Dawson, who has been key to the development of Oz Weather App (former no.1 Paid App in the Aussie iTunes store), Sun Seeker (an interesting Augmented Reality App) and iTrafficApp (a product of Startup Camp Sydney 2) gives 5 reasons why NOT to implement in-app purchases from his own experience.
I highly recommend those who are interested read the full article as Graham has always provided excellent insights into the iPhone app development process.
That having been said, for those who want a synopsis here are his 5 reasons:
- Reason 1 – It is not trivial to implement it well
- Reason 2 – The developer must take full responsibility for correct delivery of the purchased item
- Reason 3 – A lot more user support and interaction is required
- Reason 4 – Users who don’t/won’t pay for the in-app purchase can still leave a bad review about it
- Reason 5 – Some users have the impression that all app “upgrades” must be free
The long and the short of it is that in-app purchase functionality needs to be managed by the developer. End result? Extra development, extra support and extra back office overhead.
So the real point here is that unless you are sure that your in-app purchases will cover those new items then there’s no real point in implementing it.
I don’t think that Dawson’s comments in anyway undermine the huge potential that exists around in-app micro-transactions, it’s just that they may not be the “turn it on and watch the cash roll in” solution that they may first appear to be.
Perhaps he’s even highlighted an opportunity for a startup out there to provided an easy way for developers to manage the back office processes and support around in-app purchases.
Now that would be interesting…