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Increase Your In-App Purchases with A/B Testing
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So, you’ve built an app. You have a user in mind. Now how do you design it for optimal revenue?

If you chose the in-app purchases route for your app, you need to fully optimize your IAP funnel and to make sure you are getting the highest ARPU possible.

This is where A/B testing comes in, measuring different variants of your app’s interface and offerings to discover the most effective techniques to appeal to and engage with your users. But with the variety of ways to A/B test your app’s revenue options, the hardest part is often deciding what aspects of your IAP funnel to test in the first place. For example, are your high LTV users more likely to make an in-app purchase when there is a special offer, when the icon is blue, or when the store offers items under $2? Measuring every random aspect of an app can often be confusing and counter-productive. So, with everything you could be testing, how do you fully utilize A/B testing and prioritize what you test in order to make the biggest impact on your app’s revenue?

WHAT TO TEST: Before a user officially makes an IAP, he or she usually goes through a few stages in your app. The goal is to make these stages flow as seamlessly as possible for the user. In the case of most apps, the stages involve an IAP Icon, a Screen or Shop, and finally a Button to complete the purchase. 

Below are explanations of the 3 stages and the specific components to focus on in each stage.

1. The IAP Icon

The icon is the user’s initiation into making a purchase. It is the icon that the user clicks on inside the app to reach the IAP screen.

IAP IconBefore an IAP is made, an icon is displayed which leads the user to a store of purchase offerings. The IAP icon is essentially the cover of a book. Today, we live in a world where a book is often judged by its cover, and so if the user is not inclined to press your IAP icon (or even worse, does not see it because of its imperceptible placement in your app screen), revenue is an impossibility. The IAP icon must visibly stand out to your user and always be appealing, which is why it’s essential to first start with testing your IAP icon:

A. Icon Design

How relevant should your icon’s design be to the design of your app? You should test your users’ inclination to click the icon based on their familiarity with your app’s design. For example, should your icon reference a common image or logo that is already a part of your app (such as a gem icon for a gaming app that uses gems as rewards), or should it be simple and direct (like the visual displayed above, where showing an image of a shopping cart directly implies that clicking it will lead to your app’s store)?

B. Icon Placement

You should test when and where in your app the icon should appear - both where on the screen and in which menus. Should it appear in every screen of your app to ensure maximum accessibility? Location-wise, in what area of the screen is your user most likely to engage with and take notice of the icon?

C. Icon Color

Play around with colors to determine the most effective color for your IAP icon. Will there be a higher CTR if the icon color blends with your app’s current color scheme or if it stands out?

2. The IAP Shop

The shop is the screen in which your user lands directly after clicking the IAP icon. It is essentially your app’s store, where all of the different pricing packages and options are laid out for your user.

App StoreWhen testing the shop with all of the IAP offerings you choose to provide, you need to ask yourself, financially, which offers should appear in the IAP screen that will result in the highest revenue? In order to increase follow-up engagement, experiment with the different gift and pricing packages your app offers and play around with the features below to ensure your higher-priced plans have better CTR: 

A. Levels of IAP Packages

What IAP categories do you want to provide and should your package offerings vary based on a user’s level? Would there be a higher CTR if you offer your user a beginner gift pack in the early levels and unlock more advanced packs as they move up in levels?

B. Number of Packages

Is it better to offer just 1 or 2 IAP options (as displayed in the image above) to not overwhelm your user, or are your users most likely to engage with an IAP screen that offers the flexibility of a dozen options?

C. Prices of Packages

Check your pricing and play around with the ratios of what price you give to what gift package. If you drop your IAP package from $2.99 to $1.99, will your sales double? Keep in mind that, while a $2.99 gift package is worth more, perhaps more users are willing to make the IAP if it were worth $1.99, ultimately leading to more sales and a higher overall revenue.

3. IAP Button

Your user has clicked the IAP icon in your app, saw the IAP store options, but the purchase has yet to be made. The button is the final step for your user to complete the IAP action.

IAP ButtonsFrom the IAP store, the user clicks the button for a specific package to make the purchase, resulting in revenue for your app. This is the official confirmation of the purchase, so it is important to test when trying to increase IAP revenue:

A. Button Variety

The placement of the IAP button should be simple and clear so that the user can seamlessly go from wanting a specific package to knowing how to purchase it and at what cost. The hierarchy within the page, however, is worth testing. Should the buttons of your different packages be visually similar or do you want to vary the layout and design of each pricing package to show variety between your different offerings (such as in the image above)?

B. Button Text

Don’t devalue the importance of plain old text to relay information to your user. The standard layout of an IAP button includes the price of the package and the amount of currency the user gets in exchange, but what do you want to stand out in the page? Would including text banners on different packages (such as “Monthly Special Offer,” “Most Popular Package” or “Most Valuable Package”) result in higher conversion of those packages? You need to ask yourself what package you want to push your users to buy and how you make the higher-priced packages stand out in the store through text.

C. Button Color

Which color scheme will stand out and positively engage with your user? Similar to the IAP icon, you can test if the button should stand out in opposition to the rest of the screen, or should it fit the screen’s color scheme? In the above image, for example, each button’s background is a different color. These are visual ways for you to show your store’s variety while highlighting specific packages you would like to stand out to your users.

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