How do I improve the conversion performance of my app?


22nd March 2023


7 min



How do I improve the conversion performance of my app?

A highly-trained athlete will win the race‚ and a high-performing mobile app will convert customers. It’s as simple as that. When we think about improving conversions – be they sales‚ sign-ups or anything else – we have to consider app performance.

With a predicted $935 billion net worth by the end of 2023‚ mobile apps are a key revenue driver. But they’re also highly competitive‚ and to get them right‚ we need to improve app performance.

What do we mean by conversion performance?

In the context of mobile apps‚ conversion performance is a measurement of how many users are taking desired actions on mobile apps. Naturally‚ this will vary depending on the type of app‚ from gaming to simple ‘life admin’ applications.

Some examples may include:

  • Upgrading from a free version to a premium paid version
  • Making a booking or a purchase
  • Subscribing to updates or newsletters.

Application performance will affect a user’s potential to convert. For example‚ if the app is slow to load‚ they may not see the value in upgrading to a premium version. Likewise‚ if there are unnecessary steps or obstacles that prevent them from buying or subscribing‚ they may go elsewhere.

Mobile app optimization starts with identifying any potential issues in the app itself.

What mobile app performance issues could impact my conversion rates?

The best mobile application will load quickly‚ handling a large number of network requests alongside a seamless user experience. App users are fickle – seven in 10 will leave an app that takes too long to load‚ while 71% will uninstall if the app crashes.

Functionality issues could be server-side‚ for example‚ API latency could impact the time it takes for your app to respond to an end-user’s request. They may also be in the front end‚ for example‚ oversized images could be impacting app load time.

The best way to identify these issues is to prioritise key mobile app performance metrics. A specialist data analytics agency would look at this in terms of business metrics and technical metrics.

How do you track performance on an app?

To improve app performance‚ we need to look at our user data and spot opportunities for performance improvements. User data concerns the way our users are interacting with our app – including on different operating systems like Android or Apple iOS.

We might look for user performance metrics like:

  • App downloads‚ dormancy or uninstalls
  • User growth over time
  • Inactive versus active users
  • Session length and activity
  • User reviews.

When looking at performance improvements‚ we’ll examine technical metrics instead‚ such as:

  • App loading time
  • Resolution relative to screen sizes
  • Device type and operating system
  • Mobile device performance
  • Crash reports.

Each of these figures gives us insights into where we can invest to improve app conversion rates.

What should I be looking out for when measuring app conversion performance?

When measuring user activity‚ we need to determine what might be holding people back from that all-important conversion. For example:

App downloads and user growth rate

Your conversions could be falling at the first hurdle – the app launch. User reviews may be slowing growth rates or awkward sign-up processes could be causing users to go dormant. A slick sign-up form that doesn’t ask for too much could streamline this phase.

Session length and active users

Spotting key patterns in session length could point to slow-loading pages or functionality. Then we have the number of active users versus dormant: what caused them to download in the first place? Do we need to re-activate them with a personalised notification or offer?

User reviews

We should be mindful to look at user reviews on places such as the App store. These could highlight the need for debugging or updates. And there’s more than just our app reviews – looking at competitors gives us tips for improvement.

App loading times and crash reports

It’s important to remember how much slow-loading apps impact performance. Bounce rates increase by up to 123% when users have to wait 10 seconds. Bounce rates are good benchmarks to go by as they show us when our customers are leaving – anything up to 3 seconds is acceptable.

Excessive code and poor memory management may slow down an app‚ but they may also crash it. We should analyse crash reports to determine what’s causing them and potentially deterring users.

Device types and screen resolution

Mobile app testing can identify what elements may be slowing down performance‚ such as server-side bandwidth issues. We should test apps across multiple operating systems to see if there are any bottlenecks‚ for example‚ cache settings.

Mobile device performance

We need to remember that not every device is the same. Some customers will be using older devices or operating systems‚ which will impact their functionality such as local storage. We need to test a diverse range of devices to look at power consumption and app refreshing‚ so as not to frustrate any users.

What should my mobile app conversion rate be?

There is no one single figure for what a mobile app conversion rate should be. It varies enormously depending on what we’re measuring – for example‚ installs or views – as well as the industry. As a benchmark‚ Apptweak suggests that install rates for the following industries are:

  • Lifestyle – 7.8%
  • Games – 1.6%
  • Food & Drink – 6.3%
  • Travel – 8.5%

Of course‚ the best way to improve app performance is to establish a strong testing plan.

What is a testing plan?

A testing plan is essential for mobile app development‚ outlining what will be tested‚ how it will be tested‚ and the resources and timescales required. Broadly‚ it addresses the scope (including budgets and customer requirements) before outlining the objectives for every phase of testing.

It also includes the entry and exit criteria‚ such as completing all tests and reporting. It covers a wide range of system tests including performance‚ functional‚ regression and security testing‚ as well as launching‚ usability and interruptions.  

Each phase will be reported and finally each stakeholder will be given their roles‚ such as project managers or engineers. This will feed into the deliverables‚ looking at areas for improvement and ultimately finessing the app before it goes live.

What methods can I use to improve conversion performance?

Whatever the industry‚ every mobile app should have an intuitive user experience that is secure and simple to use. This is only achievable with rigorous testing‚ which can help us to improve mobile performance‚ for example:

  • Use a content delivery network to load your app faster
  • Keep it light and free of cumbersome features
  • Build an offline mode for when Wi-Fi isn’t available
  • Optimize code for better loading and crash prevention
  • Test your app across multiple devices and operating systems
  • Consider resizing heavy imagery and loading content in phases
  • Keep users engaged with loading states so they know that there may be a wait.

The takeaways

We have seen that users are fickle and have any number of options at their disposal. That’s why it’s so important to monitor the performance of your app – not just at the launch stage but throughout its lifecycle.

Regular testing and troubleshooting help to improve the user experience. Performance optimization needs to take priority from the launch stage‚ but we can always make improvements later on‚ such as using a CDN. 

Whether we’re building a native app or going for cross-platform‚ the user experience principles remain the same. Put the user first and the conversions will speak for themselves.

How hedgehog lab can help you improve your mobile app performance

As experts in digital transformation‚ the team at hedgehog lab can create your bespoke mobile app testing plan. We can also analyse your existing performance and make recommendations for the future. Just look at our Android and IOS solutions for YourParkingSpace or the NHS.

Ready to put your customers first? Contact hedgehog lab today.