As 2017 nears its end, we reflect back on all the big tech news and trends. One of the most significant changes this year has undoubtedly been Apple’s redesign of the App Store. The update to iOS 11 alone meant entirely new options for companies trying to make a new name for themselves or redeem their reputation in the App Store. Now companies can respond directly to reviews, decorate their storefronts, and even promote their app for free.
Free promotion of an app is a feature that allows companies to get feedback from their users that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten due to an unpleasant user experience. More access to feedback means more reviews, which in the end have an overwhelming effect on how many users download an app.
But what can you do about an app before it’s launched? Not much, up until now. Users could pre-register for an app, meaning that the App Store would alert them when the app was ready for download with a push notification; Super Mario Run was the first game in the App Store to use this feature. Now, The App Store will now allow developers to release an app up to 90 days before it goes live so that users can pre-order the app.Users will pre-order the app and pay the applicable price and once the app is released, it will be automatically downloaded onto their phone. If the price changes for some reason within the 90 days, the user will be charged the lower of the two prices and will only be charged once the app is downloaded onto their phone.
This is a huge opportunity for companies looking to release a new iOS app. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of this new capability:
1.) You have a web app and are going mobile.
Perhaps a company already has a web presence and a web app, but does not yet have an iOS app. App development does take time and a company can use the last 90 days it takes to build the app to promote it to their already loyal customer base, which is an opportunity they didn’t have before. Typically this has been done through teaser websites that allow those who are interested to add their email address to a subscriber list. Now, this can be done right within the App Store where customers are likely already searching for your app.
2.) You’re releasing a new app and need more time for usability testing.
During the 90 day period pre-launch, companies have additional insight into the types of users who have pre-ordered their app and can continue to do usability testing during the last weeks their design and development teams are working.
3.) Put your app in the spotlight before it’s even on stage.
Your app could have a presence in the App Store before it’s launched. We know that over half of the top 100 rated apps were rated 4 stars or higher in their reviews and thus, shown higher in App Store searches. With the newest capability in the App Store, you’re allowing your potential users to find your app sooner and once it is downloaded, have a higher potential for positive reviews.
If your team is looking for a hand in creating a 5-star iOS app strategy, get in touch!