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How To Increase In-App Purchases For Your Mobile Game



Are you spending a lot of money and effort on acquiring new players, but still experiencing mediocre conversion rates? Of course, It is very important to acquire more players and release features to keep them invested. But the key to generating more revenue is to convince your players to make as many in-app purchases as possible without negatively impacting their experience.


According to Game Analytic's Benchmark Stats, the top 15% of mobile games are converting approximately three times more players than an average mobile game, and this is one of the main reasons why they are at the top! These companies understand the behavior of their players and deliver content that induces more in-app purchases out of them, and in this article, I will tell you how you can get the same results using A/B testing.


Game Analytic's Benchmark Stats For IAP Conversion Rate



Increase In-App Purchases Using A/B Tests


A/B testing is the process of comparing multiple versions of your software, and determining which one performs the best. It involves releasing different versions of your game to users at random, and using statistical analysis to pick the best one. Companies like King, EA Games, Facebook and Google constantly use A/B testing to optimize conversion rates and improve user retention. That's why sometimes your Google search engine or Facebook page looks different from your friends!



Conversion Rate Optimization For In-App Purchases


To effectively optimize conversion rates for your in-app purchases, you must:

  1. Analyze and research your own mobile game

  2. Identify potential problems that lead to lower in-app purchases

  3. Come up with hypotheses to fix them. For example “Improving the UI/UX of our store will improve conversion rates“.

  4. Implement a new variation for your hypothesis

  5. Validate the hypothesis by tracking the performance of your variation. If your new variation is performing better, that means your hypothesis was correct and you are able to generate more conversions. If it performs worse, you might have to rethink your hypothesis and/or implementation.


You can tweak little things such as call-to-action buttons, push notifications and icons, or you can completely redo your store UI and test if it brings in more conversions. Either way, CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is a continuous loop of identifying and fixing until you reach your goal.


If you would like to learn more about how to plan and execute A/B tests for your mobile game, you can have a look at How To Run A/B Tests For Your Mobile Game.




Avoid Releasing Bad Game Mechanics


With A/B testing, you can avoid bad player experience by testing the impact of your new feature or game mechanic on a small portion of your users before fully releasing them. This will result in higher player retention which will eventually lead to more in-app purchases since players are staying around for longer.


As a game developer, its very easy to believe that your fanbase is absolutely going to love the new feature you are going to release, but we all know games that fell to their demise by releasing features that were not appreciated by their fanbase. A/B testing allows you to understand your players and only provide content that will build a superior player experience.


If you use Unity to develop your mobile games, Elecular might be a good fit for you since it seamlessly integrates A/B testing into Unity and does not require any coding to implement and release variations.



Real-World Example


All this talk about A/B testing does not matter if it cannot be applied to the real world. Here are some use cases of how A/B testing helped game developers improve their conversion rates and player retention.

  1. Air Patriots Increase Revenue by 20% - Russell Caroll and Julio Gorge hypothesized that decreasing the difficulty level of their mobile game could potentially raise player retention and revenue. After running an A/B test, they were able to increase their revenue from IAP and ads by 20%. This is a huge win for very little effort (Marketing Experiments).

  2. EA Games drive 43.4% more purchases - EA Games were trying to promote the release of Simcity, but were facing problems since they were driving significantly low purchases than forecasted. After running an A/B test on their UI, they were able to increase the number of purchases by 43.4% (Medium).

  3. A/B Testing At King - King uses A/B testing in their development cycles to prioritize and optimize features that are important to their players (Crisp). This enables them to provide a superior user experience to their fanbase and increase player retention.


Conclusion


As you can see, A/B testing is a very powerful technique that can help you drastically improve your player retention and in-app purchases through optimization. It is no wonder why 71% of companies are running at least 2 A/B tests per month and 60% of companies believe that A/B testing is highly valuable for conversion rate optimization (Invsep). If you are using Unity to build your mobile games, Elecular might be a good fit for you since it easily integrates A/B testing into Unity and does not require any coding to implement variations. Otherwise, tools such as Optimizely and VWO might be a good fit for you.