Posts Tagged ‘Analytics’|
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
As many of you may have noticed, in the last forty days or so I promoted all over the place a simple Christmas application we published called Christmasfy Me. Not only was it a fun application that we wanted to build, but it was also our first experiment with in-app purchasing. Not too long ago, Apple opened the in-app purchase feature to free applications. I personally think this is a great tool for a lot of people to monetize their apps, and at the same time, somehow solve the problem of not being able to release demo and trial versions of their apps.
As promised, I’m going to fully disclose the results I gathered with Christmasfy Me in hopes of helping others to better understand this business model.
Christmasfy Me is an iPhone application that lets you take a picture, or select an existing one from your library, and apply Christmas elements to it. You can then save or share these pictures via email, Twitter, or Facebook. You can view a video of how this application works at www.ChristmasfyMe.com. The application originally came with three unlocked items, we then unlocked an additional three items for a total of six. To unlock the remaining 20 items, the user had to pay $0.99.
Some factors we need to keep in mind
This iPhone application was built and released as a seasonal application; this means that the same kind of application (not necessarily with the same theme) may have totally different results and numbers during other periods of the year. The application was released in a period that is usually notorious for having more downloads that any other period throughout the year: between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Considering that after Christmas the sales dropped considerably, I will only take into account the sales from 11/26/2009 to 12/31/2009.
Over a period of 37 days, Christmasfy Me was downloaded a total of 66,623 times. Of those downloads, 32,189 happened in the US while the other 34,434 account for world-wide downloads, mainly in the UK and Italy. In Italy, the application even ranked as the second most downloaded free application in the photography category and about 120th in the overall Top Free chart for a few days. I can’t hide that I was expecting to do better than this. Of course, I’m not unhappy with the results, but everything was timed in order to be included by Apple in their holidays selection and that never happened. Even on its better days, as far as downloads go, the app never ranked better than 500th in the Top Free Apps chart. This says a lot about how many downloads you need to be in the top 100, especially considering the fact that rank and number of downloads don’t usually grow proportionally.
As far as in-app purchases go, we sold a total of 2,193 “upgrades” over the same period. This is actually better than I expected, considering that this was an average conversion rate of 3.29% and, based on the results published by Riptide of their in-app purchase experience, I was expecting something closer to 2.5%. The regional results demonstrate how US customers are more likely to buy in-app content, with an average conversion rate of 4.11%, and accounting for 60.37% of the total of in-app purchases. So, if you decide to build your business on in-app purchases, forget markets like Italy, where the conversion rate was well below 1%, and focus on the US and the UK. Also, If you look at the chart, you’ll notice that conversion rate dropped after December 16th, the day we released a new version where, among other updates, the number of free elements went from three to six.
It might not be the most profitable business model since you need a high number of downloads to make a decent profit, but definitely less than what you would need with ads. More and more powerhouses like ngimoco, Gameloft, and Tapulous are switching to this model with many of their apps. Also, this may allow you to create complex and expensive apps while allowing your customers to pay only for the features they really need (Boxcar docet). The biggest con I found is that a lot of people expect everything to be free to download. I’ve even been accused of “stealing” money because there were only three free elements in the first version. That cost me a bunch of one star ratings in the App store.
I will definitely explore and use this model more in the future. I think there is more that can be done to improve performance and revenue. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with our results.
Friday, May 15th, 2009
UPDATE: since I wrote this post AppFigures managed to add review downloading from all 77 app stores around the world, automatic rank trending from the four major app stores, and show your app’s rank inside both daily and weekly email reports. Good job guys!
I always say that the iPhone applications business is all about downloads, so being able to track your sales is key.
So far I’ve been using three tools to track my sales: AppSales, AppViz and AppFigures. AppSales isn’t developed anymore and they suggest to use AppViz so I won’t even bother reviewing it. Too bad cause it still has few features I wish AppViz and AppFigures had.
Let’s start with AppViz.
AppViz is a desktop application for Mac, it costs $29.95, but after the month of trial i decided it was worth the money. Apple only provides those ugly and unreadable spreadsheet files and I really don’t have time every morning to go thru the to see how much I made in sales. AppViz can download all the reports with just a click, and it organizes the informations in easy-to-read graphs. It also let you download all the reviews, a great way to keep track of your users’ feedbacks.
- One click reports download
- Easy-to-ready graphs
- It let you download and track reviews
- Great customer service
- $29.95 (it is worth the money but free is always better)
- You can’t directly compare different applications
AppFigures on the other hand is a pretty recent web application, and it’s completely free. AppFigures imports reads the text-file reports that Apple provides developers through iTunes Connet and transforms them into structured data. Reports can be uploaded manually, by syncing with iTunes Connect, or automatically on a daily schedule using Auto Import. While is missing some of the functions that AppViz offers, it has what is my most favorite feature: email reports. Every morning when I wake up I just need to reach my phone and check my emails to see how many sales I made the day before. You can choose between daily and weekly reports, and if you want the stats about all your iPhone applications or only some of them. You can also choose multiple recipients. Pretty damn sweet I’d say.
- It’s completely free
- Automatic reports download twice per day (in case the first attempt fail)
- Easy-to-ready graphs
- Email reports (daily or weekly)
- It shows profit by region
- You can compare different applications in the same graph
- Quick response to the community feedback
- Sometimes it is buggy and doesn’t handle very well too many applications at the same time
Friday, November 28th, 2008
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on Clicky, a analytic service and so I decided to give it a shot.
Monday, November 10th, 2008
Today I found two really interesting iPhone related projects.
The first one is MyBefia.com, a web application to analyze and compare the ranking of iPhone applications on iTunes. As iPhone applications publisher I think is a really cool idea, too bad I still don’t have any application in the top 100 (maybe the Twootball iPhone app next week?) so I can’t track how well (or bad) they rank. I really wish Apple would give us a general ranking table to see how our applications perform compared to the others.
The second is Intersquash.com, a web application that lets you convert any website into an iPhone site in four simple steps: enter the RSS feed of your site, enter the site name, upload a home screen icon and place the code provided between the header tags of your website.
The idea is really really cool, the only flow I found is that you need to show the full content of your posts in your RSS feeds, otherwise on the iPhone version you would only see the summary of the posts and there is no way to read the full article.
Anyway, two very simple project that you should check out.