If you’re looking to monetize your app, you’ll need to master the art of the in-app purchase, or IAP. The total value of in-app purchases globally was around $76 billion in 2019, but that figure is expected to rise to a whopping $340 billion by 2027.
As the freemium app model continues to dominate and mobile shopping dislodges traditional retail completely, IAP architecture will become fundamental to the success of any customer-facing company. For those who are in the process of designing or testing their app, make sure to incorporate these golden IAP rules to get it right.
Security above everything
Secure IAP architecture is absolutely crucial for success. Mobile payment scams are on the rise, with criminals already stealing billions of dollars from smartphone users a year. In order to keep your users safe and remain compliant, you must choose an in-app payment gateway that offers airtight security, multi-factor authentication, and assurances for customers. The best way to do this is to opt for a well-known gateway provider such as PayPal, Shopify, or Apple Pay.
Give them options
It is important not to lock your potential customers out of the market before they have even made their first purchase. That’s why you should always try to include a range of IAP gateways in your product. Let’s demonstrate this with an example. The international online casino Mr Green allows customers in several countries to play real money slots, table games, and live casino games via their award-winning mobile app.
In order to let them pay for their wagers and withdraw winnings, Mr Green offers users the chance to complete IAPs via Visa, Mastercard, PaySafeCard, and Interac. This way, fewer potential users are left behind, and the app is not asking users to go through the trouble of downloading a whole new payment gateway to access their services.
Take a walk in their shoes
If you want to get your IAPs right the first time around, you’ll want to take a walk in the user’s shoes. In-app payments should be simple, instantaneous, and intuitive. This means conducting extensive AB testing and taking the time to make some purchases from your own app.
You’ll want to ask some questions when testing. How long does it take to complete a purchase? Is the payment breakdown visible at all times in the buying process? How does a user know that their payment has gone through? Don’t sign off on the process until you are 100% certain that your IAPs are as quick and easy as possible.
Test for compatibility
The last thing you want is to get caught out on launch day by iOS users who can’t access your IAP system. You should be testing your purchase architecture across a wide range of operating systems and devices. It is very common for certain devices to not host certain gateways. In addition, you might find that security safeguards in the App Store prevent your IAP system from working properly. Before your app is ready to go, you must be sure that all users can actually access it.
With these golden rules, you can get your IAPs right the first time around, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming fixes further down the line.