1. Sales Tracking

Mobile Demands New Marketing Metrics

mobile metrics

The increase in mobile traffic is a given. To remain competitive, companies need to focus on mobile and its next-generation metrics, allowing for improved user experience and marketing efficiency.

Increasingly, people prefer mobile devices over desktop for accessing the Internet. For Google, mobile comprised almost half of all traffic from June to November 2014, with 52 percent coming from desktops and 48 percent from mobile (ClickZ, 2015). With significant Web traffic coming from mobile devices, companies cannot afford to ignore this trend. It will become standard for businesses to try to optimise mobile-friendliness as much as possible. Essentially, mobile-driven businesses may benefit from understanding three categories of mobile data, namely web traffic and user behaviour, mobile marketing and mCommerce, and mobile apps.


Web Traffic and User Behaviour

It is important to measure desktop and mobile web traffic separately. For instance, tracking the data as one big conversion rate would lead to highly skewed data as desktop visitors tend to have significantly higher conversion rates than mobile visitors.

Knowing what traffic comes to the website through mobile and understanding the behaviour of these users, businesses can work on optimising their websites accordingly. Hence, key metrics include:

· Traffic: Use the mobile overview report to see only sessions from mobile web users, view mobile web user trends over time, and compare mobile web traffic with all site traffic.

· Behaviour: Compare sessions, bounce rates, session durations, etc. to gain insight into the user experience from different devices. For instance, a high bounce rate for mobile devices may indicate that users have a difficult time navigating the website from their phones.

· Acquisition: Knowing the breakdown of web traffic and behaviour, companies need to consider the sources of mobile traffic such as search, email campaigns, and social media. To make informed marketing decisions, they can compare the traffic source and device/desktop breakdown in one view. Moreover, businesses should consider applying attribution modelling to assign credit to one or more sources for driving the user to perform an action.

mobile traffic


Mobile Marketing and mCommerce

Making a business case for a mobile responsive site, businesses need to focus on their mobile device conversion rates and visit share for eCommerce sites. Generally, add-to-cart and conversion rates are much lower for mobile devices than for desktop.

Conversion rate and cohort analysis

By grouping mobile users into segments and analysing the metrics of those groups, businesses can identify more profitable cohorts and better target users. An analysis of referring channel conversion may indicate the efficiency of marketing efforts such as paid or organic search, social media, email, display advertising, etc. This analysis should take factors such as product category type, promotions and seasonal sale into account as these can create dramatic fluctuations in conversion rates.

cohort analysis


Mobile App Metrics

For some, mobile is an extension of a company to a new platform, whereas for others, it is the sole channel of user interaction. Compared to web analytics, mobile app analytics focuses more on user loyalty by highlighting the following metrics:

· Active users: The number of downloads is not a valid metric because robots and click fraud may influence this number. Therefore, app stores rank apps not only based on installs, but also based on the quality of reviews and user retention. Instead, businesses can define active users in terms of users opening the app daily, weekly, or monthly. Moreover, understanding the sources of installs is important to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

· Retention rate: How many of the users come back the next day, week or month? The frequency of app sessions enable the calculation of retention, i.e. the number of users who return to the app daily divided by the total number of users. This metric is critical to forecast the number of user acquisitions required to maintain growth. In addition, to improve the user experience, app developers can identify the popularity of different sections within the app.

· User lifetime value (LTV): This metric assesses how much money each user will spend on the app throughout the time he or she uses it. The calculation of user lifetime value requires other metrics such as retention rate and average profit per user, which is the total profit divided by the number of active mobile app users. This is an excellent proxy to scale up revenue as the user base increases.

ltv calculation

· Cost per acquisition (CPA): For every dollar spent to acquire new users, how many were driven to the app? The comparison of user lifetime value to cost per acquisition reveals the profitability of the app. By constantly monitoring these metrics, companies can quickly manage and react to business decisions.

Will Businesses Favour Apps Over Mobile Websites?

Even though research shows that 85% of consumers favour apps over mobile websites (Moth, 2013), mobile websites will most likely continue to be an important way for businesses to reach consumers, whether or not they also offer apps. The increase in mobile traffic is a given, for which reason marketers need to be sure they serve mobile customers as well as those using a desktop.



ClickZ. (2015). Why Mobile Web Still Matters in 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015 from: www.clickz.com/

Monitise. (2015). Mobile app performance – key metrics for success. Retrieved 21 May 2015 from: www.monitise.com/insights/

Moth, D. (2013). 85% of consumers favour apps over mobile websites. Retrieved 21 May 2015 from: www.econsultancy.com/blog/

Müller, P. & Vidyaev, S. (2015). AppInTop mobile app marketing podcast. Retrieved 21 May 2015 from: www.blog.appintop.com/podcast/

Simon Raun Madsen

I am a marketing, business, and communications academic and practitioner with strong cross-disciplinary skills from courses and work experience within the fields of marketing and business intelligence. In particular, my passion for technology and several years of experience with online marketing have provided me with a flair for digital solutions, data analysis, and front-end development.
Simon Raun Madsen

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