from screen-to-screen. Wang said a brand like Domino’s could use the engagement flow report to see actions users’ take between a pizza-ordering app’s home screen and point-of-sale. That report “helps you to visualize and understand the combination of screens and actions [and] how they drive to conversions. By understanding that, you can make experiments to see which combination [drives] more up-selling or cross-selling,” he said.

Through the outcome reports, developers can set goals, such as flights booked, shows downloaded or social recommendations, and measure daily performance. If the app sells products, they can track in-app purchases and corresponding revenue generated.

Initially web and mobile app analytics reports will be separate, but Wang said it’s “on the roadmap” to piece together relevant metrics from the each report so that developers and marketers can get a better view of how their websites and mobile apps work together.

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