Design a great in-app purchase experience for Apple Watch – Discover

Design a great in-app purchase experience for Apple Watch – Discover

  • Apple
  • July 28, 2020
  • No Comment
  • 60
  • 5 minutes read

Look at the app that appears once you purchase the app

Your Apple Watch apps can help people achieve their personal fitness goals, monitor their health, get useful information directly on their wrist, and more. And with watchOS 6.2, you can further expand your customer experiences by offering in-app purchases and subscription streams directly to Apple Watch.

These interactions use the same StoreKit APIs available for iOS app development, which allows you to quickly deploy them to your watchOS apps, and can be added to both standalone watchOS apps (which can work completely independently of an iOS application) as watchOS dependent applications (which need a complementary iOS application to work).

Let’s take a look at why and when you might want to offer in-app purchases, as well as some best practices for implementing a high flow for your customers.

When to offer purchases and subscriptions from the app

In-app purchases and subscriptions can further enhance your Apple Watch apps by providing additional content and buying flexibility.

If you have a standalone app, people can now download it directly from the Watch App Store, and purchases and subscriptions from the app are based on that standalone. Apps that depend on the iOS add-on can also benefit, as they give people more power to buy additional content without having to get their iPhone.

When deciding whether to make an in-app purchase or a subscription feed to your app, consider what you’re offering. Does this purchase or subscription unlock anything specific to the Apple Watch? Fitness apps, for example, can offer additional workouts or allow your customers to subscribe to a monthly program.

Once you’ve decided to add an in-app purchase or subscription to your app, think about when your app should show it. These tips are very useful when providing a next step for your customers to unlock more features in your application.

Best practices for a great in-app shopping and subscription experience

Effective purchase flows on the Apple Watch are concise and clear. Your messages should be easy to scan, and your options should be easy to compare on a small screen. Doing things short and sweet will help ensure that people can evaluate the election, make a quick decision, and continue with the task at hand.

Make your choices clear
When you offer unique purchases and subscriptions side by side, make sure all options are clearly defined. Adding written overviews can help people differentiate themselves and make an informed decision.

We recommend that you include the following information in your overview:

  • What this purchase allows for in your Apple Watch app
  • Whether it’s a one-time purchase or a recurring subscription
View the app shown in your monthly app purchase along with an in-depth scrolling screen showing purchase options, shopping restore, sign-in, privacy policy, and terms and conditions

Restoring the past
Whenever you offer subscription or purchase content from the app, provide a way for people to retrieve their subscriptions or purchases. The same goes for Apple Watch: Make sure your app has a button below the purchase option that can check for previously purchased content and restore it.

Don’t forget the small print
While reading the terms and conditions of your Apple Watch subscription may not seem like the most fun way for someone to spend their time, it’s important for your customers to know exactly what they receive when they buy something in your app. Each time you include a purchase screen in your Apple Watch, you must include an option to read the terms and conditions.

Review the App Store guidelines
There are specific requirements that you need to include in the Watch app before you make in-app purchases and subscriptions available to your customers; see the App Store guidelines and resources for more information.


See “Create standalone watchOS applications”

Learn more about automatically renewable subscriptions

Learn more about in-app purchases

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