An App Store Experiment - Part 2

August 14, 2013

As promised here is part two of my App Store experiment. If you haven't done so already then it's probably best to read part 1 of this experiment first. (Part 3 is also available here)

The Charity

In part one I asked for suggestions for charities to donate the sales to. I received many great suggestions but I settled on a local Perth charity @Footprints2013. I hope it helps a little to their goals.

The Blog Post

As many of you guessed part 1 of this blog post was the next experiment. The blog post did reasonably well, almost 20k page views, 220+ Tweets, 50 Facebook shares and number 2 on the front page of Hacker News.

Blog Post Social Shares

And everyone knows the front page of Hacker News is instant success for any product, right?

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

When the downloads began to fall, they kept falling in a very neat curve. As you can see the front page of Hacker News didn't have any noticeable impact.

The Fall

In App Purchase

I have a love-hate relationship with in app purchases. They are the best way currently to provide a trial, but in my opinion are abused by many developers (Kids games are often the worst offenders).

I had many requests to make the workouts a bit more flexible in time and sets, so thought this was the perfect opportunity to add a pro upgrade.

Pretty simple, some decent extra functionality for a few bucks.

In App Purchase

How does In App Purchase (IAP) stack up against a paid download? For this app it's been an increase of over 3x from around $22 per day to around $65 per day. The IAP converts at approximate 2-3% of the downloads per day.

Sales

Translating App Store Descriptions

More than 50% of the downloads have always been from the US, with countries like Canada, Netherlands, Philippines and the UK all being about 1/10th of the US.

Something I have seen work well in the past is local App Store description translations. So based on a few recommendations I translated to Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, German, French and Chinese (Simplified). Using https://www.icanlocalize.com this cost approximately $100.

Overall this part of the experiment was a total fail having almost no effect on the number of downloads from any of those countries.

Listening To Users

One thing that was continuously asked for in reviews from AppBot and from support emails was a workout log. So I added one as part of the IAP:

Workout Log Workout Log2

This lifted the IAP sales to around $75 per day:

Sales

Flat Design

Flat design has been an interesting one, two major issues have repeated themselves consistently, both around what is tap-able.

First one is the actual rows being tap-able, which I seemed to solve by adding a little disclosure indicator.

The other is the workout log button, people don't realise this is tap-able (and why would they?).

log

Lessons Learned

  • IAP increases revenues - For better or worse for the ecosystem as a whole, it's been proven over and over again it makes more money.
  • Get your IAP ready before going free - I'm sure a big opportunity was missed in the initial rush of downloads to convert IAP sales.
  • The big run of downloads won't last forever - It won't last forever, but it does settle into a consistent range you can work with.
  • Flat design isn't obvious - derp.

Current Stats

  • 520k downloads
  • ~2k new downloads per day
  • $6k revenue
  • 1.5 million app updates
  • ~10k DAU
  • 71% iPhone, 22% iPad, 7% iPod Touch
  • 7 million screen views
  • 3,500,000 minutes of usage (over 6.5 years)

Downloads

Will There Be A Part 3?

There wasn't going to be, but I've almost been talked into it. You can follow me on Twitter if you want to find out.

Continue to part 3

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