Up to 90% of App Store Views Fail to Generate Installs – How to Join the 10%

Partner Post - Gummicube Big Data Analytics for Mobile & ASO

Posted: August 30, 2016


Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.

Up to 90 percent of App Store page views don’t lead to an install, according to 8fit growth team member Thomas Petit.

During a panel at the App Promotion Summit in London, Petit used his experience in mobile to point out how fickle the audience for your app can be, citing that between 70 and 90 percent of App Store page views never lead to a download.

When talking about users who don’t install, you’re ultimately talking about an issue of conversion. A/B testing can be a great way to see which creative elements convert better – a point which Petit hit hard during his panel.

But what Petit and many other A/B testing advocates overlook is the all-important difference between Apple and Android, and the ways that your testing platform itself can skew your results.

iOS App Store

Since Apple introduced the “Get” button to search results, many users no longer visit your store page at all. Gummicube data indicates that 65% of app installs originate from search, and at WWDC Apple representatives corroborated this. Of that 65%, a whopping 60% will click “Get” without ever looking at your store page.

That means out of a one hundred thousand user sample, sixty-five thousand will find and download your app through search. Of that sixty-five thousand, thirty-nine thousand users will never even view your store page.

The issue of conversion on the App Store, then, is not simply an issue of page conversion. Instead, you want to think about what will cause users to download your app from the search results.

Testing for search conversion is not the same as a simple A/B test in Google Play. Think about the differences between each store’s presentation. For example, in the App Store users will see your app’s title, icon, rating, developer and first two screenshots (or first screenshot and preview video), giving them plenty of information when making a choice. On Android, users will see your app’s title, icon, rating and developer, but no accompanying screenshots or videos.

The issue on iOS then becomes optimizing the content that users DO see so as to convert better directly from search results. Your icon is important, but so are your first two screenshots, your title, and your ratings. Android, on the other hand, more traditionally emphasizes conversion from your store page because there is no way to download directly from a search.

Aside from your search presentation, you’ll want to optimize your app’s ranking as well. Many developers have noticed that their App Store rank shifts regularly – but why?

What causes an app to rise and fall in ranking for its keywords, aside from technical optimization, is its click-through rate. To increase your visibility further, you’ll want to optimize for increased click-through, which again comes back to optimizing the content that users see in search to appear most relevant for your app’s core terms.

Another thing to be aware of when testing new creative is how your app’s audience behaves. Keep in mind that paid user behavior from a testing channel is not the same as user behavior during a natural view session. A test environment is inherently different from the App Store – the interest level is skewed, and the testing platform itself is different. If you were to conduct a Facebook test, for example, you’d only see which creative converts best for Facebook users, not all potential users of your app.

The best way to test your creative across all demographics is through a focus group. By eliminating unneeded differentiators in your testing base, you can craft a more complete picture of your entire audience, not just the snippet that uses your testing platform of choice.

So is it true that up to 90 percent of your page views won’t lead to an install? Ultimately, the question you should be asking is – Does it even matter? By utilizing App Store Optimization to lure users directly from search and conducting proper focus testing, you can avoid this pitfall entirely by capturing the users who really matter.