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02 November 2022

Purchase optimization, flexible subscriptions, and revenue growth with Play Commerce

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Posted by Jian Zhou, Director of Engineering, Google Play CommerceGoogle Play Commerce provides buyer support in over 170 markets, extensive support for local payment methods, and monetization tools to increase buyer conversion, engagement, and retention – all built on our trusted and secure platform. This year, we’ve made improvements across our platform, with new purchase optimizations, more flexibility and control when selling subscriptions, and enhancements to monetization insights and programs aimed at boosting your revenue.

Smoother, more frictionless purchase experience

Google Play offers users a consistent, familiar purchase experience, and over the past year we’ve launched two major new features to make in-app purchases even more frictionless.

  • Multi-quantity purchases allow your users to purchase more than one of a popular item with ease. You can configure which products are eligible for multi-quantity directly in Play Console to let users easily select the quantity they want to purchase directly in the cart.
    Screenshot of phone screen showing multi-quantity purchasing capability in Google Play
    Implement multi-quantity purchases to allow users to easily purchase more than one item at a time.
  • We are also improving the experience for purchases made by supervised accounts, and users will start seeing this update rollout this month. Parents or “the family manager” can now make app & in-app purchases for their child without requiring to set up a family payment method.
For example, when a child account attempts to make a purchase in your app without a family payment method set up, instead of prompting them to ask the family manager to set one up, a purchase request is sent to the family manager who can complete the purchase with any payment method on their profile, including gift cards. If preferred, the family manager still has the option to set up a family payment method.
Screenshot of four phone screens showing child request purchase and parent approve & buy capability in Google Play
Parents can now easily approve purchases requested by child accounts with their own profile without needing to set up a family payment method.

More flexible subscriptions to improve reach, conversion, and retention

Digital subscriptions continue to be one of the fastest-growing ways for developers to monetize on Google Play, so we reimagined the developer experience and added new tools to give you more flexibility and control when it comes to growing and retaining your subscribers.

  • New subscription capabilities separate your subscription products – what you sell – from how you sell them, allowing you to configure multiple base plans and offers for each subscription. This can help you reduce operational costs by eliminating the need to create and manage an ever-increasing number of SKUs.

    In the past, multiple billing durations and special offers were each defined as fully independent SKUs. If multiple SKUs provided the same benefits with different combinations of billing periods or pricing, this quickly became complex.

    Diagram of Old and New models showing subscription tiers in Google Play
    New model separates your subscription products – what you sell – from how you sell them

    Check out the video below and take our Play Academy course to learn more about configuring base plans and offers for your subscription, including offering prepaid plans that allow users access to pay a fixed amount of time, and then top-up as desired. If you haven’t yet integrated, check out this guide, documentation, and sample app to get started.

  • We also launched In-App Messaging, a new way to retain more subscribers following a declined payment. Simply call the In-App Messaging API when a user opens the app, and if the user’s payment has been declined, they will be prompted to update their payment information.
~2X Subscription recovery when users saw the message* Moving image showing In App Messaging API in Google Play
*Based on experiments with early users
  • Another way to improve retention is by adding benefits describing your subscription in Play Console. Benefits can remind users of the value they get from your subscription at key moments, such as when the user comes to manage their subscription on Play.
Screenshot of a phone screen displaying app benefits in the Cancel screen in Google Play
Add benefits descriptions to remind users of the value received from your subscription

Monetization insights and programs to boost your revenue

Ensuring your app or game’s monetization strategy reaches its full revenue potential is an important focus for us. This year we’ve launched a new monetization insights tool and continued to invest in programs that can complement your strategy.

  • We realize how important it is to contextualize which metrics drive your topline revenue and which lower-level metrics can be further optimized to maximize your game’s revenue. Strategic guidance provides a visual metric hierarchy in Play Console of how your game’s revenue metrics impact your business goals and helps you to identify which metrics to prioritize, as well as opportunities to optimize a chosen metric by providing peer group benchmarks, country breakdowns, and trends. Check out the video below to learn more about strategic guidance and how its metric-specific recommendations can help transform insights into action.

  • Google Play Points is another way to boost your revenue. Since launch, over 100 million members have joined the program! This year, those members have invested over billions of earned points into titles, increasing revenue on average between 5% and 30% for participating developers. Play Points has expanded to over 30 markets, including this year’s launches for users in India, Mexico, Czech Republic, and Poland. We’ve also added the ability to track Points coupon and out of app product transactions through financial reports in Play Console.
  • Google Play Pass is a great way to complement your app or game’s monetization strategy - already featuring 1,100+ titles from over 500 developers. For Play Pass participating titles, we’ve seen Play revenue nearly double on average. Play Pass is now available in 92 markets, including expansion to two new key markets this year: India and Japan. We’ve also added over 200 new apps and games to our catalog this year and continue to invest in Play Pass’s growth by investing $2 million in local game studios, with our first Indie Games Fund in LATAM.

Screenshot of a phone screen showing Google Play Passs in Google Play

All these features and tools are now available on Google Play. To take full advantage of In-App Messaging, prepaid plans, and the new subscription capabilities, update to Play Billing Library 5.0 or newer. As we continue to invest in Play Commerce, we look forward to expanding your buyer reach and developing new monetization tools to help you grow your business.