Monday, June 14, 2010

Tracking iPad/iPhone app sales

Okay, you’ve finally made your iPad, iPhone and/or iPod touch app and now you need to track sales data.  Currently developers use iTunes Connect to download daily and weekly reports that shows app downloads regions where the app is being downloaded.  It also shows a code to identify sales, updates and chargebacks.

Now that you have this data what do we do with it?  Some people print out the sales figures, tally up the sales and write that number on the top first page and keep a stack of sales records.  Others create a spreadsheet in Excel or Numbers and incrementally import and add the data so they can easily see the sales over the course of the apps life-cycles.  This is handy as they can also denote marketing/press releases (with color) to help identify and measure traffic.  But once you have more than one app it becomes harder to manage.

Then there are the others like our own Don McCaughey who rolled his own code to create both a front end and back end to make sense of the sales noise.  Don did a good job for us by creating a system where the data from Apple is ingested and stored in a database and then presents current and historic data for unified sales, individual app’s sales complete with a graphs.  Don has talked about open sourcing the code so that others can use the system as well.

But what about other options?  Off hand I can think of two other tools, one a paid web service and the other a new free app from Apple.

The paid web-service is appFigures and works much like Don’s solution.  You provide your iTunes Connect credentials to the app service and in pulls and parses your iTunes Connect sales data and provides both charts, sales reports and a few other nice features.  They also provide a 14 day free trial to see if you like the service.

Apple recently released the iTunes Connect Mobile app which works on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and presents daily and weekly sales data for app sales, updates and in-app purchases.  And while this is a great app for on the go data, it does save all of your historic data, nor does it provide any type of summation for sales - how much your app has made.

Regardless of which service you use the data that Apple provides you is your responsibility as a developer to download and store (if you want to keep track of your apps sales).  iTunes Connect does not provide a way to look back and see sales for the year or the history of your app’s life-cycle.

How do you track your app sales?  Are you using any of the methods above or have you designed a different method to collect and analyze your app sales data?


Don said...

I stumbled upon this blog entry from Zoho. It allows for some great (and easy to create) charts. I've used appFigures for the two weeks and, while I miss the auto import and email summaries appFigures provides, I'm finding that Zoho provides enough to cover my needs.

mare said...

I use MyAppSales, a "compile yourself" iPhone app

There's also a open source app available on GitHub

Then there's AppSalesGraph, also open source

Jason (Photon) said...

Don't forget AppViz - nice app that is kept up to date.

Anonymous said...

There's also Distimo, which also tracks the ranking of your app. They have been collecting ranking data for some time now, which is especially nice if you add an old app. And it's free.

Michael said...

"I use MyAppSales, a "compile yourself" iPhone app"

yep me too. Best one out there.

On my desktop I use AppViz.

drops said...

MyAppSales is preferable if you want to look at your reports when they come in. It has push notifications (via appnotifications) that tell you when it makes sense to open your report app.