The app stores are much more than just a publishing platform. They are the top driver of app discovery, counting hundreds of millions of downloads every day. One category seeing increased volume is e-commerce apps. 2020 was a banner year, with this category seeing a 40% increase in app downloads year-over-year.
While more consumers are shopping online, they also have more choices than ever. So, how can these retail apps attract more users? App store optimization (ASO) is critical to move the need and help you acquire more users.
Why Does ASO Matter?
The point of ASO is to create a narrative that entices consumers to download it. It includes a host of factors that impact visibility and traffic. ASO is key to driving user acquisition (UA), but it’s not as easy as placing a few keywords in the title or presenting a great screenshot.
To help you get your e-commerce app to stand out in the app stores, here are some great tips for ASO.
ASO Tips for E-Commerce Apps
Include Keywords in Your App Title
Your app title shouldn’t just be your brand name. That may not mean much to some consumers. While you have a very limited number of characters, you can still do a lot with this. Here are some examples of retailers that are doing it well:
- H&M: We Love Fashion
- Etsy: Custom & Creative Goods
- Free People: Boho Clothing
- GOAT: Sneakers & Apparel
- Wayfair: Shop All Things Home
- Chewy: Where Pets Love to Shop
These are creative and tell searchers exactly what products they offer.
Highlight Benefits in Your App Subtitle
You have an opportunity to offer some more context with your app subtitle. You can provide a more detailed description and include keywords. Some inspiring examples include:
Etsy: Shop Handmade & Vintage Goods
Lowe’s: Do It Right for Less
Macy’s: Shopping with Style & Rewards!
Be Strategic with Keywords for Your E-Commerce Apps
Keywords are critical to search results, and according to Apple, 65% of downloads come from these actions. Choose keywords based on relevance, traffic, and difficulty. You don’t want to “stuff” them, and you may change them up depending on seasonality (i.e., Black Friday, Cyber Monday).
Think of these keywords as SEO for mobile apps. Thus, you have to consider searcher intent. You can likely take cues from SEO data around how people find your website. They’ll likely provide you similar results on the app stores.
Drive Value and Showcase Uniqueness in Your Description
The app description should be your app and brand’s story. You’ll want to use keywords and build a narrative around what makes your company unique and why they should download your app.
As far as formatting goes, you’ll want to break this up with bullets and spacing, so it’s not huge chunks of text. Focus on features and benefits.
For example, Etsy notes the personalized notifications you’ll receive, payment options, order tracking ease, and its augmented reality features.
Kohl’s is another description worth checking out. It even includes the top five reasons users love our online shopping app. It also breaks down the e-commerce app’s features that shoppers would find convenient and useful.
Appeal with Visuals
The next part of the app store is your screenshots. These should capture the experience of using your app and be high-quality and enticing. Focus on minimal text and highlighted features that will drive user engagement.
Chewy uses bright colors, active language, and informational screenshots that give consumers a sneak peek at what using the app will be like.
Sephora also does a great job at presenting screenshots. They actually lead with “Buy & Pick Up In-Store,” which signals they understand buyer behavior. The other screenshots focus on their brand promise of top products that deliver quality and value.
Ramp Up Review Efforts
Your app’s rating matters to prospective users. It’s the social proof that your app delivers on its promise. Getting reviews can sometimes be tricky, but ramping up efforts can have a significant impact on UA.
Asking users to rate your app should be a strategic approach. Look at your data and find the key moments that people are most likely to leave. You can use rewarded ads to prompt this action. Offerwalls are a type of rewarded ad that’s non-intrusive that can also work to get you more reviews.