ASO Teardown: Shop - Learning From Millions of Downloads
Welcome to ASO Teardowns, a series where we dissect the strategies apps use to gain visibility on the App Store and Google Play for you to learn from.
Shopify has the most popular package tracker in the App Store—Shop. Even before lockdowns pushed shopping online, Shop, which was called Arrive up until May, was one of the top shopping apps on the App Store.
In this ASO teardown, we'll analyze how Shop gets top ranks and lots of downloads.
Overall, Shop gets an A.
In this guide:
- Shop by the Numbers - Looking Good!
- Shop vs. the Competition
- Keyword Analysis
- Keyword List: What's Under the Hood?
- Screenshot Analysis
- Video Analysis
- Summary: Shop Nails App Store Optimization
- How's Your App Performing?
Shop by the Numbers - Looking Good!
Here's how Shop is doing in the U.S. App Store:
- 📈 1.3M estimated downloads in the last month.
- 3️⃣ in the Shopping category.
- ⭐️ 95% of new ratings were positive in the last month.
- 👋 Audience is young and split evenly between men and women.
- 💰 Primary competitors include Route, AfterShip, OneTracker, and ParcelTrack.
Shop vs. the Competition
Package tracking is a fairly popular search term on the App Store, and popularity breeds competition. However, Shop is in a class of its own when it comes to downloads. Here's how they all stack up, in the U.S. App Store based on our app intelligence:
Notice we didn't include shippers such as UPS or Fedex here. That's because they don't compete with Shop directly in any way on the App Store.
Shopify is a popular brand that's been in the news a lot lately, but Shop's success isn't just a result of good branding. Its attention to ASO and carefully tailored keyword strategy ensures Shop is what App Store users see when they search for a package tracker.
Let's begin by analyzing the keywords Shop uses in the app's name and subtitle. Those send the strongest signals to the App Store's algorithm.
- Name: Shop: delivery & order tracker
- Subtitle: Online shopping can be better
Strictly based on these, Shop is targeting the following:
And here's how they're performing, along with keyword insights:
That's a lot of first place ranks! A great first sign. You can tell a good amount of time was spent crafting these. Both the name and subtitle use all 30 characters (29 for the subtitle, but that's pretty much the same). The subtitle also reads like a sentence and isn't just a list of keywords.
Analyzing Shop's keywords, a few important ones are missing. Namely, "package," which combines with other keywords and forms terms that are more popular than those created by "order." As you'll see below, however, Shop uses those in its keyword list.
In addition to these keywords, the app ranks in a few other popular keywords:
Shop ranks in the top 10 results for more than 20 high popularity terms.
- If you have a well-known brand, use it at the beginning of the app's name. But if your brand isn't there yet, push it towards the end to focus on non-branded keywords.
- Focus the name on the keywords with the highest popularity. Shop doesn't do that, but given their downloads, they're allowed to experiment.
- Names and subtitles that read as sentences look better and are worth the extra time necessary to craft them. For the sake of your new users.
- Use keywords with the highest potential (aka. popularity) in the app's name and subtitle. As long as you have the downloads to rank for the term, you will.
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Keyword List: What's Under the Hood?
Now, let's reverse-engineer Shop's keyword list. The list isn't public, but we can attempt to uncover it by looking at all other keywords the app is ranked in. We believe it looks something like the following:
Shop covers most of the different ways to refer to package tracking, but not all. It's also mentioning some competitors, but not all. Enough to hit the important search terms.
- Please please please, save your characters and don't target competitors.
- The keyword list is a good place to experiment with keywords before bringing them into the name and subtitle. Don't be afraid to experiment.
- Place direct modifiers (ex. "acoustic," "electric") in the keyword list, as long as the resulting combinations have a high-enough popularity score.
Elegant, actionable, and pretty easy to read. But why are there only four? While Shop's main set of features is pretty straight forward, their latest expansion into shopping should be highlighted in more than just one screenshot. The other obvious issue with these is the contrast. There isn't enough contrast between the light-gray background and white app UI. Together, they blur and are pretty hard to look at.
Attention spans are pretty limited. If your screenshots, which take up most of the user's screen, can't capture a user's attention quickly, you risk losing the download.
- Align your actionable captions with your overall keyword strategy.
- Contrast is your friend. Use it to separate the background from the foreground.
- Highlight all of your app's features, not just the top ones. Apple allows up to 10 screenshots, and there's no reason not to use them all.
- Contrast. Contrast. Contrast. My eyes hurt looking at these screenshots.
- Tell me how Shop is great for shopping. Unless it isn't...
Shop doesn't use a video, which feels like a missed opportunity. With such a beautiful design overall, they could put together a half-marketing-half-walkthrough showing the app in action.
Although... they're already leading the by a mile, and a (good) video does take effort.
- An App preview video is as much about your brand as it is about selling your app. If you want to associate the brand with simplicity, show it.
Summary: Shop Nails App Store Optimization
On-point keyword strategy, actionable screenshots, and a strong brand give Shop a serious competitive edge. More than a million downloads confirm that. A reminder that regardless of how big (or small) your company is, App Store Optimization is critical to your app's success.
How's Your App Performing?
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