Archive for April, 2013

How to Measure Your App’s Success

Friday, April 12th, 2013

By: Mike Martinez, Chief Marketing Officer for DMEautomotive

So now your dealership’s launched an app, but you don’t know how to tell if it’s actually getting the results you want. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, follow these best practices from DMEautomotive’s groundbreaking eBook The Pocket Revolution: The Complete Guide to a Killer Mobile App to find out if your setting the right performance benchmarks when measuring your app’s success.

The number of downloads is the single most important initial metric when it comes to the measurement of your app’s success. This is because the goal out of the gate must be to build your database of users.

To start, set a reasonable annual downloads goal using this formula: take the number of VIN records in your DMS (this is your number of customers) and multiply it by .75 (the average dealership’s percentage of DMS/customer records that are “good” and actionable, according to DMEautomotive’s 2013 Strategy and Analytics Research). Multiply that figure by .67 (the average dealer’s number of “good” records in their DMS that have actually done business with them in the last 24 months). Now multiply that number by .40, as a current estimate for what percentage of your customers are app users with a smartphone (the percentage of dealer customers that use mobile apps is actually 49 percent, but lets use this number to err on the side of safety).

So what’s your answer? The resulting number is what your achievable, reasonable, targeted 12-month download objective should be. Break that number down even more to find out how many downloads you need to drive each day. The download targets will vary greatly according to the size of each store’s DMS, but according to DMEautomotive research, the average dealer needs to hit about 12 downloads a day over a year to be healthy.

Your next and equal focus should be on the number of customer accounts created in your app. Encourage each customer to establish an account, entering their personal and vehicle information upon download so they don’t have to enter this information every time they schedule service or submit a dealer inquiry. At least 50 percent of your customers who downloaded the app should establish a personal account.

The various metrics that reveal how, and with what intensity your customers are engaging with your app are also of utmost importance. Measure the amount of time spent per customer visit. Our research shows that a good benchmark would be a range of 10 – 24 minutes, and roughly four times more than time spent on your dealer website.

Measure the average pages viewed per visit. Successful dealer apps should drive an average of 10 -15 page views per app visit or roughly twice as many pages viewed than your dealer website. This is the part of the app that you must give them good reasons for coming back and for sticking around; otherwise your customers will fail to engage with your app.

What app areas are you customers engaging with the most? You want your vehicle management and inventory pages to stay in the top five because they’re critical to driving more business. And as far as repeat visitors, roughly 60 – 85 percent of your visitors should be returning users. Now of course in the first few months after you launch your app your percentage of new users will be nearly 100 percent, but after roughly three months, you want repeat visitors to make up at least 60 percent of total visits. Another great indicator of app success is how many times a month your customers turn to your app. Aim for an average of three to six visits per unique user, over a 90 day period.

Finally, you should be taking the time to constantly improve your app, and when the time comes to make an update you will want roughly 75 percent of original users to re-install the app upon update. If less than 67 percent of consumers re-install your app when that update notice pops up, it’s yet another sign your app is failing the use-value test, or that they were never properly shown how to use it.

And don’t forget, you must have patience because it typically takes a year for your customers to really build up “muscle memory” around the app, but if it’s built right and makes the consumer’s life easier, you can expect your data to reflect the retention you want.

Mike Martinez is Chief Marketing Officer of DMEautomotive, the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing that provides a range of marketing services to the biggest and most innovative automotive organizations in the industry. For more information, email