Making Google Checkout the sole way to make in-app purchases has helped Bionic Panda games increase its per-user monetization by 25 percent according to Charles Hudson*, the company’s CEO and co-founder.
“Since we’ve switched from a combination of Paypal and Checkout to just Checkout, monetization is up about 25 percent in the last six months,” Hudson revealed at the iOS, Android and HTML5 App Development panel at Inside Social Apps today.
Originally, Bionic Panda Games used Paypal for in-app payments in its game Aqua Pets, but went exclusively to Google Checkout shortly after it was launched last year.
“We went 100 percent Google Checkout to make the user flow better. We also added new monetization features,” says Hudson. “Simplifying the checkout to one button improved the conversion rate, new features improved the revenue generated, so it’s a mix,” he explains.
While Bionic Panda’s increase can’t be attributed totally to Checkout, an improved conversion rate is still significant to Android developers. The platform still has weaker monetization compared to iOS — according to Flurry’s well quoted statistic, for every a dollar an iOS developer will earn through in-app purchases, an Android developer will only earn $0.24 cents. However, as users and developers adopt Checkout and become more comfortable with making lower-friction in-app purchases, the gap could close.
“The good news on payments for developers is that we have a standardized thing to shoot for with Google Checkout instead of hacking together our own solution,” said Hudson at today’s panel. “It’s still in its early days and they’re still working out some of the kinks. Google is new and not 10 years old like iTunes.”
*Disclosure: Hudson occasionally co-authors Inside Virtual Goods reports with our company.