Tap into the Power of Mobile App User Segmentation: Strategies for Optimal Reporting

Tap into the Power of Mobile App User Segmentation: Strategies for Optimal Reporting

Elena Doynova

Apr 18, 2023 • 6 min read

Unleash the Power of Mobile App User Segmentation: Strategies for Optimal Reporting

Bad mobile app UX is worse than bad website UX, one might argue. Why? Because when on our mobile phones, we tend to be far less patient and forgiving. In our fast-paced world, a glitchy app experience translates to lost minutes, missed busses, dropped calls with loved ones… To add to this, we are far more likely to share our frustration than our positive experience on an app’s store page. How do product managers make sure that their mobile applications are providing spectacular user experiences? Digital analytics tools provide the raw data, but it’s clever mobile app user segmentation that helps PMs on the path to improvement. In this article, we delve into the top methods and tools for segmenting app users, with the end goal of tailoring product strategies to distinct groups. By doing so, you can enhance user conversion rates, improve user retention, and ultimately increase app revenue. Discover how you can customize user experiences and elevate user engagement through effective app user segmentation! 

What is user segmentation and why is it important?

User segmentation is like playing detective, but instead of tracking down suspects, you’re tracking down user behavior patterns. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good mystery?

With user segmentation, you get to unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes and uncover the hidden secrets behind user behavior. You can identify different types of users, like the loyal users who open your app daily, the occasional users who pop in every now and then, and the one-time users who vanished into thin air.

But it’s not just about labeling users. User segmentation helps you personalize your approach to each group, like tailoring a suit to fit a specific body shape. By understanding user behavior patterns, you can create improvement strategies (onboarding sequences, pricing adjustments, etc.) for a specific target audience, offer personalized incentives, better manage your push notifications, or design features that cater to each group’s needs.

And the best part? User segmentation can unlock increased conversion rates, better user retention, and increased revenue. 

How about mobile app user segmentation?

Whether you like it or not, mobile app usage patterns are different than website usage patterns and if you have an app, you need to play the game. User experiences may vary wildly between your web and mobile app – and this is an opportunity, not a setback. To be able to make use of this opportunity, you need to know your mobile app user and how they differ from a web user. To do that, you need to be able to segment them into (somewhat) neat groups for analysis. That’s how you can notice when, for example, your Android app’s Checkout page is a major driver of drop-offs – and move forward to investigate why.

Defining user segments

We sat down with our Product Manager, Mariya Ivanova, and talked about the different ways in which she has used mobile user segmentation throughout her career. Apart from the basic geographical (location, language) and demographic (age, gender) segmentation, behavioral segmentation is of utmost importance. The most obvious way is to segment based on the mobile operating system – Android, iOS, etc. This allows her to find what exactly are the differences in product usage between desktop and mobile – and what UX problems mobile users are facing in particular. 

Mobile App User Segmentation Metrics

To identify the most important groups of people for your business, you need to recognize what are your goals as they may vary from one stage of product development to another. Then, you need to map those goals onto specific metrics to create segments based on your learning needs. 

Some of the most important metrics Mariya shared include:

  • Number of downloads and installations of the app: this metric gives you the overall picture of how well your app is performing in the marketplace. It is also important for the marketing and sales departments, as they can assess their monthly or quarterly performance using this metric.
  • Daily Active Users (DAUs): this segment is important throughout the product’s life cycle, but even more so during the launch phase as it is widely used as a measurement of whether an app is successful or not. 
  • Adoption of specific mobile app features: this segment of users can be defined with the DAUs of the specific feature and can help you understand whether that shiny new thing you introduced is actually that important. Or, it might give you an indication that your mobile app is not performing as expected and that there are missed opportunities for adoption.
  • Stickiness: how often a user interacts with your product or feature throughout a specific period of time. This metric can be visualized both as non-descript users, or specific roles, demographics, etc. Stickiness is important as it gives you an overview of the adoption process and gives you ideas on how to improve it. 
  • Upgrades and downgrades (for SaaS businesses): when used to compare desktop and mobile app users, this can give you valuable insights into the events that drive your customers to upgrade or downgrade. This is an important addition to monitoring new subscriptions and churned users, as it pinpoints additional revenue opportunities and how to work toward maximizing them.
  • Session duration and activity/inactivity: segmenting users using this metric will give you an insight into how different groups engage with your app or specific features. 

Overall, you can segment using user-based, session-based, and behavior-based (UX) metrics depending on your specific goals.

How does mobile app user segmentation help you improve your conversion rate?

Mobile App User Segmentation: Funnels & Session Replay

A data-driven approach to increasing conversion rates will help you better understand friction points and conversion opportunities. Segmentation is the crucial first step but it will not be able to give you a complete understanding of these, though – you will need digital experience analytics that help you visualize the entire user experience.

Instrumentation-free funnels are one tool that can provide the needed data – even retroactively (as opposed to manually tagging events and funnels where there is no historic data available before the creation of the specific funnel). With funnels, you can define the drop-off point with precision and apply mobile user segmentation to further narrow down the search for the culprit. 

Defining the drop-off points is only the beginning of the conversion optimization process. Next up, you need to define what drives the drop-off. Is it a glitch in your iOS app? Or is it a hard-to-find Add to Cart button on your Android app? To find this out, you can rely on session replay tools. They help you navigate your app in your user’s shoes so you can see exactly what happened. 

What are the challenges?

One of the biggest challenges when using segmentation to monitor web and app usage is how to track users who visit both your web application and mobile application. To do that, you need to implement ID tracking – that is, add a separate layer of tracking details that allow the analytics platform to match users from your website and your mobile application. In this way, you can follow your users across platforms and make sure you don’t miss anything along their journey.

Another challenge you might face is having to create custom events for situations in which tagless autocapture doesn’t follow the user to the completion of the event. Think of Checkout processes that redirect to 3rd-party payment processors, for example. While this is a minor inconvenience with tagless autocapture, manual instrumentation can be very cumbersome as it requires you to manually tag all important events throughout the journey. As Mariya mentions, both approaches to data gathering have their shortcomings and are best used in conjunction. 

How to use Session Replay to improve your mobile app user experience?

With SessionStack, you have the opportunity to bring app session replay to your web and hybrid mobile applications simultaneously. The platform supports multiple-page or single-page apps, built in React, Angular, or any other JS framework; Iframes (same & cross-origin) and pop-ups too. Stay tuned as we will soon be offering support for native apps, too!

Once you implement SessionStack with our easy-to-use snippet for tagless autocapture, you can segment your users by operating system. With the help of the ‘OR’ operator we introduced, you will be able to build a segment of users that encompasses all mobile operating systems and have a comprehensive view of how users interact with your mobile apps as opposed to web apps. 

Once you have pinpointed problematic sessions, you can watch them with our pixel-perfect session replay tool. Mobile sessions are displayed in the same detail as web sessions, and with the respective screen format, too.

Viewing problematic sessions will not only help you reproduce bugs but also spot unexpected feature use and pinpoint areas for improvement. Once you have your takeaways, you can share the sessions with your colleagues so the whole engineering team can get their heads together in solving the challenges.

To put it in a nutshell…

Product managers know that a bad mobile app user experience can be more detrimental than a bad web user experience. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on mobile app user segmentation to better tailor your product strategies. By understanding user behavior patterns, you can create targeted improvement strategies, offer personalized incentives, and design features that cater to each group’s needs. This can lead to higher user conversion rates, better user retention, and increased revenue. With digital analytics tools and user segmentation, you can supercharge your app’s user experience and keep your users engaged.

See what SessionStackAI can do for your business