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If you’re a developer who sells apps on the App Store, you need to use AppStore Connect to submit and manage your apps. App Store Connect is a suite of web-based tools for managing apps. With App Store Connect, you can upload new versions of your app, submit app information for review, and track the status of your submissions. You can also access sales reports, user feedback, and crash reports.
Even if you don’t develop apps, you can still benefit from AppStore Connect. By using the user feedback tools, you can gain insight into how your target audience is using your product, which allows you to make strategic marketing decisions and improve your product based on customer feedback.
Many businesses use AppStore Connect to manage their app sales. For example, a company called App Promo uses ASR to distribute app promo codes to customers who purchase a software package. With ASR, customers get temporary access to an app while the developer earns residual revenue from the distribution of those promo codes. This model, which I like to call trickle-out licensing, is a great way for developers to earn additional recurring revenue while reducing the number of times their apps are purchased and downloaded.
Another business model that benefits from App Store Connect is using the platform as a service (PaaS) model. A developer using the PaaS model publishes their app on App Cloud, a webed hosting service provided by App Site. Customers purchase an App Cloud subscription to host their app on the platform. In this way, the developer can make additional revenue while distributing the workload among multiple customers.
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, App Store Connect can help you make and manage sales, gain valuable user feedback, reduce redundancy, and increase productivity.
How does AppStore Connect help my business?
If you’re thinking about using AppStore Connect to further your business goals, here are some ways that it can benefit you:
Save time with automation. Using ASR, you can automate the process of distributing, selling, maintaining access to, and reporting on your apps.
Gain valuable user feedback. The App Store Review Guidelines prohibit developers from including forms or prompts to collect user information. However, there are workarounds, such as the User Survey feature in AppStore Connect, which allow you to collect critical feedback.
Increase sales and redundancy. By promoting your app across various platforms and channels while also automating the sales process, App Store Connect can help you increase sales—and minimize the redundancy of processing orders multiple times.
Qualify customers. The Customer Profile feature in App Store Connect allows you to collect and store custom metadata for each of your customers. This tool can help you qualify and categorize customers based on purchasing history, industry, or any other critical factors.
Learn from history. Using the Reporting feature in AppStore Connect, you can review past activity, which can provide insight into how pricing, promotions, and other variables affected sales.
Maximize ROI. By using AppStore Connect’s Marketing Campaigns feature, you can maximize your return on investment by dedicating time and resources to campaigns that are likely to produce beneficial results.
What are Marketing Campaigns?
Marketing Campaigns allow you to push information to customers about new or updated apps, promotions, or cross-promotional opportunities. Campaigns can be scheduled for a specific date and time, or you can set them up to run continuously. You can also choose the customers you want to receive the campaign and customize its message.
Each campaign has a budget, which you can use up completely or set a limit to for the campaign. You’re not committed to spending the full budget each time you send a message, however; you can save any remaining budget for future use.
Currently, there are four types of campaigns: Promote App, Launch Kit, Review Prompt, and User Survey. We’ll take a closer look at each.
1. Promote App
The Promote App campaign allows you to promote new or updated apps. You can choose to promote a single app or multiple, and you have the option to include app previews and animated stickers to encourage customers to download them.
You also have the option to encourage users of your app to leave a review if you have sufficient inventory of review prompts available. You can set a budget for these reviews and even provide incentives such as gift cards to incentivize customers to leave reviews.
2. Launch Kit
The Launch Kit campaign allows you to promote your app’s launch kit, which is a collection of apps you’ve created to release together at a specific date and time. If you plan to require purchase of the launch kit, you must set a budget; however, you can also create a free launch kit without spending any money.
3. Review Prompt
Review Prompt campaigns allow you to encourage customer reviews for individual apps or packs. You can set a budget for these prompts and provide incentives such as gift cards to incentivize customers to leave reviews.
4. User Surveys
Using the User Survey campaign, you can directly ask your App Store Connect users questions about their experience using your app. These questions are optional, and you don’t have to spend any money to run them; however, you do have to submit a review request in App Store Connect in order to view responses.
When you set up a User Survey, you’re prompted to choose the apps and collect feedback from users of that app. You can run multiple surveys with different apps or with the same one. Once you’ve created your survey, it’s automatically sent to users who downloaded your app between a specified date range.
What are some benefits of AppStore Connect?
Although AppStore Connect may seem like an extra burden at first, it can provide immediate benefits for your company in several key areas.
1. Easier management of several apps
You can manage multiple apps from one platform — this makes it easier to create and edit campaigns, keep financial records, and keep track of submission dates for various submissions.
2. Viewing reports boosts your visibility
The reporting feature provides you with data that lets you see which campaigns are working and which ones need adjustment. This insight lets you optimize your spending and effort for greater returns.
3. Central hub makes organization easier
Centralizing submission information in one location makes it easier to find and edit existing submissions, as well as make new submissions. This easy access helps you organize and manage all of the apps you submit to the App Store.
5 ways to boost your App Store Connect success
Although some developers might not see immediate benefits from using App Store Connect, others will find that this platform provides a few key advantages that can improve a number of processes. Centralizing submission information, creating campaigns to encourage user feedback, and tracking reviews can help you leverage the data for improvement and success.
1 Centralize your app submissions
Imagine having to search through multiple folders and files to find the information you need about one of your apps. It would be frustrating — especially if you were trying to edit or update that information. The same goes for developers when they’re trying to find, edit, and submit new app information one platform. Help them out by centralizing that information in one place — a spreadsheet, for example — so they can easily access and update it whenever they need to.
2 Create review prompts to boost reviews
Review prompts are a great way to encourage users to leave reviews about your business. You have control over when the prompts are shown and how they’re displayed. Review prompts can be displayed when:
- A user opens your app.
- They complete a transaction.
- You set up review prompts in App Store Connect. Then, they’ll be sent directly to the App Store to be displayed at the appropriate time.
3 Use reporting to gain insight and control
Having access to detailed reports about your apps helps you keep them up-to-date and in compliance with Apple’s standards. It’s also a great way to track performance and gain insight into which features are popular among users.
AppStore Connect offers a number of reporting options, including standard, comprehensive, and full report types. Depending on the platform you use to submit your apps, you may see different reporting options. For example, Staging enables you to view Standard reports, while Full reports are available only if you submit your apps through a third-party firm such as Freewheel.
Freewheel allows you to view all reporting options for all apps you submit through them, regardless of which platform you use to submit them. These reports help you spot trends and gain greater insight into how your apps are performing.
4 Get feedback with in-app surveys
In-app survey Prompt users to provide feedback about your app with an in-app survey. You can create a custom survey or use one of Apple’s provided templates. Prompting users for feedback is a great way to gather opinion data you can use to improve your app.
5 Monitor app downloads and traffic
AppStore Connect allows you to view real-time and historical information about your app downloads and traffic. You can also set up push notifications when app downloads or traffic exceeds a threshold you set. This feature is great for keeping an eye on your apps’ performance.
6 Configure price and availability
You can configure price and availability for your apps from AppStore Connect. This option is particularly useful if you plan to launch multiple promotions over time or restrict the countries in which your app is available.
7 Secure authentication and payment
- Security and privacy
- Configure in-app purchases
- Secure authentication and payment for in-app purchases through App Store Connect.
Apple’s payment system is highly secure, and the fees are calculated per transaction rather than as a percentage of the total purchase like some other third-party payment processors.
You can set up a coupon or offer to incentivise users to purchase your app, and Freewheel will automatically deduct the discount at the time of purchase.
8 Create and manage apps for Apple TV
You can create and manage apps for Apple TV from AppStore Connect. The platform allows you to view information about closed and open captions, accessibility features, and more. You can also submit artwork for Apple TV apps via App Store Connect.
9 Review and respond to reviews
You can review and respond to reviews for all your apps from AppStore Connect. It’s also worth setting up a support email address so you can follow up with users who submit support requests. This is the best way to build and retain customer loyalty.
10 Monitor traffic and promote apps
As mentioned above, you can set up push notifications when app downloads or traffic exceed a threshold you set. This is a great way to monitor traffic for ongoing app promotion.
Free ways to reduce Apple fees and costs
Make sure you utilise App Store Connect to its full potential, and you will reap the rewards of your hard work and entrepreneurial spirit.