6 Ways to Understand Your Customer Through Analytics

This article is part 5 in a series of 5 on how Gamification can improve your app.

Along with Lighter Capital, Modern Logic recently held a webinar explaining how you can borrow tactics from game companies to improve your app. Why gamify? Because game creators deeply understand psychology. “Games are about a decade ahead of the curve in terms of conversion and stickiness,” our CEO, Dustin Bruzenak says. One effective method is using analytics the way games do. Read on to learn more about how analytics can help you maximize your impact.

Analytics Test Your Product’s Vital Signs

Analytics are like taking vital signs in the doctor’s office. If the product is the patient, analytics help you understand how the patient is doing.

In the game industry, analytics are constantly being used to “test the patient” and heal any problem areas. Game creators ask questions like: Are users going up or down? Where are we losing them? How long are they staying? Any app creator should also be concerned with the answers.

Understand User Psychology Through A/B Testing

A/B testing involves showing two groups of users different versions of your product to determine which styles and features are the most successful. This way, you don’t have to risk implementing the wrong choice on the whole product.

Mobile games have A/B testing down to a science. You probably remember when Farmville first hit your Facebook feed. Farmville A/B tested everything: each animal, each color. The creators determined which variations were the best and had the most clicks. Their most successful message was, “Your pigs are dying”. Guilt messages brought people back. The Duolingo owl doesn’t beg you to come back just to make you sad- it’s an effective way to keep people using the product!

Let User Testing Solve Your Problems

Let your team observe testing sessions. By watching everyday users, developers may begin to see problems that have gone undetected after looking at the same product every single day.

Seeing users test your product can be brutally frustrating. (Don’t forget to boost your team’s morale afterward!) But it’s worth it. Pay a company to do a product test with you.

Users are much less tolerant of performance issues than you think, and much more tolerant of bugs. Testing will show you what people really care about.

Analytics Can Focus Your Direction

Data analytics help your sales department sell. Traditionally, marketing teams begin by highlighting what you think is the most important. Use analytics to identify what users think is most important. Testing might show you that your small features can be big.

Take the example of Yelp. Yelp became a business based on a small feature of their original app. Use your analytics to drive your entire company- sales and marketing included.

Storytime: Analytics Make & Save You Money

In one example, an AR/VR streaming company pivoted from creating racing games to providing videos for the automobile industry, including big time customers like Volkswagen and Cadillac. This game company knew analytics were really important, so they built it into their program from the very beginning. With a trial demo, they learned how long users stayed on the website, what models of cars they looked at, whether they put a roof rack or other customizations on, and which colors were preferred. The data was anonymous- the company was able to identify trends this way.

With knowledge of what people really want for car colors and customizations, you can make decisions about where to slow down and speed up production.

The big trick for automobile companies with websites is to get you to the dealership. With their analytics-driven model, the customer can put a code on your phone that will show the dealer exactly what they want. The dealers could make their money by directing them to the exact model they wanted and make money through upgrading items on the car.

Using knowledge from analytics, the company revamped their generic print catalogs, instead sending custom catalogs with the colors, customizations, and models they picked- plus their name was on it. That saved money from printing a larger catalog that quickly became out-of-date.

When you’ve got the accounting company as your champions, you’re doing something right. Analytics saves you money, and saving money is just as good as making money.

Gather Data Post-Launch, Too

Once you ship your product, you no longer own your product. You’ll still want to answer questions like: Did you bring people in? How many? And did you send a user survey to gauge experience? There are other ways to gather beyond tracking clicks.

A final post-launch tip- don’t add a feature unless you have a metric to measure whether the feature is working or not.

Stay tuned for more great tips learned from
our team’s experiences in the gaming industry!