Mini-Lesson: Succeeding on theMarketplaceFrédéric HarperDeveloper Evangelist @ Microsoft Canada@fharper | outofcomfortzone.net
Building apps is fun! Let’s face it – we all get a kick around building apps! *us, coding apps with tears of joy
…but here’s a little reality check.Only 26% of all mobile appsdownloaded are ever opened morethan once.* A user is willing to download your app, but if it’s not awesome on the first run, it’s basically dead to the user.* Source: Localytics - http://www.localytics.com/blog/2011/first-impressions-matter-26-percent-of-apps-downloaded-used-just-once/
Marketing does matter! Chances are if you are watching this presentation, you are a developer/designer or you do dabble in mobile app development. As a developer, you probably think a lot about: • The functionality of the app • The design of the app / user experience • Quality and stability of the code • etc. What you probably don’t think about (as much) is how to make users aware that your app even exists, let alone get them excited enough to download it.
If you are charging for your app, you really shouldprovide a trial. Trials give the user a chance to use your app before they buy it. “Buyer Beware” is a mode you want to avoid at all costs.
You still haven’t told me why a trial is a good thing. Ok, I get it. I haven’t answered why trials rock yet. As my answer, check out the data that the Windows Phone Marketplace has gathered based on trial-to-paid conversions:
Ok, great. So what’s a trial? Strategies Use an in-app trial mode (how to give a user a trial app) Create a new app as a trial Limited functionality for your app if the user is in trial mode for your app Ad-supported if the app is in trial mode Tactics App may be used only x number of times if the app is in trial (example ways of mode implementing a App is time-bombed to not work after y number of days after the first use trial) App only allows z number of transactions in trial mode App makes use of a service you implemented on the server- side only n number of times per day
Principles of the Trial • Put serious thought into what you want to put in your trial.Don’t give it • Understand the motivations that will entice your user to want to away go beyond the trial and pay for your app. • Don’t limit the functionality of your trial app so severely that aMake the trial user can’t get a good understanding of the paid app’s value compelling • Leave them wanting more – don’t leave them frustrated. • If you want a user to pay for your app to compensate you for your Use Ads effort, why not monetize your trial with ads? • You get paid either way.
Pricing your app is fraught with risk. $1.99 for that? Are they If you price your app too high, crazy??? I’ll pass. users will bolt. $0.99 for an app that does If you price your app too low, <your scenario here/>. users will bolt. Must not be very good. I’ll pass.
Perception is reality. Statistics to Use in Cocktail Party Chit Chat The average price of an iPhone The price of an extra large coffee at app in Apple’s App store in 2011 Tim Horton’s is $1.90. 2 was $1.61. 1 Users will think nothing of buying a coffee in the morning, but will gnash their teeth and hesitate several times before buying an app that is roughly the same price. Lesson: Users are skeptical and expect a lot of value in their apps. Picture Source: http://euroross.blogspot.com/2006/08/workplace-evals.html 1:Source - 2:Source - http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/08/29/tim-hortons-small- http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/11/ios_app_store_downloads coffee_n_940091.html _grow_61_average_app_price_up_14.html
There are four rules to pricing your appcorrectly. • Understand your addressable market • Know your competition • Treat your app like a business • Keep your options open
Rule #1: Understand your addressablemarket.• What is the target demographic / ideal user you are aiming at with your app? Does your app solve a problem they have?• How much buying power does your sweet spot demographic have?• How many of these target demographic users are there overall? In specific geographic regions?
Rule #2: Know your competition. • Can you name the top five competitors to your app? • How does your app compare to these competitors (be honest with yourself!)? How do others (i.e.: focus groups) assess your app to the competition? • Think into the future – can you foresee new competitors for your app? Can you anticipate how a new competitor’s app could be better than yours?
Rule #3: Treat your app like a business.• MARKET your app. Create a marketing strategy for it and stick to it.• Can you estimate the volume of downloads your app will get?• Is there a seasonality to your app?• What was the cost to build your app?• What are the carrying costs for your app?
Rule #4: Keep your options open.• Be flexible. You need to be prepared to change your direction in the face of competition.• Lower the price of your app temporarily (i.e.: a sale) to generate interest.• If your app becomes popular, you may need to hire people to keep up with updates and potential bug fixes.• Partnerships could make your business even more successful.
The best way to get promoted is to know what appstores are looking for Great Apps . . . Stand Out - Look and feel as if they are designed for and integral part of Delight Windows Phone 7 Are Useful – providing expected Utility feature set, presented with visual impact, that compels frequent use in a new way Functionality Work as promised, include quality content, and are easy to use
Functionality promised, include quality content and are easy Highly Functional apps work as to use as promised, includes quality content, and is easy touse WorksOutstanding performance. Quick loading. Content is dynamic or exceptionally well First use of the app is intuitive andDoes not hang or crash. prepared. Description and metadata help sell reassuring. Advanced features are the app discoverable and understandable
UtilityIncorporatesmobile featuresandvisual impact thatcompel frequent usein anew way Useful apps allow users to do new things and frequently enable creation and sharing, not just consumption of contentApp takes full advantage of Great use of color, graphic Apps that are likely to compel Concepts that push thedevice features and mobile placement, and visual frequent and repeated use. boundaries for mobile apps,scenarios and surprises with elements offering innovative features orunexpected capabilities best-in-category innovation
Delight Looks andfeels like anintegral partoftheplatformAmazing app capabilities that make the Makes full use of platform’s design and Best adoption of platform featuresuser smile and inspires “Show and Tell” style guides. Uncluttered, polished clean (push notifications, Hub Integration)behavior experience