Depending on the maturity of the app marketplace, there are a variety of metrics and KPIs that can be used to track progress. In the early stages of an app marketplace, metrics relating to exposure and developer engagement are typically most important. However, in the mid and late stages, focus should shift towards metrics relating to user engagement and often monetization. On this page, we'll discuss these stages in depth:
For the first few months following launch, an app marketplace's number one priority should be exposure. This is most easily tracked by looking at the total number of unique pageviews and/or visitors the marketplace receives across all of its pages.
At this stage, in order to assess the effectiveness of various marketing efforts, platform owners may also wish to look at the number of unique pageviews and/or visitors associated with specific channels.
Soon after launch, platform owners will also want to see some engagement from developers. To this end, they should also track the number of developer signups and the number of app submissions in this stage.
After around three to six months, platform owners may choose to shift their sights towards user engagement. Here, the number of free app activations is an effective metric, as it shows that users are finding, browsing, and installing apps from the marketplace.
In parallel, platform owners should also track what percentage of customers are using the marketplace. The most successful app marketplaces, such as Salesforce or Shopify, are used by upwards of 80% of the platform's core customer base.
To improve the marketplace experience, platform owners may also track more details on-page engagement metrics, such as time spent on various pages, bounce rates, page paths, clicks, or contact form submissions.
One to two years after launching, platform owners may want to prioritize monetization, for which total marketplace revenue is the single best metric.
Platform owners should also consider categorizing revenue by app, category, developer, and/or user. For example, knowing which categories generate the most revenue may help a platform to identify potential areas of improvement in the core product; of course, care should be taken not to deter developers by making their apps redundant.
We've discussed what metrics to look at when assessing an app marketplace's performance. In the upcoming sections, we'll look at the legal and operational considerations of app marketplaces, starting with App Security.