Making customer-focused decisions with Adoption reports


With Windows 8, we provide you powerful tools in Visual Studio, and a rich API set to help you build great Metro style apps. But we know that you don’t want to build just a great app—you want to build successful apps. We understand we have a responsibility to provide you with substantive data about your apps—data that gives you the ability to make customer-focused, data-driven decisions. In this post, Deepak Mukunthu, a Program Manager on the Developer Analytics team, describes some of the app reports we provide. This post is the first in a series that will cover the app and Store data we make available to developers to help developers succeed with their current and future apps.

–Antoine


When we started to build the analytics reports we include in the Windows Store, we spent a lot of time talking with the developer community. From these conversations, we learned that the information you need falls into three categories:

  1. Adoption: These reports help you track download trends for your app and listen in to customer feedback.
  2. Quality: These reports help you improve the quality of your apps by tracking and investigating any crashes, hangs, or exceptions in your app.
  3. Finance: These reports help you track your earnings in the store.

In this post, we’re going to focus on the Adoption reports. With these reports, you can gain deep insights into your apps’ performance in the market. You can examine the data across interesting pivots like user demographics, device architectures and form factors to gain deeper insights. In addition, the Explore store trends page helps you understand how customers are adopting apps at large. We’ll cover quality and finance reports in future posts.

Accessing analytics for your apps

When you log on to the Windows Store Dashboard, the app tiles give you a quick overview of how your apps are doing in Windows Store. The data displayed on the tile are total downloads since release and average star rating across all markets. If your app is either a paid app or free app that supports in-app transactions using our Store transaction services, you also get to see the total revenue earned by the app. We refresh this data once a day and the data itself is typically 24 to 36 hours old.

A image of a typical Windows 8 app tileFigure 1 – App Tile

Clicking on the Reports link on the bottom right corner of the tile opens the app summary page that summarizes the key data-points for that app. Again, based on what we learned from the developer community, we designed the App summary page to give you a quick overview of how your app has been doing over the last 30 days. The app summary page shows you download trends, ratings breakdown, and quality overview for this app. Here’s an example:

A representation of the content displayed in the Windows Store's App Summary page.Figure 2 – App summary

You can dive deeper into any of these by clicking the Details link at the top right corner of the corresponding report. You can also use the navigation pane on the left hand side of the screen to view other reports you might find useful.

Let’s look at Adoption reports in more detail.

Conversion

Customers go through multiple stages of decision making before purchasing an app. These stages include viewing the app in the Store, downloading the app (including the trial version, if your app supports it) and eventually purchasing it (if it is a paid app). By comparing the number of times people view your app in the Store against the number of downloads, you can get a good idea of how well your app’s listing page in the Store is encouraging customers to try your app. By comparing the number of downloads against the number of purchases, you can see how well your trial version is doing. In fact, we provide a Conversion chart to provide you this information. In addition, the purchase numbers are further broken down to let you know the number of users who chose to try the app before purchase.

A typical eample of a conversion report.Figure 3 – Conversion

You can use this chart to determine where you need to focus to improve adoption. For example, a low conversion from app listing page views to downloads could indicate that your app description is not effective enough to get customers interested in trying out the app. Alternatively, negative reviews from existing customers could be discouraging new customers from trying the app. We provide you with data on customer reviews and quality reports to explore and identify areas for improvement.

Listing views by referrer

The Listing views by referrer chart helps you track referral sources for your apps. It displays the top five sources from where users have landed on the app listing page. Our intent here is to help you understand where traffic is coming from so you can tune your marketing appropriately (for example, spending more on SEO if traffic from search engines is low). Keep in mind that this chart doesn’t report discovery through internal referrals on the Store client through search or browse.

A sample report showing the listing views by referrerFigure 4 – Listing views by referrer

Downloads

The Downloads report helps you easily track number of users downloading your app from Windows store.

A sample of a Windows Store downloads report.Figure 5 – Downloads

We understand that it is very important for you to know where you stand with respect to your competition. The Average of this subcategory’s top 5 apps trend line provides you a useful reference benchmark for your app. We respect developer privacy by not showing a reference benchmark to other developers if we detect that it can reveal data about a specific app.

Release markers (such as the grey square showing 8 in the above screenshot) help you correlate trends with your app releases—you can clearly see how each of your app releases impacted the download trend.

You can further analyze the download trend using filters.

filtersFigure 6 – Filters

There are two types of filters to help you analyze download data. The time filter on the top right corner allows you to tune the time duration of analysis starting at a day granularity for the past 30 days all the way up to monthly granularity for the past year.

The demography filter allows you to examine the data based on Country/region of download, Age and Gender of the users. In addition, the demographic charts provide a quick look into the demographic profile of your customers for a chosen filter setting.

A sample of a bar and pie chart.Figure 7 – Demographic charts

The customer age and gender data in the Downloads by age group chart is assimilated using the Microsoft account profile of customers. The country information is gathered by using reverse IP lookup of the download clients.

To help simplify the demographic analysis of download trends, we use data mining techniques to detect demographic patterns and present these to you in an easy-to-read format. In the example shown below, the app is being downloaded mostly by males in the age group 22-40 across all countries. You can click on Apply filters to easily apply the demographic pattern to the download chart and see the download trend.

An example of a demographics patterns reportFigure 8 – Demographic patterns

In-app purchases

In the blog titled Licensing apps, my colleague Alwin Vyhmeister explained how you can use in-app purchase to sell additional functionality to customers from inside the app. The In-app purchases report helps you understand the number of in-app purchases happening from your app, and more specifically tracks the top five purchases in your app.

An example of an in-app purchase line graphFigure 9 – In app purchases

Usage

The Usage report helps you understand the amount of time users are spending on your app per day and compare that against the average usage for the subcategory your app belongs to.

An example of a usage reportFigure 10 – Usage

The usage data for the report is collected from a random sample of PCs, ensuring that the data collected is representative of your customers’ usage pattern. The usage time is the total time that the app was running on the user’s PC. This does not include the time your app was in a suspended state on the user’s PC (information on suspended state for an app can be found here).

You can use the time filter to see the change in usage trends for your app and compare the same with the average for apps in the same subcategory. You can also filter the usage report on form factor of the machine on which your app was used. The data in this particular report can be up to 14 days old and is refreshed once a day.

Ratings

Direct customer feedback is a great source of information, and we wanted to make it easy for you to access this.

An example of a ratings reportFigure 11 – Ratings

The Ratings report allows you to look up customer ratings and reviews for each of the markets that you are selling your app in. The breakdown chart shows ratings for your app in the last 30 days, allowing you understand your customers’ perception of your app in the recent past.

Explore store trends

Besides helping you understand how your current app is doing in the market, we also wanted to give you information to help you decide what type of app to build next, and which customer segment to target. The Explore store trends report provides insight into download trends across all categories and subcategories for both free and paid apps. You can access this by clicking on the Explore store trends link on the Dashboard.

An example of how to filter store trendsFigure 12 – Explore store trends filters

Here’s an example of trends for the News & weather category.

An example of a trends report using a News and Weather appFigure 13 – Explore store trends for News & weather category

After you select an App Type, Category and Subcategory, you can see the download trend for your selection. As you can see, we provide both time- and demography- based filtering, as well as demographic patterns. This information can help you quickly identify the categories (and subcategories) for your app, and which demographic segments you should target.

We know that great apps demand great tools. We’ve designed our analytics to include a lot of reports that allow you to not only refine and improve the sales and downloads of existing apps, but also to determine what types of apps to consider building next. And as a vital part of the service, we’ll continue to listen to understand how we can improve these reports so that both you and your customers have a great experience with your apps.

As we talked about in the beginning of this post: we understand the critical role data plays in helping you make decisions about how to position and improve your apps. The Adoptions reports we described are one way we get this data to you. But that’s just the beginning—there’s also Quality and Finance reports. We’ll describe those reports in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

–Deepak Mukunthu

Comments (15)

  1. Andrei Marukovich says:

    Will we be able to see a summary of the ratings/reviews for all the regions? Detailed report per market is nice but it is almost impossible to go through all 200 markets to see the recent reviews.

  2. sreesiv says:

    Great analytics tool.

    One query? Do you plan to expose some way for the developer to get raw data (either free or paid)? Some sort of an OData feed?

    If there is one, then it will be great, because the dev/company can run their own analytics to get more insight into what's happening with their apps, and thereby have an opportunity to get an edge over competition.

    It’s all about how we see the data and which pivots we apply to get deep insights into interesting trends and patterns.

  3. Dries Bultynck says:

    That looks way better than the Android stats! Not to mention the lousy Apple stats

  4. BlackLight says:

    Very comprehensive and impressive. Please make the WP7 statistics as good as these. Also, please make the system reliable. The WP7 app hub sometimes has reliability problems and bugs.

  5. Sven says:

    Great work, that looks awesome! Way better than the ugly WP7 app hub. However, please add:

    – ratings and reviews for all regions accumulated on one page (no way I click through all countries to read reviews)

    – Ranking position within my app category, so I can see the position of my app in the store (like this: http://sorokoletov.com/ztop/)

    – A notification when my app is featured somewhere. Now we can see only a spike in the downloads, but we have no idea why. I would like to know when and where my app is currently featured

  6. Sven says:

    I forgot: a way to respond to customer reviews would be great. Either a public answer function for the reviews, or a private (maybe anonymous) way to contact a customer. This helps in most cases to clear out questions or problems / confusion.

  7. chriswin says:

    Its proven fact that app development does not make money (arstechnica.com/…/ios-app-success-is-a-lottery-and-60-of-developers-dont-break-even.ars). The potential is still there but platform owners like apple, MSFT etc are not being very innovative or engaging to help developers monetize and continue make money, and make windows ecosystem more compelling.

    Please add the following features to the store:

    1. Demo Videos within the screen shot and description section. Animation ads have higher click through rate online and prove to be far more compelling.

    2. Increase app pricing to allow developers to break even quicker and hedge against monetary inflation also allow flexible prising model to fight against currency falcuations/risks by allowing a range for increasing and decreasing prices based on anticipated currency falctions.

    3. Have dedicated windows store magazine app or website, filled with articles relative to the software development, from consumer, business, IT and NPA/NGP/government specific apps. or revamp "radmond magazine"/"visual studio magazine" to allow engagement between users and software producers.

    4. Discount by 5% for use of microsoft advertising to promote apps. help developers market their products, offer a paid short course if you have too.

    5. Publish problems on the magazine app from society, business, governments etc that need a software solution, this will function like a 'think tank' where user post the problems and seeking solutions, any developer that solves this gets rewarded from purchases. Remember products (including software products) solve problems in society that’s how to make money, not some massaging app that no one needs or solve any problem.

    6. offer a paid course on how to design apps and make money, and how to manage design projects, maintain and further develop apps, consumer relationship management, ethics, international commercial law topics such as copyrighting, patents, sale/licensing contracts etc. this very very important since it seems most app developers lack a lot of professionalism and its visible through the products they come up with and how the engage with the end user.

    7. Increase the number of payment methods, have ISP carrier billing (broadband cell phone companies using cell phone call credits), many developing country users don’t have access to credit cards, and therefore wont be able to buy any thing from the store, else have a direct cash bank deposit to an account in that country. Do what ever it takes to have anyone in any country pay for the app they need else all your efforts will be fruitless.

    8. Allow desktop apps in the store too, but use the affiliate commission model so MSFT can earn for each purchase. The reason so many desktop developers are moving from windows to iOS and android is because they where not making money because there was no central store even though Vista was suppose to have including windows 7 but it never came to pass, which drove developers away, so please have desktop apps in the store too, and have a blog on how to update old desktop apps for new windows and hardware (dual core etc) they have invested a lot of time and money on, allow them get a return on previous windows investments. Along the way they start creating metro apps too.

    9. 'Click to compare' features are also very important, in this case user can only compare apps in the same catagory e.g () one way to achieve autometically is by allowing developers fill in an app feature form. this wll then be comapered to other similar apps under the same category.

    10. 4 rating stars should be 1. MSFT technical rating (how well it fits into your criteria of how an app should be using a technical percpective) 2. consumer rating 3. techcominity rating (other developers in the windows store can rate it) 4. avagerage of the three above.

    11. the ability to sell budle apps at descount price and option to sell individualally

  8. @Antoine

    I definitely agree with sreesiv and chriswin. Exporting the data in an easily analyzable format like RDF (in N3 or the like) could be advantageous. I would like an improved store that chriswin mentioned. Some ideas are really striking (desktop apps, split rating, magazine).

    Nevertheless, nice work, guys. Keep it up.

  9. Quikboy says:

    Nice stats view. However, could the blogs please try to put in more higher-res images? It's pretty blurry and hurts my eyes trying to discern some details.

  10. JustMe says:

    Hi Antoine you used a wallpaper as Lockscreen during the WCP event

    img716.imageshack.us/…/wallpaperv.png

    Could i have this one please?

  11. dlvg says:

    Please display also the current account value (how much I've earned since the last payout). That way I know when I can expect the next payout. That is also missing in the current app hub.

  12. AJC says:

    I have not been able to find out if we can sell Win32 apps in the new Windows store.  Can we do this?  

    Many apps are not suitable for a touch interface but consumers will still want to buy them from the Windows store and certainly if they have Windows 8 that is the first place they will look.

  13. B8Blog says:

    @AJC

    There is only support for selling metro style apps in the store, not Win32 apps.

    We will have the ability to list your Win32 apps in a catalog which then points to your site or your commerce site to acquire the app.

  14. @Antoine Leblond

    @Steven Sinofsky

    I am wondering why a developer who has great ideas, develops nice, fast and fluent Metro style apps and wants to bring them for free to the users has to pay money for that? I know that the evaluation process and hosting capabilities of the Windows 8 Store are limited and thus are going to cost some money. However do you not think that the new Windows ecosystem could be much richer and so even more valuable when providing apps for free or perhaps even open-source Metro style apps?

    I could even think of a code-sharing/dev2dev/buy-a-package capability (cf. GitHub) on the Windows Store.

    Please, let me know what you think of that.

  15. Seihyung says:

    It looks like great. It would be very beneficial to app developers.

    I'd like to ask a question.

    Can I save these raw data as excel file(.xls, .csv, whatever…)?