For the past year, Google had been slowly but steadily shaking things up in its Play Store by testing as well as rolling out dozens of the various visual designs for app listing pages.
Several weeks ago, to be exact on 28 September 2018, after months of testing different iterations, users finally got an update discovering that Google finally has launched the new and optimized app page layout for the Play Store. It majorly changed the way app store listings were displayed before. Nevertheless, Google is constantly testing out and updating new features, visual attributes, and functionalities to its Play Store.
This tiding created a lot of buzz in the digital marketing industry. While some marketers and developers think that Google has just taken a page out of Apple’s book and rebuilt a lookalike replica (almost), others are trying to figure out the goals behind the redesign as well as how it will be beneficial for users, app marketers, and developers. In this blog post, we strive to tell you what exactly has changed in the store, to what extent this latest visual layout will pay off, and also how it will influence app rankings and App Store Optimization (ASO).
Change #1: Screenshot-Centric and Removal of Featured Graphic – Banner Image/Video
One of the most exciting accents on the new Play Store design is the elimination of featured graphic banners, comprising an app cover image or preview video, on the top of a page. While the app’s icon, title, and other elements have taken the position of graphic banners, the promo video is now moved to the screenshot segment, giving it more prominence. With the farewell of featured graphic banners, the video is no longer the only central element of the listing page. Nevertheless, they are now perfectly lined up in the gallery along with other competing images which productively have altered the First Impression Frame.
While screenshots have finally been put above the fold and emerged on the single screen, the short app descriptions now have been placed under the gallery with the new page design. One specific thing you need to consider is that the size of your screenshot slider and all photos significantly depend on your promo video’s orientation mode. Wherever possible, utilize the portrait or landscape orientation for the consumption of your media content, both videos as well as images. With a portrait gallery, the dimension of your screenshots will increase, and the first three images or videos will appear on the page. On the other hand, the horizontal orientation mode allows you to display only the first asset in the search.
Change #2: Page Scroll
In the old design, the showcased graphical ad used to occupy a considerable fraction of the product page, coercing visitors to scroll down the page for seeing app screenshots, reviews, and vital information. An average of only 36 percent of store visitors moved down the screen with the old layout, according to StoreMaven. The remaining ones, in this manner, made their decision to install an app based solely on the info offered within the First Impression Frame (FIF) including the app name and video. This situation is prone to change with the updated positioning of videos on the page and also by highlighting the most prominent app specifics above the fold including:
Disadvantages: No cons yet.
Change #3: Nested Tab Design
Along with multiple new updates, Google also gave a little tweak to its bottom nested navigation blocks just underneath the parent tab of the store’s categories. Users spotted that Google has fragmented the updated existing subcategories (Top Charts, Editors’ Choice, etc.) into their respective individual sub-menus that are now linked up with other specific sections. Compared to the previous chip containers, this updated design is friendlier and enables users to tap through and explore more efficiently. The chip “For You” is the latest addition to the store’s interface, which highlights apps in your feed that Google thinks you might like or be interested in. Unlike chips, additionally, which used to adopt the color of their section they were in, the new bar doesn’t change with their surroundings.
Change #4: P2P App Sharing and Installation with Partners
The exchange of digital media files like apps, music, and videos through reliable Peer-to-Peer (P2P) sharing tools is quite common these days, especially in developing countries where the ability to use internet data is relatively inadequate due to high prices or poor connectivity. Google, over the past several months, has been focusing on make the process of sharing P2P apps more authentic and secure for its Play Store users who love side-loading applications. That’s why Google started adding the security metadata to P2P file sharing apps for verifying the authenticity of the app and also confirming that the APK was allocated by the Play Store.
As for the last month, Google has successfully rolled out a beta of offline P2P installs with a powerful authentication feature by partnering with certain third-party apps. That way, users will be able to determine the dependability of shared apps even when a device is offline. Additionally, the exchanged apps via P2P will be automatically saved to the library of a user’s Play Store. And when the device has an active internet connection, the receiver will be eligible for regular app updates for the Play Store.
While taking into consideration these latest updates and functionalities, it’s not wrong to say that Google’s this redesign is typically aimed at boosting the discoverability of apps, visibility of reviews as well as ratings, and conversion rate.
So, what are your thoughts on Google’s new Play Store design? Whether you are looking for fully customized digital marketing and web designing solutions or have questions about how redesigning an app can improve your conversions and rankings, get in contact with us.