Mobile and web apps collect an inordinate amount of data. Analytics providers make it easier than ever to collect data about how users are interacting with your app, but unfortunately data collection does not necessarily lead to growth.
There are dozens of ways to use data to drive growth, but for this article we will primarily focus on growing through an improved user experience (or UX). Improving UX leads to more virality, revenue, conversions and an overall happier customer base without requiring you to spend a single dollar on marketing. Here are five ways to use your data to improve your UX:
1. Use data to identify pain points in your on-boarding process
On-boarding almost always constitutes the most important part of your app. Apps with very good on-boarding experiences generate engaged users right away. Unfortunately, with the huge multitude of apps and services available today, slightly confusing or onerous on-boarding experience will result in users leaving your app and likely never coming back. According to Appcues, “86% of users never return after initially downloading your app.”
Fortunately, lots of data can be collected about the on-boarding experience for users. We recommend creating a funnel and analyzing each part of the experience for a high drop-off rate. Creating a funnel for your on-boarding experience takes little effort. We make funnels that look like this:
Improving the conversion rate of your on-boarding process by even a few percent can result in many more customers using your app.
2. Utilize A/B testing to rapidly test new product concepts or features
Very subtle differences can make a huge difference in conversions and user experience. For example, a Software as a Service, or SaaS, company, Scalyr, increased clicks by 3x simply by changing two words in its call to action button.
Your team should always be A/B testing different ways to improve the user experience of your app. As the above example with Scalyr shows, small changes can give a huge lift in growth and conversions.
3. Analyze the Entire Conversion Funnel from pre-install all the way to a conversion to identify bottlenecks
“The customer journey starts when users discover your app, and only ends when they convert.”
We discussed how fixing pain points in your on-boarding process results in more engaged users, but customers drop off at each step of the conversion funnel. If the drop-off rate occurs from a click on an ad to install then maybe your App Store page needs editing. If there is a drop-off in your checkout funnel, then A/B test new ways of getting users to pay.
Identifying drop-offs in your entire conversion funnel will immediately guide you to bottlenecks in the customer funnel. Once your team fixes these bottlenecks conversions will rise.
4. Figure out commonalities among the most engaged users in order to improve your user acquisition efforts
“Product, marketing and sales is simply a function of the user.”
By analyzing your usage data, you can identify commonalities, or cohorts, among your users very easily and improve user personas. A cohort is a group of users with a commonality, like iPhone 6 users or users from Boston. For example, you may find that users tend to convert more at night or more on iPad. This insight gives you valuable information about where to find new users. If you find that users convert better on iPad, run ad campaigns targeted to iPad users.
Cohorting also tells you which types of users do not convert, and in turn enables you to avoid those users in your marketing efforts.
5. Do user research–correctly!
Like A/B testing, user research is invaluable for testing new product concepts and changes to your app. Unfortunately, most user research occurs on extremely biased samples. Your team, friends, investors and significant other do not constitute good candidates for a user research session. You need to find unbiased users who you do not have a personal relationship with and listen to their feedback, even if it contradicts what you think. A feature that your team may love may not work at all with an actual user.
When you use your heaps of data correctly, you enable your entire team to improve user experience and increase growth and virality. Improving your user experience is the easiest and most cost effective way to reach your business objectives. Most importantly, think of your data as an asset to improve your app rather than a chore that you have to deal with.