Take your audience’s learning journey to new heights! Your users can now expand their skills by purchasing new courses directly within your mobile app.
In this article:
About This Feature
Branded Mobile fits into your audience’s existing routines, making it easier for them to learn and engage with your content — all on their own schedule. This means higher course completion rates, improved student satisfaction, and more revenue opportunities for your business.
In-App Purchases is an optional and Branded mobile-exclusive feature that allows your students to expand their skills by purchasing new courses directly within your mobile app. With Apple and Google Play’s in-app purchase systems, they can easily tap, purchase, and get access to new courses, while the earnings from these purchases are deposited directly into your bank account.
This feature is exclusive to creators using Branded apps. Depending on your business model, in-app purchases will be required for your app to be approved in the app stores. For creators who do not require this feature for their app to be approved, it is entirely optional. If you’re interested in setting this up for your mobile app, reach out to your CSM and they will be happy to connect you with a member of the Thinkific mobile team.
In-app purchases allow you to:
By offering in-app purchases, you create an additional revenue stream that is deposited directly into your bank account, allowing you to increase your product sales.
Meet students where they are
Your students are already using the app - capitalize on their engagement by offering them a convenient way to get more courses from you without leaving the app.
Ensure that your Branded app is approved
In many cases, in-app purchases are required by Apple and Google in order to approve the app.
How It Works
Since the In-App Purchases feature is optional, the Thinkific team will work with you on identifying the need for in-app purchases or setting the first product with you.
In-app purchases can only be enabled on published courses with a one-time payment pricing and no expiry date.
Communities, memberships, bundles, free trials, free previews, hidden products, and products with subscription and monthly payment pricing or with an expiry date are not supported through in-app purchases.
We're continuously working on improving our mobile app offering behind the scenes, including on offering more product options via in-app purchases!
Once enabled, students will be able to purchase the products directly through their app. See the Student Experience section below.
All in-app purchases are processed through Apple and Google, which means that they bypass standard Thinkific checkout. Money will be deposited directly into your bank account. All in-app purchases will be charged a 30% fee by Apple and Google unless you apply for a reduced rate.
Note that the price of each individual product sold through In-App Purchases cannot exceed $1000 USD (for Apple App Store), and $400 USD (for Google Play Store).
Setting Up In-App Purchases
The Thinkific team will work closely with you to set up in-app purchases. To ensure a successful setup, you will need to complete the steps below.
Accept Apple App Store Agreements
To create in-app purchases and accept payments via the Apple App Store:
- Go to App Store Connect
- Select Agreements, Tax, and Banking
- Under Agreements, find the Paid Apps line and select View Terms
- Review the Agreement Terms and click Agree
- Select the Tax tab and provide relevant information. For more information, see: Tax forms overview
- Select the Banking app and provide relevant information. For more information, see: Enter banking information
Create a Payments Profile in Google Play
To create in-app purchases and accept payments via the Google Play Store:
- In your Play Console, open the Setup menu on the left-hand side
- Select Payments profile
- Create your payments profile. For more information, see: Create a payments profile
Create and Download the Google Service Account Key
Ensure that the steps outlined in this section are completed and the Service Account has the following permissions:
- Service Account User role
- Pub/Sub Admin role
- Monitoring Viewer role
If the Service Account does not have those permissions or you did not grant those permissions before, please update the Service Account to include these roles.
- Go to Google Cloud Platform
- Select IAM & Admin on the left-hand side
- On the left-hand side, select IAM
- Find the service account named Thinkific Mobile App that you created in Step 2 of your Android app setup
- Select the pencil icon to edit the account.
- Under the Grant this service account access to project section, in the Select a role section, choose:
- Service Accounts > Service Account User
- Click on +Add another role and select Pub/Sub Admin role
- Click on +Add another role and select Monitoring Viewer role
- Click Done
Enable the Pub/Sub API in Google Play
- Open this Pub/Sub API page
- Select your project
- Click Next to confirm your project
- Click Enable to enable Cloud Pub/Sub API
Reduce Your App Store Fees
This optional step allows you to reduce your app store fees from 30% to 15%. Both Apple App Store and Google Play Store offer reduced rates to qualified businesses. To enrol in these programs, follow the instructions outlined here:
Adding Products to In-App Purchases
The Thinkific team will work with you on setting up initial in-app purchase products. However, if you decide to make more products available to purchase through your Branded app, you can do it by following these steps:
- In your Thinkific Admin Dashboard, select Settings
- Select the Mobile app tab
- Under the In-App Purchase IDs section, find the product you want to make available for purchase via your app
- Click Create ID next to the product you want to offer
- Copy the ID once the Product ID is generated
Create a new product in the Apple App Store
- Go to App Store Connect
From My Apps, select your app.
In the sidebar under Features, click In-App Purchases.
- Select (+)
- Under Type, select whether your product is Consumable or Non-Consumable. Most products will be Non-Consumable (they will need to be purchased only once).
- Add Reference name
- Add the Product ID that you copied from Mobile Settings in Admin Dashboard
Learn more about it here: Create consumable or non-consumable in-app purchases
Create a new product in the Google Play Store
- Go to your Google Play Console
- Under the Monetize section, select Products option
- Select In-app products
- Click Create product
- Enter Product information, including the Product ID that you copied from Mobile Settings in Admin Dashboard
Learn more about it here: Create an in-app product.
When the In-App Purchases feature is enabled and set up, your students will be able to purchase the products directly from within your Branded app! To do that, your students need to:
- Open your branded app
- Select the Learn tab at the bottom of the screen
- Select the Discover tab at the top of the screen
- Select the product they want to purchase
When viewing the list of products, your students will see the product image, the product price, the product name, and the product description, and the table of content.
- Purchase the product using a payment method associated with their Apple ID or Google Play accounts
- Once purchased, your students will be automatically enrolled in the product and can start learning right away!
- In-app purchases are processed through Apple and Google, which means that they bypass standard Thinkific checkout. This means that:
- Money will be deposited directly into your bank account.
- In-app purchases will be charged a 30% fee by Apple and Google unless you apply for a reduced rate.
- Note that the price of each individual product sold through In-App Purchases cannot exceed $1000 USD (for Apple App Store), and $400 USD (for Google Play Store).
- We recommend applying to Apple App Store and Google Play programs that offer reduced rates to lower in-app purchase fees to 15%:
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to pay a fee when a student purchases my product through my app?
The fee is charged by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and is a standard rate for all apps with in-app purchases. Apple to Apple App Store and Google Play programs that offer reduced rates to lower in-app purchase fees: