In the last two blog posts I explained how our app traXs was almost not existing in the Windows Phone Store as download rates were so super low that we were questioning the Windows Phone Store in general. In order to overcome the problems I outlined in the posts, we launched the JANUARY SALE and put the app for free in the store. Making a long story short: It went amazing and exceeded our expectations.
Download rates explodedWe launched the SALE on January 16th and download rates literally exploded from the 22nd going onwards until today. We were at 36 downloads on the January 15th. We are now on 3083. Yes. That is an increase of 8564% in just 16 days. It really took off at January 22nd.
The following chart displays the download rates sliced by countries. I find that chart kind of interesting as we are thinking about supporting more languages in our product. Apart from only having the app available in English, an Italian or French version might make sense after looking into those numbers. The US market is just big by nature. I’m wondering why Italy has such a huge number of downloads though? Has anyone any explanation for that? I still believe a huge corporation handed out Windows Phones to their employers. Or is it still a strong Christmas period for Windows Phone?
Reviews came in at a high rateOne part of walking up the ranks of the app store is by having good reviews. When we started the January sale we had 1 review from Germany. By the time of writing we’ve cumulated 28 reviews across all regions; 3 x 1 star, 4 x 3 stars, 9 x 4 stars and 12 x 5 stars. The Windows Phone Store only displays the reviews that have been written by user from your region. In our case the United States region has an average rating of 4,5 stars, where as in Australia and New Zealand the app doesn’t have a review at all. However the markets are similar as they all are industrialized, English speaking nations. In terms of ratings and reviews, they are different. That seems a bit strange. A Kiwi doesn’t see the English reviews from people from the UK or US. Microsoft, can you fix that? Please! Reviews based on Language may makes sense, I’ll give you that.
The overall ratio between downloads and reviews decreased from 1:30 to 1:100, which seems natural as the download rates were too small before for analytics.
In summary the reviews have been great in January. One technique to blame for the success might be the fact that we ask the user throughout the app for reviews. Once the user used the app for the 10th time, we ask him to leave a review at the marketplace with a button bringing him straight to the Marketplace Review page.
The picture below lists all reviews and ratings the app got in the US region.
Windows Phone Store ranking responded as expected to the reviews and ratingsDownload rates and reviews compared to apps in the same category define the ranking within the Windows Phone Store – as far as my experience is telling me. Each country has it’s own app ranking. Your app in the US might be in the first spot, whereas in Germany it’s only at 107. There are basically 2 ways of looking for apps.
#1 is going by category. traXs is listed in the ‘Personal Finance’ category. In Italy the app is under the ‘Quick-Sub-Category’ as I call it (no official wording!) ‘New + Rising’ at a remarkable second place.
#2 is by using a search term. When searching for ‘expense’ in Italy the app is in second place as well. Keep in mind though, that this list is overall in Italy across all categories.
When searching more specifically for ‘expense tracking’ its the number one overall. That is pretty solid as I suppose a huge portion of potential customer are either entering ‘expense’ or ‘expense tracking’.
Remember, only weeks ago the app was not showing up on the first pages (!) at all, hence it was not discoverable and therefore buyable at all.
How to find the real problems customer are facingThe Windows Phone Store offers a great feature that lets you see all exception that have been raised for a certain period with the full stacktrace of the exception. It also includes the number of times that specific exceptions occurred. It is a nice feature to see what goes wrong when customer are using the app.
Besides the reporting from the store, we found Telerik’s Diagnostics Control that comes with their Rad Controls for Windows Phone, offers a way customer can send those exception information straight from the app to a certain email address of the App publisher. It includes more information about the actual device, OEM and OS Version the customer is using and a screenshot, which is very useful in most cases.
That way we get more information about the problems customer were experiencing, more detailed information and an actual email from the customer, which we use to inform each user once the bug has been fixed and an update is available from the store.
By the way, we just released a new version of traXs into the store and extended the sale to February. It solves a majority of problems people were reporting.