AppStretch to Make the Most of Your Best Customers

appstretchI previously wrote how, for in-app purchases, 1.14% of paying customers generate 30% of the sales. A relatively small number of customers are the loyal ones.

Today I came across an announcement for AppStretch that takes advantage of your most loyal customers. AppStretch says fans will pay a lot for a great feature, improvement or just to support the developer. I guess AppStretch are right and developers are actually under-charging the worth of in-app purchased new features for the top loyal users.

AppStretch will crowdsource feature ideas for apps and provide a better mechanism for monetising the process. It’s coming in Q1 2016 but you can sign up now.

Remember, it’s not just about money. This process might also help refine and improve your app in the right direction.

ASO Barcamp 2

asobarcampAbout to publish an app? Already published an app and need to get more installs? There’s a free app store optimisation event, ASO Barcamp 2  coming up in London on 1st October 2015.

If you want to know what to expect from this event or want to start learning now then take a look at the previous event presentations that cover the following topics…

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You can book free tickets for the next event via the ASO Barcamp site.

Adobe Mobile Marketing Insights

adobeAlthough I wouldn’t normally associate Adobe with mobile, they have a great blog on Mobile Marketing. There’s a recent article on Day to Day Operations of Mobile App Store Optimization (ASO), details on From Development to Marketing: An App Roadmap for your Business, tips on Jumping the Hurdles to Effective Mobile Marketing and Mobile Marketing: Covering The Basics.

Marketing tends to be done too little too late. It’s easy to concentrate on the more immedate challenges of creating an app rather than thinking about how to get it into users hands.

However, also think about retention. Another recent article on re/code, as it happens based on Adobe data, shows that Mobile Apps Have a Short Half Life; Use Falls Sharply After First Six Months:

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Competitive Advantage Using Apps

catechnologiesThere’s some research by CA and Oxford Economics that shows companies now consider software-driven business models to be the key to competitive advantage. More specifically, organisations are looking to API-enabled software and mobile apps.

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The report says there’s an emphasis on bringing more development back in-house or using mergers/acquisition to improve development capabilities. I believe this shows a maturing of the mobile development ecosystem. As mobile development becomes more mainstream, more companies will seek to control it better and more directly. Having outsourced or offshore development can add a level of hidden indirection to communications and I have often, but not always, seen that indirection slow things and cause misunderstandings.

In 2011, in Rise of the Mobile Development Intermediary I explained how I was seeing an increase in intermediaries and the associated problems. For the reasons explained in my previous post, I have always preferred working for companies developing their own software or at least controlling the features of a product used by their clients. Maybe we will start to see a decline in the number of mobile development intermediaries.

In-App Purchase Characteristics of Top Apps

amazonAmazon has a new informative slideshare presentation ‘What the Top 50 Apps Do with IAP that the Rest of Us Don’t’ with insights into in-app purchasing. While the insights have been obtained from the Amazon app store, they are just as applicable to all stores and all OS platforms.
amazoniapHere are some of the learnings and consequent recommendations…

  • Start cheaper and increase price(s) over time to about 60% of the original price.
  • 48% of purchases happen within 1hr of previous purchase. Hence, make sure you offer an IAP within this time.
  • 37% of users who will purchase, purchase on the first day. Again, engage the customer early.
  • Offer between 1-5 price points for the best conversion. More prices points can confuse the user.
  • Apps with tutorials have a 2.5X higher conversion rate,
  • 1.14% of paying customers generate 30% of the sales. Cater for your best and longest customers by differenting your IAP offering.
  • As with non-IAP apps, retention is the only important metric. Give them a reason to come back, for example use social, leaderboards and achievements.

iOS vs Android App Update Management Insights

ueaccpThere’s a new research paper (pdf) from the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Competition Policy on affect of the frequency of app updates on boosting downloads across the App Store and Play Store.

A conclusion is that, on both the App store and Google Play, app updates are released with an extremely high average frequency of every 28 days for Google and every 59 days for Apple. However…

“The release of an update positively affects downloads in iTunes while it has no significant impact in Google Play”

The paper mentions “divergent regulations on the publication of apps” and “the absence of a strict quality check” as to partially explain the differences. The paper also mentions that fixing app problems due to device fragmentation might also be contributing to more updates on Android.

Looking from a developer viewpoint, having worked with multiple clients that tend to release both iOS and Android apps, yes, I can see the Apple review process does slow down the frequency of releases on the App Store. Yes, device problems often cause Android apps to have to be re-released. However, while the adding of features might improve downloads, on both platforms this doesn’t tend to be the reason for releases. Instead it tends to be to re-design, fix or add new features rather than to expressly try to cause new downloads. The study only looked into the top 1000 apps so maybe there’s some learnings there for my clients and the huge long tail of other apps.

As the paper says “to continue growth you need to provide constant value” to the end user.