Apple App Store E-Commerce Business Guide
A business guide that covers the Apple App Store's e-commerce offering, market & consumer behavior, challenges and benefits, mechanics and metrics.
Businesses can offer Consumable and Non-Consumable In-App Purchases and Non-Renewable and Auto-Renewable Subscriptions through apps on the Apple App Store.
Apple takes a 15% - 30% fee per transaction but take no fee if you sell a digital or physical good or a service that is not related to their platform (i.e. an NFT, a guitar or an Uber ride).
Subscriptions must be implemented as part of a Subscription Group which allow you to create multiple subscription tiers within a group as a means of offering a tiered service where customers can upgrade or downgrade, depending on the level of service that they desire.
Non-Consumables and Auto-Renewable Subscriptions come with optional Family Sharing functionality, by which a Non-Consumable or Auto-Renewable Subscription is made available to an entire Apple Family, bringing value to more customers.
For explanations and examples of Apple's App Store Offering, please consult the articles listed below.
Consumable In-App Purchases
Non-Consumable In-App Purchases
Apple's App Store Connect platform enables businesses the ability to create offer periods for In-App Purchases and Subscriptions, which could be useful during events and holidays such as Black Friday or Christmas; where customers can gain access to a Subscription or buy an In-App Purchase at a discounted price.
Apple has optimized Auto-Renewable Subscriptions to allow for enhanced acquisition and retention of customers as well as to win back customers by providing functionality for introductory offers, promotional offers and custom offer codes.
Introductory offers and custom offer codes can be paired to extend a customers access to a trial or discounted period, before paying full price for a subscription.
For explanations and examples of introductory offers, promotional offers or custom offer codes, please consult the articles listed below.
Custom Offer Codes (Coupons)
Grace Period and Billing Retry
In order to reduce involuntary subscriber churn, Apple's App Store includes a billing retry period of 60 days, by which Apple will periodically try to collect payment from a customer after a failed payment. Apple also offer businesses the ability to implement a grace period, to allow subscribers to maintain access to a service whilst they fix their payment issues.
Market & Consumer Behavior
94.2% of apps currently available on the App Stores are free and generated 255 billion downloads and $167 billion in revenue in 2022. Direct downloads accounted for $58.3 billion; In-App Purchases for $91.6 billion and Subscriptions for $17.1 billion.
In 2022, Apple's App Store was responsible for generating $111.89 billion in revenue; with $14.1 billion in Subscriptions alone.
Please consult our article on the global app market to get a deeper dive into consumer spending, market sizes and latest trends.
Use Cases, Challenges and Benefits
To learn about our research into popular use cases for In-App Purchases, Subscriptions or Offers, please consult the articles below.
To learn about the challenges and benefits of using In-App Purchases or Subscriptions, please consult the articles below.
Metrics & Analysis
Apple's App Store comes with an incredible powerful engine known as App Store Server API (ASSA), which includes App Store Server Notifications (ASSNs).
Although optional, we strongly recommended that you implement ASSA & ASSNs into your business, as it will allow you to:
- Contribute to refund requests.
- Provide best-in-class customer service.
- Gather, manage and refund transactions.
- Generate accurate e-commerce metrics that will inform you of how your app is performing.
- Automate marketing communications when a customer makes a purchase; renews, upgrades or downgrades a subscription; claims a refund or any other e-commerce transaction event.
Finally, for a list of recommended e-commerce metrics. Please consult the article below.
Are you looking to build an app that uses In-App Purchases or Subscriptions?
Book a consultation or read our business guide for building an apps that use In-App Purchases or Subscriptions using the links below.