Mobile apps are now an integral part of many marketing or internal efficiency campaigns, but they do come with some very unique challenges. Unlike the countless pieces of software or even integrated tracking systems that can be used with more traditional programs, business owners are going to take a unique approach when it comes to measuring, quantifying, or even discovering what metrics should measured in the first place. For those that are unsure of where to start, here are some basic principles that can be used to measure and track mobile ROI in today’s economy.
Understanding the Basics
Even before the app design has been decided upon, business owners and their teams are going to need to decide exactly who will be using the app and for what reason. Custom apps can be used to improve workplace efficiency or target other unique needs within the company and will never be seen by the customers themselves. Many business owners, on the other hand, will be using these apps to attract new customers, improve customer retention, or even generate leads. These are just some of the reasons that the general purpose of the app must be established first before the ROI can be estimated.
The Development Costs
Not only is this one of the first true elements of determining the mobile ROI, it is also one of the most misunderstand. A company may only take into account the development of the software itself without realizing what other costs will crop up. If the app was made for the company’s employees, additional costs may include training staff on how to use the software, the amount of time to download the software, and if any additional resources that will be needed within the office.
For apps directed at customers, some of the biggest periphery costs will come down to support and advertising. An app that continues to crash or requires a massive amount of resources will not be worth it, even if the initial investment was low. There will also be the need to draw customers in to simply download the software or program, and these costs could be ongoing in most industries.
Growth and Efficiency
Most apps are going to be designed to either cut back on work or make that work more profitable and efficient in the long run. Whether it is for company execs or a field technician, apps that remain within the company will need to meet specific criteria in order to have a high ROI. Some of the metrics that business owners can look at include finding weak spots in the chain of command, more face time with customers, better retention of current customers, less waste, a reduction in inventory, and a higher conversion rate.
On the customer end of the spectrum, a little more work will be needed to see if the app is truly effective as much of the baseline information can be misleading. The first place to look is the amount of downloads, and a low number here could spell disaster in the long run. Other areas to explore and measure include the amount of time spent within the app, sales made through the software, crashes, user reviews, and complaints. Essentially, the app must produce more leads, better user acquisition, higher customer retention, and a good conversion rate.
A Final Look at Mobile ROI
Each and every company is slightly different in its budget, its size, and its final goals. This means that there are countless variables that must be taken into consideration, but these can typically be bundled into groups for easier measurement. Savings such as the use of less paper or lower energy consumption in the office can be bundled together and then broken down at a later point if needed. The final step is to set a timeline for the mobile app and then scale these costs and savings to that timeline, generally around 3 to 5 years.