Screenshots have been an important part of the Apple App Store and Google Play since their very beginnings, and are an essential part of any ASO strategy – but app store videos are now an option that just can’t be ignored.
When it comes to app buyers, first impressions count. According to an analysis of 500 million app store sessions, 50% of users who install your app never scroll down your listing at all. That means all they see is your app’s name, icon, rating, and your videos or screenshots.
Of those few items that they do see, most of the screen is taken up by the “gallery” section that shows your videos or screenshots. That gallery also makes up the bulk of what’s shown in each search result as well.
So what makes a good “gallery,” and are screenshots enough?
Adding screenshots is obviously essential – they’re required for every app in both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.
Apple now allows a total of ten gallery items, and up to three of them can be App Preview videos. On Google Play, you’re allow up to eight screenshots, with one video (embedded from YouTube).
It’s important to get as much information as you can into those slots, as this may be your only chance to capture a customer’s attention and make them want to know more. There are different approaches to the screenshots that can go here, but the generally accepted strategy is to make the screenshots fairly information-dense, while also making them visually appealing. You can add information around each screenshot, or even span images across multiple gallery slots in a “panoramic gallery.” Be careful, though: if you pack your screenshots with too much information, they could overwhelm app shoppers.
However you present your screenshots, they are still just a maximum of 8-10 static images. By switching at least one screenshot over to a video, you can get an enormous boost in the information you can communicate – and you’ll be doing it in an engaging and appealing way.
App Store Videos
Adding a video to your app store listing makes your app come to life. App shoppers will get a taste of the actual user experience before they download your app, giving them a chance to see what it feels like to use your app before they try it for themselves.
Is an App Store video effective? Absolutely. Depending on whose data you use, iPhone App Previews increase conversion rates by up ~50% or more, with lower end results in the 15-30% range. Just look at the App Store itself to see how much top developers value app store videos: a recent review found that 84% of apps on Apple’s “Top grossing” list have an App Preview video in their listing.
There’s another key benefit to App Previews: dynamic, engaging search results. Because videos now play automatically on iPhones, the apps with videos come to life as you scroll past them, while the others just sit there.
There’s a similar effect on the Google Play store. While videos don’t autoplay, a huge number of shoppers don’t scroll beyond the “gallery” section, and embedded videos give a big boost in conversions.
So, are screenshots enough? Probably not. From the big boost in visual appeal of search results to the potential for a 50% increase in conversions, videos have become a must-have for almost every app. Some words of warning, though: a poorly-made video can actually decrease your conversion rate, so make sure that any video you add to your app store listing looks, sounds, and feels professional.
Do you need a video that will impress app shoppers? We have extensive experience creating videos for both app stores (and beyond). Check out some examples of App Previews and Demo videos (appropriate for Google Play) we’ve created, and get in touch if you’d like to talk about how a video could help your app.