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App Development
12 minutes read

Important Mobile App KPIs to Track 

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
App Development
12 minutes read

When you build a mobile app, it is critical to measure its performance using key performance indicators (KPIs) and other mobile app metrics. 

Mobile app performance KPIs help your business optimize app development and paid marketing efforts to get the most value from its mobile app. 

If your organization is not paying attention to the critical mobile app KPIs, it is at a competitive disadvantage and won’t be able to optimize app performance to drive business growth and revenue. 

There are many key performance indicators that can be measured. However, some will indicate your mobile app’s success more than others. 

However, this doesn’t mean that the other mobile app performance metrics are unimportant. They might not reflect how well your mobile app is meeting organizational goals. 

This post will examine some of the most popular and essential mobile app KPIs your business should be actively tracking and monitoring. 

If your organization wants to realize its mobile app’s full potential and value, it must track its KPIs to measure its performance. 

What are the Top Mobile App Performance Metrics and KPIs to Track? 

The mobile app KPIs and metrics most important to your business and indicative of its success will vary based on organizational goals. 

However, several KPIs are commonly tracked and are a good indication of an app’s performance. 

We’re not going to separate mobile app marketing KPIs from mobile app analytics metrics in this post. 

The following mobile app KPIs are vital, regardless of which facet of the mobile app they measure. 

The mobile app KPIs your organization should be tracking include the following:

  • App downloads
  • User growth rate 
  • Retention rate 
  • Churn rate 
  • Crashes 
  • Monthly active users
  • Daily active users
  • Sessions 
  • Session length 
  • Session interval 
  • Session depth
  • Cost per acquisition 
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Purchases 
  • Upgrades

App Downloads

App downloads measure the total number of times a mobile is downloaded. This mobile app KPI is the most basic way to see a mobile app’s popularity in app stores.

Downloads might be a basic KPI, but it is critical to track because it sets the foundation for other important KPIs.

This might seem like a simple metric, but sometimes simple metrics are the most vital indicators of app success. 

Apps that get downloaded more are often more successful. It is hard to find a better metric for an app’s popularity with users than total downloads. 

User Growth Rate 

Organizations need to track if and how their user base is growing. Mobile apps that fail to grow are likely bound to fail.

If your mobile app experiences user base growth, pay attention to how it grows. For example, does it spike at specific times, or is growth steady throughout the year? 

For example, if your user base spikes during a sale, promotion, holiday season, etc., your organization can maximize its marketing efforts and capitalize on the growth. 

In addition, this information might be an eye-opener and lead to your business implementing strategies to promote steady growth over seasonal or promotional spikes. 

Retention Rate 

Retention rate might be the most consequential of all the user engagement metrics mobile app developers like to follow.

Users can’t engage with your application if they are no longer using it in any capacity. The most common way to measure user retention is by comparing the number of users between two date ranges.

Retention rate indicates how valuable users perceive your application to be. The more often they return, the more valuable your app is to them.

If your goal is to develop a mobile app that keeps users returning regularly, retention rate is a KPI that should get a lot of attention. 

Churn Rate 

Churn rate is the opposite of retention rate when it comes to user engagement metrics. Churn measures the rate users uninstall or unsubscribe from your mobile app

Your goal should be to keep your churn rate as low as possible since this metric measures the users you lose over a given period. 

If you notice high churn rates, it is likely indicative that your mobile app users are coming across functionality issues or bugs that detract from the User Experience. 

Additionally, high churn can be related to a lack of new content or updated features. The average user has a short attention span. Therefore, you will lose mobile users if you don’t keep your app fresh and updated.

Even though churn is a negative mobile app metric, it is important to track it so you can understand how and why app users leave your product. 


App crashes can have a devastating impact on retention and drive churn. As a result, it is critical to track how often and when your app crashes.

Crashes can occur due to bugs and other issues with the application. By tracking how often and where in the user journey crashes happen, your team can make the necessary changes to fix them.

Several tools measure app performance and generate crash reports showing your business how often, where in the app, and on what devices crashes occur. 

Without tracking crash data, you might never discover that your app constantly crashes on a particular device, especially if that device is less popular than others. 

App users will quickly abandon an app that crashes regularly. Instead, use crash data to improve app performance and deliver a better User Experience. 

Monthly Active Users 

Tracking monthly active users gives your organization a sense of its engaged audience

The monthly active users metric doesn’t have to sync exactly with the calendar. Your organization can set it for any thirty-day period. 

This KPI counts a user as a monthly active user if they log an app session within the thirty-day period your organization measures. 

While the monthly active users metric is a great way to see how well your retention and acquisition efforts are working, it is important to remember that a user can fail to log a session in one month and still return to your app. 

Daily Active Users 

For some organizations tracking daily active users is more important to their success than monthly active users.

The daily active users KPI gives businesses insight into their highly-engaged customers. User retention is positive, but app users who regularly use an application are more valuable and better indicators of engagement efforts.

It is important to understand that daily active users is a KPI that tracks individuals. So whether an individual uses your app once a day or one hundred times a day, they both count as one daily active user. 


Sessions measure the number of times your app is opened and used. This KPI illustrates how popular or useful an application is. 

The more sessions a user creates, the “stickier” a particular app is. Stickiness refers to the popularity of an application with existing users.

Sessions are a metric that each organization can set for itself. First, analyze your business and application and define what a session is for your product. 

A session for your organization might be simply opening the application or a specific set of actions.

Defining what a session is for your application is vital to effectively using this metric in your operations. 

Session Length  

Session length measures the amount of time a user spends on your application. Typically, the more time a user spends on an app, the better. 

However, it can also be beneficial to compare session length to crash reports and see if there is any correlation between the two metrics. 

In addition, for some organizations, session length will not be a major indicator of success, especially if their app is designed for quick conversions or desired actions. 

In these situations, session interval or depth might be better indicators of success. 

Session Interval 

Session interval measures the amount of time between sessions. This metric will give your business an understanding of how often users return to their application.

How often are users returning to your application? Is it every day, week, or month? If your app is popular, session intervals might be measured in hours instead of days. 

Generally, your business should want to have short intervals between sessions. However, this depends on what your app does and the content it provides.

For example, if your app shares new content every day, a session interval of one day illustrates that users return each day for new content. 

Session Depth 

Session depth measures how far a user goes in the application before ending the session. You can also think about session depth as the number of user interactions per session.

For example, if a user browses through your application, enters a few pages, browses through products, etc., and then makes a purchase or conversion, they have gone deeper than a user who just opens the app and checks for new content.

It is valuable to track how users interact with your app and how deep they typically go when spending time on your application. 

Used in combination with session length and interval, your organization can get a real insight into the customer journey through its application with the session depth metric. 

Cost Per Acquisition

Many businesses run campaigns to attract new users. Cost per acquisition is a metric that illustrates how expensive it is to attract each new application user

Understanding your application’s effective customer acquisition cost will help your organization optimize marketing costs and efforts to maximize returns. 

If you discover customer acquisition costs are higher than the lifetime value of the average user, you will have to rethink how valuable or effective your acquisition efforts are.

You shouldn’t spend more to acquire customers than they will ultimately generate for your business by using its application. 

By monitoring cost-per-acquisition metrics, you can ensure that your financial resources are utilized most effectively. 

Customer Lifetime Value 

Customer lifetime value measures the average value generated by each user for the period they use your organization’s application

A good indication of success is when the average customer lifetime value exceeds the cost per acquisition. 

The greater the difference between user lifetime value and cost per acquisition, the more financially successful your application is. 

Lifetime value is important, especially when combined with cost per acquisition.

It will be difficult to truly measure your application’s financial impact and success without a clear understanding of user lifetime value in relation to cost per acquisition.


Purchases are a basic metric to follow, but it is an important KPI for successful applications

Whether in-app purchases are driving average revenue or subscriptions are, your business needs to know how many purchases are being made and what type of transactions users are most likely to make. 

For example, you might find in-app purchases are far more successful than subscriptions or one-time app purchases. 

An in-app purchase often costs less, and users are more likely to feel comfortable making a small purchase instead of a larger one-time purchase. 

However, the types of purchases most popular on your application will vary based on the type of app you have. 

For example, gaming apps are more likely to generate in-app purchases, whereas service apps will be more likely to sell subscriptions.

Understand your application and the type of purchases consumers are comfortable making. You don’t want to use the wrong monetization strategy for your app and push users away from making purchases. 

Knowing how to sell your app and services is an important part of app store optimization and marketing. 


Most applications offer a free version. If this is true of your application, it is important to track when and how often users upgrade to a fully paid option

This metric will give your organization an idea of how long it takes for users to move from a free to a paid version of your application.

In addition, this metric will highlight which percentage of users upgrade to paid versions. For example, is the free version of your app rated higher than your paid version? 

This KPI shows the level of engagement your users have with your app and their willingness to make a financial commitment. 

Data like this is vital to understanding the success and value of your company’s mobile app. 

Final Thoughts 

Your business can measure several other important KPIs in relation to its mobile app. The metrics most indicative of success will vary from business to business. 

However, the KPIs explored in this post are commonly vital to the success of many applications. 

Analyze your business and its operational goals to determine which KPIs are most important to measure its success.

Understanding how they work and tell the story of your application’s successes and failures is important.

Without a clear way to measure and understand triumphs and shortcomings, it will be difficult for your business to make critical improvements and decisions. 

If you want to learn more about mobile app KPIs and app development, reach out to an experienced development partner like Koombea.

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