UX tips to optimize in-app purchases in games
etermax shows how simple improvements can help drive revenue
The content has been authored and contributed to by the Google Play BD team (Daniel Trócoli and Serena Shih) and the Google Play Tech Consulting team (Ken Liu).
Since 2009, etermax’s gaming division has delivered casual mobile games to delight users, achieving over 700M downloads worldwide and more than 150M active users each year. Among their successes is Trivia Crack, a multiplatform entertainment franchise that includes mobile game hits such as Trivia Crack and Trivia Crack 2. These globally renowned quiz games enable players to test their knowledge and compete against people worldwide.
The Trivia Crack 2 business model relied mainly on ads. To increase and diversify the game’s revenue streams, etermax decided to improve the game’s UX to optimize IAP revenue.
The UX changes resulted in a 23% increase in total revenue, a 3x increase in buyers, and a 2x increase in ARPDAU. In this post etermax offers 5 tips based on their most impactful UX changes, which could be applied to your games.
Tip 1: Improve store visits with free daily rewards
It’s important that players are aware of a game’s in-app store, know what’s available, and visit regularly.
etermax added free daily rewards to encourage visits to the store, adding a “free” badge to the store’s shop icon to make players aware of the offer.
Tip 2: Add item descriptions
etermax believes that players are more willing to spend if they understand how an IAP is used in the game.
Icons alone might not help players fully understand how powerups can help them in the game. To overcome this challenge, they added a brief description of how the powerups are used. These descriptions were added to the powerup icons displayed before the game starts, during the match, and in store offers.
Tip 3: Enhance in-app store design
When players have too much information or too many complex options, they tend to defer choosing. Therefore, the layout of a store and SKUs presentation can impact players’ purchasing behavior.
The Trivia Crack 2 store was redesigned to provide a more consistent presentation for all SKUs, so players could more easily compare their options. Also, purchase suggestions were added to some items in the form of “popular” badges. By presenting items as the social norm, etermax hoped to encourage buyers’ choice.
Tip 4: IAP Offering and Promotions
When a game’s audience is global, localizing prices is essential. It’s also important to have incentives designed to help turn players into buyers.
To optimize revenue, etermax localized Trivia Crack 2 IAP prices in selected countries based on local consumers’ purchase power.
To attract first-time buyers, etermax offered new starter packs, seasonal offers, and a free 3-day subscription trial. To highlight these offers, Etermax added promotional graphics to advertise IAPs and emphasized discounts.
Tip 5: Purchase flow
Even small barriers may deter buyers. Therefore, it’s essential to have a good, barrier-free purchase flow.
Trivia Crack 2 was redesigned to present players with relevant SKUs while they play. For example, when the player runs out of boosters and purchasing more would enable them to continue playing. Also, to streamline the purchasing process, players are directed to the shop on these occasions.
Live events (new game modes) were added to Trivia Crack 2. Live events and other UX improvements led to an increase in engagement and retention. For example, the average session length increased x2 in core markets after the UX improvements.
etermax is now looking to diversify other games’ revenue streams using these UX improvements. They are also continuing to analyze user insights and test changes that may lead to further monetization improvements. For example, they plan to test limited time offers to see if they further boost revenue.
If you’re looking to explore how to maximize your revenue, take a look at the Games Business Fundamentals Play Academy courses. In these courses, you’ll find out more about game design, data-driven understanding of player behaviors, and pricing.