Although in-app advertising spending is worth more than $45.3 billion per year, filling a custom app with adverts for another company isn’t the best way to make money.

Indeed, whether you’re launching an app as an extension of your business or you’re hoping to create a business out of an app, finding ways to monetise away from banner ads is important.

In-app purchases are one way to do it.

Data suggests that consumers spent 23% more in apps in 2017 than they did in 2016, and that figure is rising as we access more key services, like banking, booking holidays, paying for groceries, and socialising, on our smartphones.

But as a business owner, how can you encourage people to spend more in your app?

Below, we’ve put together some of the most effective ways to increase in-app purchases.


Allow people to refer their friends

Referrals are one of the best ways to increase in-app revenue and get more people to try out your app, so consider implementing an in-app referral program.

Perhaps the best part about this technique is that your audience does the hard work for you, so you can sit back and relax, knowing a steady flow of new users will be downloading your mobile application.

You can ask your current users to invite their friends, family and social media followers to try out your app, and give them a carrot for doing so.

If you run a mobile game, then you could give users some free currency, which will encourage them to invite more people or buy more currency once they’ve invited everyone they know and want to access more content.

Another way would be to time-lock content and ask users to ‘unlock’ by inviting their friends, or even offer a discount on their first purchase if five of their friends sign up for an account.


Offer premium content

You can also increase in-app purchases by offering premium services within your app for an additional fee.

Many developers allow users to turn off advertising in their app for a one-off fee, whilst others will give users more content and functionality for a monthly subscription.

By offering a basic version of your software, that will always remain free, you’re effectively giving your users a ‘free trial’ to your premium services, tempting them to sign up for a paid plan.

Spotify is a great example of this business model – their free tier offers functionality, but paying for a premium account unlocks ad-free music and downloads for listening offline.


Make it easy to check out

If you run an e-commerce store and sell products within your app, then it’s important that the checkout process is as simple and as straightforward as possible.

According to a study by Barclaycard, UK consumers abandon £30 worth of online shopping each per month, which potentially results in more than £18 billion of lost sales each year.

Of course, not everyone is looking to buy right away, and some like to add items to their cart for a later date, but if your checkout experience is complex or time-consuming, customers will disappear in a flash.

Analyse each step of your checkout process and see whether there are ways it can be optimised.

Each step – like signing up for an account, entering your shipping address, adding a separate billing address, and checking terms and conditions – takes time, so boost your in-app purchases and increase conversion rates by cutting out all unnecessary steps.

Consider implementing Apple Pay and Google Pay, or try a popular gateway like PayPal.


Don’t overuse push notifications

When you’re running promotions or having a quiet month, it can be tempting to notify your users on a regular basis to encourage them to check out your app.

It makes sense – the vast majority of users engage with content when they receive a push notification, but overusing notifications can irritate users and may encourage them to mute your messages or uninstall.

Only send users a message when there’s value, and when you have a genuine reason for doing so.

Experiment with different frequencies, consult your analytics and use notifications sparingly to boost engagement and encourage more in-app purchases.


Play on the FOMO

FOMO – or the fear of missing out – is one of the most effective marketing techniques and allows you to play on your user’s emotions (or, at least, love of a special offer) to increase sales and generate in-app purchases.

Run limited time promotions within your app, and promote them on social media and through push notifications (not too frequently, of course!).

Your users are already invested in your brand, as they’ve taken the time to download your app from the App Store, but if they’re used to seeing the same in-app products at the same prices, then they’ll buy as and when they want to.

With a limited time promotion, on the other hand, you can persuade users to part with their cash and gain access to a bargain.

Again, FOMO promotions should be used sparingly.

If you’re running a flash sale every other weekend, consumers will never want to buy at full price – they’ll expect reduced pricing all of the time. Be strategic and run FOMO offers only when necessary to improve your cash flow.


We can help

If you’re looking to create a mobile app to raise brand awareness, create loyal customers and add new revenue streams to your business, get in touch with the app development experts at Zudu today.

You can call us on +44 (0) 1382 690 080 or click here to send us a message. We look forward to hearing from you – and working on your new app – soon.

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