Measure stickiness

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The Stickiness Metric dashboard widget measures app engagement by calculating the average frequency of visitor or account activity, indicating the proportion of high-frequency return users across daily, weekly, and monthly metrics.

Use this insight to set business objectives and drive improvements in user engagement, prioritizing features or addressing issues accordingly. Product teams can push features that deliver frequent value to users or fix bugs that frustrate users and push them away. Customer-facing teams can engage users and pull them into your app. Marketing campaigns, education programs, and sales incentives are great ways to move your stickiness score.

Stickiness is one of the three components of the Product Engagement Score (PES), alongside adoption and growth.

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Understand the data

An active visitor or account has at least one recorded event during a day, week, or month. We measure stickiness by dividing the number of daily or weekly active visitors by the number of weekly or monthly active visitors, then multiplying that by 100 to get a percentage.

To effectively utilize the stickiness widget and configure it according to your needs, it's important to understand the various factors that influence stickiness. The following sections provide detailed information on selecting the appropriate ratio, the significance of active visitors and accounts, and how to handle weekend data.

Choose a ratio

The stickiness calculation assesses active visitors or accounts to determine the stickiness percentage. The ratio you choose depends on your business, your customer base, and the expected habits of your users. Different combinations yield varying percentages, making it crucial to select the ratio that aligns with your application's objectives. 

Active visitors

Measuring by active users (DAU/MAU/WAU) is pertinent when individual visitor activity significantly impacts business success. This approach suits applications tailored to individual users with personal subscriptions or businesses operating on a per-seat pricing model, in which each user's engagement justifies the cost. Alternatively, if maximizing user engagement across the board is the primary goal, measuring stickiness by visitor might be the optimal choice.

  • Daily Active Users/Weekly Active Users. Suited for a generally active user base. Visitors engage frequently but not necessarily habitually, resulting in a moderate stickiness percentage as unique daily visitors are compared with a smaller sample of unique weekly visitors.
  • Daily Active Users/Monthly Active Users. Suited for highly active visitors who habitually use the app daily. This typically yields a lower stickiness percentage as unique daily visitors are compared with all unique visitors for the month.
  • Weekly Active Users/Monthly Active Users. Suited for an involved user base where users perform infrequent tasks or maintenance but aren't expected to engage daily. This combination often results in a high stickiness percentage due to the smaller number of weeks in a month and the longer timeframe available for a visitor to qualify as a WAU.

Active accounts

Measuring by active accounts (DAA/MAA/WAA) is appropriate when individual visitors aren't expected to return frequently, but activity within the account is still essential. This approach is common in system monitoring tools, financial applications, or platforms employing automatic alerts to prompt visitor activity. Visitors engage in regular maintenance, complete workflows on a schedule, or respond to issues.

  • Daily Active Accounts/Weekly Active Accounts. Suitable for active customers engaged in frequent workflows, likely belonging to designated teams, performed more than once per week. This typically results in a moderate stickiness percentage as unique daily accounts are compared with a smaller sample of unique weekly accounts.
  • Daily Active Accounts/Monthly Active Accounts. Suitable for highly active customers accessing the app daily, possibly to complete important daily workflows or access critical information. This combination typically yields a lower stickiness percentage as unique daily accounts are compared with all unique accounts for the month.
  • Weekly Active Accounts/Monthly Active Accounts. Suitable for habitual customers expected to access the app weekly, possibly to complete transactions to run reports. This combination often results in a high stickiness score due to the smaller number of weeks in a month and the longer timeframe available for an account to qualify as a weekly active account.

Hide weekends

You can choose to include or exclude weekends in stickiness calculations from the Manage PES page.

Hiding weekends removes data from Saturday and Sunday from both the average calculation and chart display. This is useful for apps that are mainly used on weekdays, as it improves metrics by excluding days with no expected usage. This typically makes daily active ratios higher because weekend days with no usage aren't counted, which could lower the average for weekdays. However, the percentage of weekly active visitors might decrease slightly as weekend-only users are excluded.

Understand active user metrics

Active user metrics track unique visitors who use your product within a specific timeframe. For example:

  • A visitor who uses your app today is both a daily active user (DAU) and a weekly active user (WAU)
  • If the same visitor uses your app during the week but not today, they're classified as a WAU.

If your app had one unique active visitor today and two unique active visitors over the week, your DAU/WAU ratio for today is 50%. You can calculate this ratio daily and average it over a longer period to help measure the stickiness of your ap.

Higher user engagement means visitors return to your app more often, making the DAU and WAU percentages closer to each other. The time periods you choose depend on how often you expect visitors to use your app.

Monthly active users (MAU) are calculated over the last 30 days, while weekly active users (WAU) are calculated over the last seven days.

Hover over a point on the line graph to view detailed data and percentages for specific dates.

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Add the widget to the dashboard

  1. Navigate to a dashboard, then select + Add Widget in the top-right corner of the page.
  2. Select Stickiness Metric from the list of available widgets.

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  3. Update each field to your preference.
    • Name. Display name of the widget as it appears on your dashboard.
    • Metric. Ratio you'd like to measure: daily, weekly, or monthly active users (DAU, WAU, MAU) or accounts (DAA, WAA, MAA).
    • Date Range. Time period where event usage is measured.
    • Hide Weekends. Excludes data from Saturdays and Sundays.
    • Segment. Users included in the analysis for usage data. Larger segments generally result in less variable data.
    • App. App queried for product usage data.
  4. Select Save to add the widget to your dashboard.

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For more information on general dashboard and widget functionality, see Dashboards.

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