Every app company tracks how many people have downloaded their products, but that data is of limited value. What if the app was deleted after one look? Conversely, what if it’s an ad-supported app that gets used daily? Fiksu Inc., which describes itself as a mobile app user acquisition platform, believes the answers to these and similar questions are becoming increasingly valuable. The Boston-based company unveiled July 28 two indexes designed to provide information that is more useful to the business and marketing of apps.
The first of these is the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which maintains a running tabulation of apps’ sales rankings. Between March and June 2011, for an example of one data point, it reports that the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps had an aggregate average of 4.34 million downloads per day.
The second one is more ambitious. The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index assigns a dollar value to the costs of acquiring a loyal user, and found that the average in the same time period, for brands that proactively marketed their apps, was $1.08. Fiksu follows a number of different actions to define a loyal user – such as app launches, registrations and in-app purchases – but Fiksu CEO Micah Adler said a good basic guideline is a person who uses an app three times or more.
Fiksu has tabulated nearly 2 billion mobile app actions so far to develop its indexes, but the only ones included are apps marketed via the company’s own user acquisition platform. Additionally, the data is limited to iOS devices like the iPhone, but the company will expand its activities to include Android soon.
This information is necessary for app publishers to make more informed marketing decisions, according to Fiksu. “For example, what we saw during March through June was the net effect of Apple’s ban on incentivized promotions causing a dip in volumes and a premium in marketing costs. Still, loyal user marketing remains more cost-effective than download campaigns or basic cost-per-click ad buys.”
Research from Piper Jaffray released earlier this month reported the average iOS user will download 83 apps in 2011, up from 51 in 2010. About 82 percent of App Store apps are free, with the rest having an average selling price of $1.44. Additionally, iOS users are downloading 32.3 million apps a day, triple the 11.9 million iTunes music tracks.