Success Story: Relying on Infrastructure and Analytics to Accelerate Subscription App Growth

Kate Zhabina avatar
Kate Zhabina

Fitia is a nutrition app providing alternative to conventional nutritionists that was launched in 2019. Fitia turned to Qonversion when its co-founders wanted to optimize their in-app subscriptions implementation and improve the customer experience related to in-app purchases.

Since then, the app has become one of the fastest-growing startups in Peru, is in the Top 10 Fitness & Health Apps on the LATAM Market, and was accepted to Y Combinator – the number 1 startup accelerator in the world.

The story

Fitia is a nutrition app that was launched by Ulises Olave and Piero Linares from Peru. The idea behind that application was based on personal experience: one of the co-founders wanted to improve his wellbeing and integrate new eating habits into his life. But a personal nutritionist was too expensive to hire, so he looked for another approach. After speaking with his friend who was experienced in leading a healthy lifestyle, they both realized that meal planning is all about formulas. And data. 

From a nutritionist’s perspective, all that’s needed for doing the job is data. A person’s height, weight, food preferences, allergy info, and other indicators should be considered. The customer sends this info to the nutritionist, and then receives a personalized plan. Ulises and Piero realized this could be automated. The founders created the mobile app with a science-based algorithm that builds a unique plan based on users’ specific information and goals.

Nutrition App Fitia

Fitia has used the subscription monetization model since the beginning of its journey. In-app subscriptions allow Fitia to charge customers monthly and provide a more comfortable price than a one-shot purchase. It also creates incentive to constantly improve the app: customer LTV is the function of customer retention. 

Ulises tried to build a subscription infrastructure on his own, and spent an enormous amount of time digging through Apple’s and Google’s stores documentation. This infrastructure built internally allowed Fitia to launch in production and start earning revenue. But with the increasing number of users the team started facing numerous problems including customer complaints related to verification problems (some subscribers were not receiving premium access after re-installing the application), which led to subscriptions cancellation.  

At the early stages of a startup when you have only one developer, time is priceless. I had spent too much time and efforts coding in-app purchases on my own when Qonversion offered me a solution 10x better and faster, for free,” Ulises said.

With Qonversion, Ulises set up in-app purchases and receipt validation quickly. “It took us just a day or two to setup and test in-app subscriptions with Qonversion instead of weeks with our own solution. The important part is that Qonversion provides out-of-the-box server-side receipt validation that guarantees correct status for every subscription at any time and prevents any fraudulent purchases,” he mentioned. 

Since then, Qonversion has been managing a rapidly growing number of in-app purchases for the Fitia app, providing a safe and stable solution that the team relies on. 

Know your numbers 

The first answer that you will receive from the Fitia founders after asking them about their success is: “Just know your numbers.” Simultaneously with solving the infrastructure issues, the team was trying to find a tool that would allow them to handle app’s revenue data and provide insights for decision making. 

The data that I see in Google Play or App Store Connect is pretty obscure, it’s not presented in the way I would like to see it. I was trying to find the easy-to-use and flexible analytics for our business and that’s exactly what Qonversion provides,” Ulises said. 

Qonversion allows Fitia team tracking revenue by cohort of subscribers, estimating customer LTV, conversion levels, and other crucial metrics. Important feature is splitting the metrics by country. “We can take this LTV number – it’s really different for each country. For instance, in Peru, it’s less than in Chile, and in Spain it’s a little bit more than in other countries. Knowing the exact numbers helps us to set up user acquisition campaigns optimized for each country. If you don’t know these numbers, it’s easy to lose money on advertising.”

Cohorts dashboard with sample data
Qonversion Cohorts dashboard with sample data.

About the importance of A/B testing

Choosing the optimal price for an application is a complex task. Providing the mix of in-app products to the users that maximizes conversion and long-term revenue while also providing the best user experience is tricky. Another thing to remember is that Changing the app price on App Stores to existing subscribers is also not an option, customers will have to confirm the new price and thus any changes might lead to significant subscriber churn.

That’s why the team takes subscription price A/B testing incredibly serious. So far they had tested a number of different subscription durations, and now they are testing the price with 10% increments. 

Fitia plans for the future

2021 has been a stellar year for Fitia. The app is available only on LATAM markets yet and here are some of the team’s achievements: 

  • x10 revenue YoY increase
  • One of the top Peruvian apps 2021 (Highlighted by Apple Store)
  • Top 10 Fitness & Health App in the LATAM Market
  • Top 5 Grossing Fitness & Health Apps in the LATAM Market
  • Fitia was accepted into Y Combinator

And this is just the beginning. By the year end, Fitia is planning to expand to top-5 world markets, expand developer team, and introduce new important features that will provide users with groundbreaking tools to achieve their goals. 

We at Qonversion are happy to provide the tools needed to power growth of apps like Fitia. If you want to hear more stories on scaling apps, tips and tricks on mobile apps infrastructure, analytics, and growth tools, please join our community on Slack. Let’s learn and grow together.