This post is the first of a long line of posts about players’ behavior in mobile games. We’ve been investigating this area for some time now and will share our insights through data reports and blog posts like this one.
Getting your users to pay in your game is never easy. Of course you need to have a great game with good graphics and great design, but you also need to know how to target your payers when it matters. We’ve been asking ourselves: what if studios could find out at what time of day their users are likely to pay?
To study the spending trends, we sampled data from over 250 games from 17 different genres, spanning 188 countries over a time period of one year. The sample contains over 1M purchases from ~240K different users.
Prefer the Evenings
People play mobile games at any hour of the day, with their morning coffee, while waiting in line, on the bus, in front of the TV and even while walking down the street (dangerous!), but when are they likely to pull out their wallet?
Looking into data from many different games, most in-app purchases happen between 3pm and midnight, with peaks at 4pm and 8-9pm. The ride back home from work or the after-dinner play time is probably when people play long sessions and reach points where they are willing to pay.
Looking more closely at the US and Russia, we found a clear trend with sales rising from 4am onwards and dropping again at late night. While 4am is consistently a low point across countries, in the US sales peak at 8pm and then start dropping, while users from Russia tend to buy more at 9-10 pm.
In other countries the trend is not that prominent. Sales go up during the day, but much more slowly. Interesting to note, in Great Britain the peak hour for in-app purchases is actually 4pm, followed by 5-6pm, with a decrease in sales thereafter.
To simplify, we divided the day into four quarters. The following plot shows the number of users and the number of corresponding purchases in each quarter. As expected the 3rd (12-6pm) and 4th (6-12pm) quarters are the highest.
Now, let’s take a look at how users behave with respect to the quarters of the day. We asked ourselves: Do mobile payers always pay in the same quarter or is it distributed over the day?
The results are conclusive. Over half of all users who paid more than once always pay in the same quarter of the day!
|Number of quarters a user payed in||Percentage of paying users|
Similar patterns are observed when looking at the day of the week. As to be expected, users play and pay more on the weekends, with Saturday being the peak.
So…What’s In It for You?
These results can lead to many conclusions. One of them can be: Offer your users sales and discounts in the days and hours they are likely to pay. How do you do that?
Grow Insights allow you to learn about the specific time your users pay and it’s done in real-time! Since all the information is cross-game, you can get info on a user even on his/her first visit to your game.
Or try our new God Mode Analytics in the dashboard which allows you to see the analytics of other games similar to yours and compare overlapping user behavior.