How to Increase In-App Purchases

Alex Danchenko

The main goal when creating an app is to start making money from it. Everything is clear when selling “real-life” items via an app, but selling “digital” pieces can be tricky. Depending on different variables and peculiarities of your business, several income models can be used with your app, like charging for the download or showing in-app adverts to users. Freemium models and in-app purchases have emerged as the preferred monetization strategy for most mobile apps and their creators.

In this article, you’ll find out what in-app purchases mean and which promoting methods will work best for you to increase conversions.

What is an In-App Purchase?

After users download and install an app, they might want to access exclusive material or features within the app, such as power-ups, hidden levels, money, deals, and more. Or when users download an app of a particular company to get access to its services through the phone. This is when the in-app purchases come in handy.

As we’ve mentioned a bit already, for some brands, an in-app purchase is literally the only reason they were made for. Taxi services, remote retail shopping, food delivery, and many more are examples of spheres that benefit greatly from their apps. 

For others, like music streaming, dating, gaming, etc., it can be harder. Since customers didn't download these apps for in-app purchases, marketers must be more careful about combining various monetization strategies.

Why are In-App Purchases Important for Your App?

What talks better about the importance and effectiveness than the numbers, right? Here are just a few:

  • According to Statista research, the number of downloads in the App market is projected to reach 235.30bn downloads in 2022. People are more and more getting used to how simple life on their phones is.
  • If you think that the best mobile app monetization strategy is making your app paid, another Statista research shows that it’s not quite true. In-app purchase revenue in the App market is projected to reach $204.90bn in 2022

App purchases are a credible approach to ensure a consistent flow of income and the opportunity to test out new concepts and additions for your app. If you successfully integrate in-app purchases, you can keep the core features free, which will draw in more users and boost your app revenue thanks to an intelligent monetization plan.

Test out different marketing options to increase in-app purchases; think thoroughly about the strategy to optimize the resources and time and achieve effective results faster. Below, we gathered the ten most popular and practical ideas to get in-app purchases to the next level.

1. Employ push notifications and in-app messages

Although it may sound absurd, some brands actually forget to tell their audience what products they are selling. 

Communicate with your users constantly (within the appropriate time periods); inform them about your limited-time, special discounts, and any new features and entertaining or educational in-app content.

You can choose from a variety of communication methods to contact your users in the most effective way. Push notifications and in-app messages are the rapid option as they are limited in symbols and once users see it, they have to decide in a second whether to click on it or ignore it.  

If you want to learn more about effective in-app message campaigns, check out our article.

But don’t forget about the power of omnichannel strategy; combine the appropriate marketing channels in one logical selling line and work on it.

2. Use triggers for efficient communication

To continue the previous point — everything should be done at the right time. If only it was that easy, right?

In an ideal world, users are always happy when interacting with your app. But reality shows another movie where users get frustrated when they are interrupted by the notifications or persuaded to buy something the next day they’ve installed the app. 

Randomly distributing in-app notifications (or any other form of marketing campaign) won't help you. Consider employing triggered messages to push purchases only after a consumer completes an in-app action where the in-app purchase makes the most sense. For example, a user in the game app wants to spend coins on some clothes for their character, but there are no coins left; offer two options via a popup: the user can wait for a half-hour to get some free coins automatically or purchase a whole bunch of it for a dollar. Now, a user doesn’t feel like you only want to sell staff, which makes the in-app purchase more pleasant.

3. Work wisely with subscription plans

As we've already described, making an app totally fee-based might not be a winning decision. A sizable group of users can remain fairly active and engaged with the app during the trial time and then just disappear. Instead of blaming them, think about this audience by using a freemium-based mobile app monetization and not limiting app functions too harshly. Let additional in-app purchases do the most of the earnings.

Another thing to note — do not make subscription plans look bad just so users would pay additional costs for more attractive app purchases. Most of them won’t and perhaps even delete the app. Consider additional practical value users might need to improve their lives within your app.

4. Use time-limited promotions

Better use this method after users have successfully interacted with the app for a week or so. Go ahead and make a unique discount, deal, or offer on a particular purchase for a short period of time or before some holiday event. Warn users that soon there’s going to be a great time-limited offer, so they’d be prepared and not stressed out because of the sudden.

This time-tested tactic continues to be effective from year to year. There is a direct impact or sense of "purchase now or lose out" when you give such messages, which tends to make the customer feel more pressed for time, but not in an aggressive way, more like exciting. 

5. Optimize payout procedure

Imagine, you’ve prepared every detail of the campaigns, and in the end, users will just abandon a purchase. To avoid such mishaps, make a checking step as easy as possible.

Enable autofilling and make a few only the most important graphs in the check-out form, add options for the delivery time, and don’t add distracting and bothering sale ads. These are just a couple of the crucial rules to make the purchasing experience as smooth as possible.

6. Personalize using the right data

Track customer behavior that results and does not result in a purchase. What works for one group of users might not work for others. Customers' actions before making a purchase provide you with a model for what a good customer journey can entail. But the data from the abandoned journey might help to get info on bottlenecks and discover how to get in-app purchases on a profiting track.

Brands that use segmentation for campaigns based on demographics and behavior can use this information for better personalization (not just addressing by name) to make such ads feel more valued and relevant, making customers’ journeys polished.

7. Stick to the follow-up approach

The rule is simple — follow up 1–3 times when users don’t answer. 

More than two-thirds of potential internet transactions are abandoned before completion but think of it more as an opportunity. Even though they didn't complete the deal, understanding what these customers truly considered purchasing from you might help you understand their interests and improve the effectiveness of your future promotional outreach. Plus, some of them could actually get distracted and forget that they were going to buy something and are just waiting for your reminder.

Just take a look at the variety of marketing channels influencing online purchase decisions in the United States in 2022.

Think about what combination of channels for follow-ups can benefit your business the most.

8. Develop long-lasting relationships

In-app purchases perform better when the users' engagement level is already average. A consumer who has spent a lot of time in your app and is aware of the possible purchases and the benefits they can offer is far more likely to make a purchase than someone who hasn't.

Start from the start and end with the end. Long-lasting relations don’t come out of nowhere, they begin with the valuable onboarding procedure or a short but useful guide that details your app's features so that users may learn more about it.

Be an assistant for your audience. They downloaded your app for some purpose, so help them fulfill it. Think, what are in-app purchases’ biggest benefit for users? How can you make their interaction with the app better? Seek help from data. Same as with personalization, data is the queen — when using it right, it helps to keep users engaged with your app on a regular basis.

9. Work closely with other departments

Useful data isn’t limited to only digital statistics. Ask the Sales dept what are the main clients’ arguments against buying products? What are their fears of performing in-app purchases? Which items should be promoted to remind users of their coolness? 

Talk to the Support dept, and learn how users are feeling about the app. What features should be improved? Otherwise, you can waste time and money promoting the purchase of things that no one actually enjoys because of the tech's lack of function.

10. Design your in-app shop wisely

Create a store that is easy to use in the app and offers the best in-app purchases experience. As customers browse and purchase your digital goods, they shouldn't feel like they've entered a separate app. Don’t forget to contact the customer after the sale via email or SMS and send a confirmation of the order and a receipt.

Highlight the most winning options, and use badges saying “most popular” or “best deal”. Guide users through the store with the right design and text.

Final Thoughts

No matter what kind of app you have, whether it’s gaming, dating, or eCommerce, in-app purchases can bring advantageous effects to the business. If you have some in-app ideas in mind, contact the Reteno team and we’ll work together on implementing them. Unlike Braze, we offer a free plan with journeys and messages in all channels so that you can ascertain the effectiveness of automated marketing.

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