16 Strategies to Increase App Installs for Your Shopify Store to Boost Sales

16 Strategies to Increase App Installs for Your Shopify Store to Boost Sales

You have put in a lot of effort in creating the right app for your Shopify store, but the download numbers just aren’t increasing. If you are feeling stuck with app installs, remember that just like your website, app downloads require strategic initiatives to see the numbers grow.

Therefore in this blog, we dive into the most powerful strategies that will help you boost app downloads and grow your business. Let's dive in!

Marketing strategies to increase Shopify eCommerce mobile app installs

There are several marketing strategies and hacks that one can use to increase the number of Shopify eCommerce mobile app installs. But let’s take a look at some we have found to be useful for the brands we work with:

1. App Store optimization (ASO)

The first step to improving app installs is making changes to the app store listing. This process is called App Store Optimization (ASO). It is like SEO but for the app store specifically. It involves optimizing for keywords, icons, titles, descriptions, screenshots, videos, and more.

This optimization is a continuous improvement – you have to keep at it with A/B testing and make active efforts to ensure your app always has high visibility.

Another way to support this effort is to gain more reviews and ensure they are highly rated reviews which improves your social proof and chances for backlinks. You can also conduct competitor analysis and understand user search behavior to achieve effective ASO.

Following such best practices will lead to an increase in installations, improving rankings, and expanding your app's reach.

2. Promote on the website

Promoting the app on your website is a great way to directly reach your existing customers and website visitors who are already interested in your products or services. Through the website, you will get downloads from users who are more familiar with your brand and will potentially be loyal.

With this, you are also enhancing your customers' overall experience by offering an optimized platform for them to shop from. Your app can also offer exclusive features or benefits that are not available on your website, and promote this on your website. This creates a compelling reason for users to download and engage with your app.

Integrating your app with your website allows you to gather valuable data and insights about your customer's behavior and preferences, which can help you improve your services.

Below is an example of how the retail brand H&M promotes the app on its website. The CTA to download the app is at the center when a user visits the site.

H&M CTA on website to install their mobile app

Below is another example of a retail brand doing this right. The brand Zaful promotes the app on its website and encourages users to download it by mentioning how they can also get app-exclusive prices. This is a great incentive to download the app.

Zaful- app exclusive promotions

3. Create a landing page for the app on the website

If you're running an e-commerce app, having a landing page on your website is essential. A well-designed landing page is a conversion tool for visitors to download your app.

Landing pages also act as teasers, allowing you to provide information about your app in a controlled and strategic manner while conveying its unique selling propositions. A well well-designed landing page will have good copy, design, and user experience with a clear headline, a flow of content that supports the goal of conversion, attention-grabbing visuals, and a prominent call-to-action button.  

Below is an example of a landing page dedicated to the mobile app. Mango, a retail brand, has a web page that discusses the perks of downloading the app and the elevated experience for the users.

Landing page of Mango to promote its app

The cosmetics brand Sephora as shown below, has a dedicated landing page for their app. On the web page, they exclusively mention why a customer would love their app and its benefits.

Landing page of Sephora to promote its app

4. Promote on social media

Social media is vital to expanding your app's reach and boosting downloads. Before you start posting on social media, take the time to strategize to decide what, how, and when you want to post.

Determine which platforms your potential users frequent the most, and create content that engages your followers. Avoid posting only about your app's features and offer helpful, engaging, and relevant content. Additionally, add a call-to-action subtly at the end of your post to encourage users to download your app.

Your social media voice must also match your app's personality to engage with your audience and offer a consistent experience. Use that voice consistently when posting and replying to comments to show followers that you care about what they have to say.

Below is an example of how Nike leveraged their social media presence to promote their sub-brand Nocta. They have promoted the products and their app SNKRS all in one post.

Nike app promotion on social media

5. Run ads on social media

You can increase your e-commerce app downloads by using social media ads. Using ads you can target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations to reach potential users who are more likely to be interested in your app. Additionally, you can narrow down your audience based on various parameters, including age, gender, location, interests, and more.

In these ads, utilize visually appealing content such as images, videos, carousels, and interactive formats to show your app and encourage downloads with a strong CTA to download the app.

With detailed analytics and tracking tools, you can monitor the performance of your campaigns and optimize them based on performance metrics such as click-through rates, conversions, and app downloads.

Below is an example of ads on Instagram by the retail brand TataCliq. They show the product with a high-quality image, entice users with the coupon code, and finally end it with a CTA to download the app.

mobile app ads on social media

Below is another example of a social media ad on Instagram from the brand ASOS. This clothing brand is using the full carousel limit from Instagram, with each image consisting of high product photos with a CTA to ‘shop now.’

mobile app ad sample on Instagram

6. Leverage email marketing

Email marketing is crucial can be an asset in improving the downloads for your app, and here’s how it can help you:

  • You can reach customers who are already interested in you and more likely to download.
  • You can provide personalized content by addressing your subscribers by name and tailoring the content to their preferences and behaviors.
  • Showcase the key features and benefits of your e-commerce app through email marketing
  • Regularly announce your new app or significant updates.
  • Provide app tutorials, how-to guides, or video demonstrations to showcase your app's functionality and its value in solving customers' pain points.
  • Segment your email list and set up drip campaigns to nurture subscribers to download the app.
  • Follow up with users through email to gather feedback, encourage app reviews, or ask for testimonials.

Make sure you optimize your email campaigns for mobile devices, and keep your emails concise and visually appealing. Additionally, include clear call-to-action buttons that link directly to the app store for easy downloading.

Below you can see how Nike uses email campaigns to promote app downloads with an effective image and CTA.

Nike email to promote its app
Source: Really Good Emails

7. Tap into the power of content marketing

If you're looking to expand the reach of your app, creating compelling and relevant content is an imperative. There are many different ways to do this, such as creating articles, walkthrough videos, and encouraging user-generated content.

To get the most out of your content, keep your audience and search engines in mind while writing engaging and relevant blog posts. This is a great way to give users valuable insights into what your app can offer them and you could potentially attract thousands of visitors to your site each week with good SEO.

Remember, the more content you produce and publish on your blog, the more visible it will become on Google. This translates to more traffic and more app downloads. You can also use images, videos, podcasts, and guest blogging on popular platforms like Quora, Medium, Reddit, and Substack to further boost your app's visibility.

alt text

8. Run ads on the search engine

Ads are a powerful strategy to improve app installs. They are an investment; however, they deliver big results. Consider using in-app ads, social media ads, search ads, paid SEO tools, sharp keywords, and Adwords based on your target audience and preference.

One particularly effective approach is Apple Search Ads. With this paid advertisement within the App Store, you can bid for relevant keywords to ensure that your app appears first in search results. The average conversion rate for Apple Search Ads is an impressive 50%, making them a smart investment for any app developer.

Below is an example of Myntra, the ecommerce shopping app’s ad on Google.

Google ads to promote mobile app

9. Make use of user generated content

Increase your Shopify store's app downloads with the power of user-generated content (UGC). You can do this by prompting existing users to share their positive experiences with your app through reviews and testimonials. Encourage them to use a hashtag you created or tag you in their pictures. Then you can share user-generated content featuring your app on social media to highlight its benefits and positive experiences.

You can also develop in-app social sharing buttons to increase visibility and generate curiosity among users' connections when your customers share it with their friends.

With UGC, you can add authenticity, social proof, and a human touch to your app marketing efforts, leading to increased app downloads for your Shopify store. But always remember to seek permission and give proper credit when featuring UGC.

Below is an example of the apparel brand ChicME and a section on their website dedicated to UGC content with a clear hashtag callout for others to use.

using UGC to promote app

10. Use SMS marketing

Boost your e-commerce app downloads with SMS marketing! Here is why it is important:

  • SMS messages get read quickly, making them ideal for promoting your app.
  • It is only for the opt-in Subscribers, thus, it reaches a targeted audience who want to hear from you.
  • SMS makes it easy to download with direct links.
  • Recipients can be addressed by their name making the experience personalized

However, with SMS marketing, you have to strike a balance and avoid overwhelming your subscribers with spam messages. With a well-planned SMS strategy, you can drive app downloads, engage your audience, and boost conversions.

11. Work with influencers and creators to promote your brand’s mobile app

​​Collaborating with influencers with a massive following can provide you with access to their audience and significantly increase your app's exposure. Before partnering with influencers, ensure that they cater to your target audience to maximize the impact of the collaboration.

To successfully collaborate with relevant influencers in your app's niche, it's essential to provide them with value first. Engage with them by commenting on their social posts and forming a connection. You establish a positive association with your brand and improve your reputation. When you finally approach them for a favor, sweeten the deal with some freebies.

While building a massive following may not be feasible for every startup, social media is still a potent tool. Partnering with social media influencers with a smaller but highly-engaged audience can be just as effective. These influencers devote significant time to engaging with their followers and are willing to talk about and even demonstrate your app in their social posts. Choose the right influencers to partner with and watch your brand grow, and you can be assured of app downloads.

In the example below, Etsy, the global marketplace to buy and sell, collaborated with the singer John Legend to promote a new line of home decor to represent underrepresented communities.

leveraging influencer marketing to promote mobile app

12. Make use of localization

Expanding the reach of your app to a global audience is crucial for its growth. By translating your app into popular languages like French, Spanish, and Italian, you can open up your app to a whole new audience and significantly boost your downloads on Android and iOS platforms.

For your app to grow continuously, you must tap into global markets and reach new users worldwide, even if they aren’t familiar with your business language. You can do this by implementing mobile app localization.

13. Prompt users to leave reviews

As a customer, it is overwhelming to purchase or download an app online. That's why it's important to have all the information they need beforehand. Social proof, such as reviews and ratings from other users, is a great way to gain insight.

Although having positive reviews that reflect well on your brand is important, fabricating reviews is never the answer. Such activities can potentially suspend your app and users will lose their trust in your brand.

Instead, make an effort to engage with your users by responding to their comments and complaints politely. Provide explanations if you think a review is unfair but always focus on solving their concerns. This shows that you value their opinions and are actively working to improve your app or product

14. Add engaging visuals

To increase engagement on your app page, it's important to showcase your app's features in a visually appealing way. To do this well, you can include screenshots, photos, intro videos, and how-to videos that accurately represent your app's user interface and highlight different aspects of its functionality. Adding arrows and labels to key features can also help to draw attention to what sets your app apart.

You can also create explainer videos to showcase your app's unique features. Depending on the resources available to your team, you can design the video yourself or hire a professional agency to help. Regardless of who creates the video, make sure it's subtitled and translated into multiple languages to appeal to a broader audience.

In addition to video content, high-quality photos showcasing features and including explanations can help improve app downloads.

Below is an example of a demo video from the home furnishing retailer Ikea. When their new app feature called “place,” this video explained how it could help a customer visualize a product in their home through Augmented Reality (AR).

Using augmented reality to promote a product

Below is an example of the pet products brand, Chewy.  These are their visuals from the Apple Store. They use high-quality explainer-type images to showcase the experience on their app which encourages users to download the app.

using high-quality images in the App Store screenshots

Getting your app featured on review sites opens your brand up to more names and gives you an advertisement. To get your app reviewed on an App Review Site, you need to pitch it and convince them that it's worthy of being featured.

These sites look for high-quality graphics, unique content and mechanics, and stable apps that don't have glitches or long loading times. To support your pitch, you'll need to provide a document that includes a link to your app, a summary of what sets it apart, screenshots, and links to videos.

If your app isn't free, include a promo code. This is a great way to get more exposure for your app and take advantage of another site's traffic.

16. Use referral marketing to reach more users

Another app marketing strategy you can use to reach more customers and encourage them to install your eCommerce app, is referral marketing.

Consumers tend to trust recommendations coming from their friends and family more than the marketing and advertising campaigns they are targeted with. So leverage your existing set of customers and users to invite their circle to your app - offer an incentive to them for doing so and to their network for joining you!

alt text

Skyrocket your Shopify eCommerce mobile app installs!

To succeed in today's competitive ecommerce world, your Shopify store needs to have a strong presence in the app market. These techniques will help you increase your app installs and gain a competitive advantage.

Shopney can help you in this process – we don’t help turn a Shopify store into a mobile app but offer a cumulative set of services to set you up for success. From empowering you with the latest technology to showing you how to improve customer engagement - we can help you with it all.

Reach out to us to know more and subscribe to our blog for more such strategies.