How we boosted App Store conversion by 400%

Sometimes it's the small changes that can have the greatest impact. But discovering hidden bottlenecks is harder than you think.

For any app-based company the App Store acts as a gateway to the entire business. Apple and Google hold the keys to this door so a developer like Popsa must act within their prescribed frameworks.

This leaves little room to make a mark.

A few screenshots, a video and a bit of text that most people don't read is all you have to work with.

Our task is to persuade people to download the app and give us a try. We know that we have a high repeat-customer rate when they do, so this first download step is very important.

We've tried changing screenshots to boost the number of people who choose to download once they're on our App Store page, and although we saw some improvement, it was marginal.

App Store Screenshots

We tried changing the search keywords that apply to us, but that made very little difference too. The truth is most people don't go around searching the App Store for generic terms these days; they come via a link instead.

So we added an App Preview Video and expected a significant boost. The hypothesis was that if prospective users could see a little bit more of what they'd be downloading, they'd be more likely to download.

But the results came in and the conversion rate was only 106% of the week before.

Again, the difference between theory and reality was stark. The things that seem obvious can have a very poor effort:impact ratio in many cases, whilst there are big improvements staring you right in the face...

In February 2017 we made a small change to the app's name.

The results that came through in the following weeks were shocking.

The rate of people downloading the app improved by 400% almost over night, and - importantly - it has stayed there ever since.

This one seemingly insignificant change means that thousands more people are experiencing Popsa than would otherwise have been the case.

Always test your assumptions.

The lesson is that we should be testing everything. If we can't communicate with our customers clearly at the most basic level then no amount of fancy graphics or clever algorithms will make up for it.

The best way of dealing with this is to be constantly iterating and experimenting, especially if it goes against the perceived wisdom.

We call this process The Growth Mindset, and it means applying the 'scientific method' to everything we do.

And that means far from banking this improvement and moving on, we'll be running a lot more tests on the App Store. Watch this space.

The Growth Mindset