When you launch a new iOS app, you usually invest a lot of time and money in market research. While keyword and competition research are the obvious steps, geographical research often gets overlooked. And that’s a shame because gathering geographical data can help you select the best countries to launch your app and ultimately increase your revenue.
When you perform your geo research, you should have a look at download figures and revenue share by country. That way you’ll be able to identify which countries not only download iOS apps, but also pay for them, make in-app purchases and otherwise spend money.
Recent research performed by Sensortower suggests that the top five countries for app downloads on the App Store are China, the USA, Japan, the UK, and Russia. However, when you look at revenue share by country, you get a different picture. The USA is the top spender (no surprise there) with Japan coming second. China follows, while the UK is the 4th and Australia the 5th. If we expand the list to top 10 spending countries, we’ll get Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Russia.
The numbers for each country can vary by app category, but the general trend is clearly visible. Based on this, you can build an app localization plan. Basically, you get four English-speaking countries with the US, UK and Australia being the big spenders. Then you get two Asian markets, China and Japan, for which localization can be a bit difficult. And then you get French-speaking countries (Canada and France), as well as Germany and Italy. Localizing your app for these markets is not too hard, nor is it too expensive. As for the Russian language, you may not want to bother with translating your app unless it’s a game.
As you can see, performing geographical research before launching your app can help you identify the countries that will bring you revenue and thus help you make the right localization decisions.