So you’ve got goals for your mobile app’s users- whether it be completing an in-app purchase, referring a friend, or creating an account.

Yet how do you actually measure your users’ conversion rates on these particular goals?


Conversion funnel analysis

Conversion funnels are a powerful tool for assessing user behavior, and optimizing key facets of your app such as retention, engagement, and monetization.

Think of your app’s conversion funnel analysis like making a sandwich- you need to take certain, fundamental steps in order to actually make that sandwich. First you have to have the bread, and if you skip the bread, then the rest of the steps towards the sandwich become irrelevant (unless you are gluten free and prefer a corn tortilla then by all means).

Image source:
Image source:


Your conversion funnel consists of a series of integral steps/user actions that lead to the completion of a goal. Just like the bread/carb for the sandwich, when building a conversion funnel your first step is the gatekeeper to your proceeding steps. All the steps in your funnel follow a linear progression. Conversion funnels don’t build themselves in your app’s analytics- it is a report of your choice, based off of steps that you have thoughtfully determined a user will likely reach on the way towards a goal. Yet just as a sandwiches can be filled with lots of different delicious fixings, so too can your conversion funnels.


Image Source: rock n roll/ bigstock
Image Source: rock n roll/ bigstock


For example, there can be multiple paths users might take to reach the goal of “Referring a Friend”, thus you can build numerous conversion funnels to determine which goal path is the most relevant and effective for your users.

“Referring a Friend” Funnel #1

  1. Launch app
  2. Login with email
  3. Complete level 2
  4. Referral message displayed
  5. Referral of app completed


“Referring a Friend” Funnel #2

  1. Launch app
  2. Login via Facebook
  3. Complete level 4
  4. Referral message displayed
  5. Referral of app completed


There are many more possible variations for the path to this goal. When analyzing these funnels, you will first want to examine the number of users that progress from one step to the next, associated conversion rates, and average time it takes for users to advance from one step to the next. These three metrics can help you get a baseline assessment of your conversion funnels’ overall health, but can only supply a glimpse of what’s really going on in those funnels.

Yet get this, when paired with qualitative data, your mobile app’s conversion funnels can show you more than just conversion rates and trends in aggregate user behavior. Qualitative data can actually show you exactly why certain users dropped off your funnels or why certain users took an “abnormal” amount of time to reach a proceeding step.

Let’s dig into a standard conversion funnel example, assess initial conclusions that can be deduced, and exactly how qualitative data can provide you with a full picture of what’s happening in your funnels.


Purchase flow conversion funnel

As with any mCommerce app, it is critical to consistently optimize your users’ purchase process. As you probably guessed, one of the best practices for doing this is to set up conversion funnels that examine your users’ purchase flow. To obtain a better understanding of your basic purchase process you set up a five-step conversion funnel with distinct steps that you have deemed as most accurate for analyzing a user’s direct path to purchase:

  1. Visited screen ‘Shop’
  2. Visited screen ‘MyCart’
  3. Visited screen ‘Payment’
  4. Tapped button “Submit” in screen ‘Payment’
  5. Triggered event ‘PurchaseComplete’

You let this funnel run for a 30 day period and then assess initial findings:

mcommerce conversion funnel
Image Source: Appsee


When examining your conversion funnel, your quantitative data tells you that only 25.7% (1,630) of the total 6,345 users that visited the ‘Shop’ screen completed the funnel and triggered the event ‘PurchaseComplete’.

There could be a lot of reasons for this metric. Let’s zone in on the specific steps to see what we can find. While all of the drop-off percentages are noteworthy and worth investigating, one in particular should stand out, the drop-off between tapped button “Submit” in screen ‘Payment’ and triggered event ‘PurchaseComplete’. This should serve as a huge red flag: why are users with strong purchase intent abandoning their purchase process? Did they experience a payment issue? Did a form field freeze on them? Did the app crash when they tried paying with a specific payment process? If you are only analyzing your app with quantitative analytics, it can take a lot of time and resources to try to pinpoint exactly why users are dropping off this step in your funnel. The reality is there is no number that can describe friction within a user’s experience.

This is where qualitative analytics platforms like Appsee, step up to the plate. Qualitative analytics pairs user session recordings with  your conversion funnels. This enables you watch individual user sessions of users that have advanced through your funnels and those that have dropped off.


conversion funnels appsee
Image Source: Appsee


By drilling down to specific session recordings of users you can see exactly what might have damaged their experience and caused them to abandon their purchase.


user recordings Appsee
Image Source: Appsee


For example, take this user from Houston, Texas who never triggered the event ‘PurchaseComplete’ yet tapped the ‘Submit’ button on the payment screen. By watching the user session recording of this specific user, you can see that the user encountered a “Missing Information” popup multiple times when attempting to complete their payment details. This can indicate that your payment information form is not intuitive for this user. The confusing form creates frustration, which leads to the user abandoning their purchase.

Aha! You have identified a key area of your app that must be optimized. Moreover, you did not have to guess in order to reach this conclusion.  As a result, you can confidently optimize this aspect of your conversion funnel and directly improve the conversion rate.

By adding qualitative analytics capabilities to your conversion funnels, you can gather the most actionable user insights and ensure that your app is delivering the ultimate user experience. Down the line, you won’t even have to ask why your app users are not completing your conversion funnels.


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