How our weekly app installs increased by 70%
At I/O 2015, Google introduced Play Store Experiments on Google Play Developer Console. Developers can now run A/B experiments to find the most effective graphics and localized text for your application. If you are not aware of how to run Store Experiments, please visit our blogpost on Setup your first Play Store Listing Experiment.
Here is our story of how we increased our weekly app installs by as high as 70%.
Store Listing Experiments with App Icon
We, at PregBuddy, have been constantly running Store Listing Experiments since its launch on Play Store earlier this year. As a good practice, make sure you test one attribute at a time, with major or minor variations, which will give you the best results. One of most recommended attribute, by Google, has been App Icon — because it has a huge impact on whether users pick your app from search results or from category listings.
We wanted to release an app update with our re-designed logo on Play Store, but wasn’t sure whether it was really better than the existing one. The only to test previously was to release the new version on Play Store and compare the Views to App Installs ratio. Now with Store Experiments, we were able to setup an experiment with the new logo as a variation. We had two hypothesis for this experiment:
First, a better designed logo will nudge more users to tap on the app icon and come to our listing screen hence increasing the number of listing views.
Second, once the user is on PregBuddy listing screen, more people will tend to install the app, hence the View: Install ratio will go up.
Instead of releasing an app update, we just launched a Store Experiment with these two variations with 50% audience distribution for each one.
It is recommended to run an experiment for atleast 7 days, even if you have enough traffic to get meaningful results in few days.
A week afterwards, we saw a clear winner with our weekly app installs increasing by close to 70%. That’s huge, right? We never thought a small change like this would impact our organic growth so much. We had done Store Listing Experiments before with Long Description, Short Description, Changing background of our screenshots — none gave such a big jump as the app icon experiment did. If you don’t have enough downloads to draw conclusions then you should test one variation against the current one. It is recommended to run experiments long enough to achieve statistical significance.
Now that we were sure about the new logo performing better than the old one, we released an app update with our new logo.
How Google can improve Store Listing Experiments?
The current version of Store Listing Experiments doesn’t show you a preview of what your variation is gonna look like once you start the experiment. This will be a handy feature which will help the developers decide whether to go create the experiment or not. We will share a sketch of how we envision this feature within Google Play Developer Console (coming soon). We solve this challenge by creating high-fidelity mockups of Play Store to preview how our application looks like in the app listing screen as well as on the users’ device’s home screen.
For preview on the Home Screen of a user’s device we used Android Product Icon Template by ApplyPixels (previously called appicontemplate.com). Download the template from here. It was free before, now it costs $9/month.
We are happy to share the source file of our Play Store preview mockup such that you can use it too. Please download it from here.
Play Store Experiments is a great tool and we highly encourage you to use it. Though you can run only one experiment at a time, you can increase your app installs organically by experimenting with the icon, screenshots and the descriptions. By constantly running Store Listing Experiments you’ll be able to improve your app ranking on Play Store.
Stay tuned for more updates from PregBuddy team on how we’re building and growing our product along with assisting moms-to-be to have a wonderful pregnancy journey :)