With just a few days remaining before the holidays, I wanted to reach out to remind the developer community of the new Windows Store and Windows Phone Store opportunities available this holiday season. Now is the time to finish the apps you’ve been working on, or update those you already have in the Store.
For me, a great holiday season has to start with a lineup of remarkable devices. This season is especially strong with a large selection of smartphones, tablets, and PCs from our device-maker partners, offering a wide range of capabilities and price points. Even better, the new devices are receiving accolades from consumers and the industry alike. A few of my favorite quotes:
New this holiday season are Microsoft gift cards designed to encourage and enable users to discover and purchase apps on their new devices with hundreds of titles arriving daily (hopefully including yours after reading this post). Taking into consideration the Microsoft and partner promotions and consumer purchase of Microsoft and Xbox gift cards in retail locations, we are forecasting over $100M to be available for consumers to buy apps and games this holiday season across 100 retailers in 41 markets.
We are also continuing to invest in establishing carrier billing connections, recognizing that in many markets (especially those where credit card penetration is low) the preferred method for consumers is to purchase apps via your carrier and the billing relationship you already have established. In fact, we see an increase in transaction volume of over 6x in developing markets when carrier billing is enabled. Just this week, we reached a major milestone of 51 carrier connections across 31 markets, substantially more than any other smartphone platform, and with more in the works for the new calendar year.
The current holiday shopping season and all the great promotions are just underway, and we’re already seeing momentum build with the Store surpassing 12 million transactions per day and Windows Phone Store surpassing 200,000 apps.
The best news is that we’re just getting started. In the new calendar year we’ll introduce creative new approaches to help you reach users in your app developing. Stay tuned.
I recognize you don’t have much time remaining to finish your new apps or update your existing apps before holiday celebrations begin. In fact, we recommend that you submit apps by Monday, December 16, for publishing by Christmas and Friday, December 20, for publishing by New Year’s. These dates take into account our standard, stated turnaround time, and also leave you a bit of room for any changes you might need to make based on feedback you receive during certification. Given the short period of time, I’d like to suggest you focus your efforts in these areas to really make a difference – starting with the quickest/simplest steps you can take, to those that will require a bit more time.
Increase geographic reach
Offer a Trial option
Almost all kinds of paid apps and games benefit by including trial functionality. Windows Phone paid apps with trial capability enjoy 70 times higher downloads with a typical 5-10% conversion rate, resulting in 3-6x more revenue than paid apps without trial capability. Trial capability is unique to the Windows platform and can be implemented via limited time or limited features (for example, levels or advanced options) by adding a few lines of code. We handle the rest.
Include features that drive user star ratings
Based on our internal research, adding these capabilities to your apps has the biggest positive impact on user satisfaction, expressed through star ratings.
Increase local relevance
Adjusting your app to the local audience can increase downloads and engagement. For example, Kantar’s recent data shows significant Windows Phone growth across Europe, Australia and Mexico (Kantar Worldpanel - July 2013 Windows Phone Share by country.) Options to consider:
And you’ll want to be sure to market your new app to drive downloads and increase engagement, especially social promotion and inclusion of the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store download badges on your web site and digital marketing activities.
Finally, if you’ve got a great idea for an app and are new to development, we encourage you to use our new tool designed for novice developers, Windows Phone App Studio Beta.
We can’t wait to try your latest creations and we so appreciate all you do to build and promote the ecosystem.
I've been very impressed with the Windows Phone App Studio Beta. http://www.smartnetadmin.com
Guys can you please enable the Microsoft Account sign in for comments? It's been 'coming soon' for years now (seriously)
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