Today we are reviewing Apple’s useful feature for the App Store: developers can publish their apps in pre-order before their release date. Let’s see the benefits of this new feature.
Everything you need to know about pre-order apps on the Apple App Store
What are pre-order apps?
Pre-order apps are apps that are available on the Apple App Store up to 90 days in advance of its release. Once the app becomes available on the store, users can choose to preorder it and have it installed when it’s live. This option is possible for all iOS platforms, so iOS, macOS and tvOs can also benefit from it.
It has been available for some time, since the release of Super Mario Run in 2016 (it was the first pre-order game ever), but it’s becoming more relevant as time passes. After experimenting with pre-orders with everyone’s favorite hero, pre-orders became available for everybody in 2017.
Developers will also be able to publish both free and paid pre-orders. It’s important to mention that in case the price changes during this period, users will be charged with the lower amount; the price it had at the moment of pre-order or the price at launch. It doesn’t matter, and they also won’t be charged until the moment of download.
How do you make your app available for pre-order?
The process of making your app available for pre-order is quite simple. From the homepage of App Store Connect, go to “My Apps” and select the app. Then, select Pricing and Availability and you’ll be able to see the Pre-Orders section (if you have never published that app on the App Store).
There, select “Make available for pre-order” and choose a date to release your app for download. Keep in mind that the release date should be at least two days in the future (with a maximum of 90 days). Then, submit your app for review, and once it’s approved, you should return to Pricing and Availability to confirm the date and select the option “Release as Pre-Order”.
You can also make changes during that period of time, such as changing the pricing or submitting a new version update. Also, if the app contains in-app purchases, it’s possible to set them up in iTunes Connect so to get everything ready upon release. However, promoted in-app purchases won’t display until the app is released.
Why should I make my app or game available for pre-order?
Although you can always announce your app or game in advance through promotion, it becomes really useful to redirect users to where they can get the app once it’s ready. They can also install it or buy it before so they don’t forget.
This simple yet effective feature can be useful for both shoppers and developers, regarding marketing and development purposes. There go some of the benefits of making your app available for pre-order:
- Generate buzz. This is great as a pre-launch marketing strategy, as this functionality drives users to your app and generates a buzz about it.
- Learn about the market. It becomes easier to measure marketing efforts. You can learn all about the user’s interests and also the device they use.
- Downloads on the release date. Your app will become available with a bunch of downloads already, which is pretty cool!
- Start working on your ASO strategy. You can already implement an App Store Optimization strategy in your pre-order and check what aspects need improvement and which are working fine. If you still have doubts about how to plan an ASO strategy for iOS App Store, don’t hesitate to check out this article!
Tracking app pre-orders with TheTool
We have recently added new valuable information on the Keywords Rankings table and Top 5 Apps section. We’ve added icons to help you identify the kind of apps that you find on the app stores, and that includes pre-orders:
So, with TheTool we can now see if apps are ranking with any of these types of results (not only organic results), and also if our keywords are ranking according to these features, too. You can also use our new Real Time Search tool and check if there are any pre-order apps ranking for a particular keyword:
If you’d like to learn more about the new information we are delivering check out this article.
In a nutshell: Pre-order Apps available on the App Store
It may look like a basic feature, but we’ve had to wait a decade since the born of the Apple App Store to see the pre-order functionality. Both marketers and developers will benefit from this new factor, as it will serve for marketing promotion and to test every aspect that needs to be perfect upon release.
What do you think about pre-orders? Do you have anything to add about them? Leave a comment and let us know!
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