Finally getting the middle mile right with custom product pages

By Elan Freedberg
App Store Custom Product Pages - square

As an app marketer, you run campaigns aimed at bringing existing and new users from paid and owned channels all the way to in-app content. Each stage in the marketing funnel plays an important role in successfully achieving growth. 

But the recent updates from Apple — and their impact on the ways advertisers can collect and measure customer data — affect key components of the funnel. These changes have shifted marketers’ attention to previously neglected parts of the funnel, opening a variety of new opportunities for marketers to explore.

With two out of three users arriving at the App Store not installing apps (AppTweak), improving ASO even slightly can potentially move the needle for CPI, CPA, and ROI

The App Store — right smack in the middle of the funnel — is one such opportunity that marketers should focus on. With two out of three users arriving at the App Store not installing apps (AppTweak), improving ASO even slightly can potentially move the needle for CPI, CPA, and ROI. 

With the introduction of iOS 15, marketers, UA, and ASO managers have the opportunity to do just that: improve the performance of key metrics and ASO via contextualized user journeys which are made possible by Apple’s new custom product pages.

The uncontextualized middle mile

Thanks to the magic of deep linking, app marketers and product managers can bring users to the right place in the app. And if a user doesn’t have the app, deferred deep linking ensures that they are brought to an app store before being redirected to the right in-app content. 

But, until now, when iOS users without the app were brought from a campaign to the App Store, they may have experienced a disconnect, one which app marketers could do little about. 

iOS 15 has changed that; Apple now allows marketers and product managers to create custom product pages, allowing them to contextualize the full journey – including the App Store – so that users can enjoy a coherent experience that actually makes sense. 

Custom product pages: A quick recap and an exciting announcement

We recently blogged about the value of the new feature, and, to summarize, with App Store custom product pages (CPPs), marketers and product managers can:

  • Create up to 35 different versions of an App Store product page with different promotional text, icons, clips, screenshots, and app previews to better showcase particular features or content within an app.
  • Target different customer segments with specific in-store visual assets and copy to increase conversion rates.

We’re thrilled to announce that, along with Apple’s release of CPP for iOS 15, AppsFlyer will support the feature and drive even more value from it, enabling brands to:

  • Redirect users from anywhere to the right product page
  • Measure and analyze the performance of the full journey with metrics such as installs, revenues, LTV, and other in-app events via various dashboards. 
  • Create and manage redirection links to product pages as they do with any other campaign links.

The bottom line is that marketers and product managers can now create and measure full contextualized journeys for iOS 15 users – from an ad, through the correct custom product page in the App Store, to the right in-app content.

Measure CPPs and optimize user journeys

Our support of this feature includes extensive visibility into key metrics such as installs, revenues, ARPU, and purchases for different product pages. This means that brands can 

  1. Compare the performance of CPPs against each other to see how contextualizing a journey improves their performance. 
  1. Create CPP variants and hone customer experience through continuous CPP iteration (see A/B testing use cases below).
  1. Export CPP-related data for use in their own BI platforms. 

And, stay tuned: we plan to provide more sophisticated ways for customers to test and optimize product pages by comparing the effectiveness of different visual assets for optimal experience and business impact.

A quick note: At WWDC 2021, in addition to CPPs, Apple announced a feature called “product page optimization” that was developed for organic App Store searches. This feature allows app marketers to test different app icons, screenshots, and app previews on the default App Store product page and compare their performance to understand what users like most. In the use cases below, A/B testing refers to optimization scenarios run with CPPs.

We plan to provide more sophisticated ways for customers to test and optimize product pages by comparing the effectiveness of different visual assets for optimal experience and business impact.

Digging into custom product pages: Use cases 

In order to help you get the most out of our support for CPPs, we’ve provided below a number of contextualization and A/B testing use cases. This is only a sample of what you can do with CPPs. 

And by the way, you’ll probably realize as you read through the use cases that there will be a new dynamic at play here: deploying custom product pages will require cooperation between the UA manager and various functions involved in App Store marketing (e.g., ASO manager, product manager, and mobile marketer).

Use case focus: Contextualization for increased conversion

Custom product pages provide the possibility of targeting specific audiences and displaying content for different campaigns. Here are three use case examples across different verticals.

a. Shopping – Keep creatives and copy consistent

The marketer for SportsApparel is running a segmented campaign for a pair of shoes. While previously it was possible to display only one product page (which showcased a windbreaker) to an audience, with custom product pages, the marketer is able to keep the shoes front and center across the journey, including in the App Store.

Shopping - Keep creatives and copy consistent

b. Sports – Play with the right team

The mobile UA marketer for HoopJam, (an imaginary) leading app for basketball mavens, is running a campaign in partnership with basketball league franchises. 

The marketer sets up an email campaign that targets different audiences — e.g., Lions and Eagles fans — and redirects users to the respective custom product page, highlighting content specific to different teams.

Sports - Play with the right team
Sports - Play with the right team - 2

c. Gaming – Choose the right boss

A gaming product manager runs a campaign on her mobile website, highlighting different game characters with concise, eye-grabbing creatives.

She runs the campaign and displays two different characters that appear on the website, product page, and app page, respectively. Each character appears to the right audience throughout the journey, making for a coherent experience.

Gaming - Choose the right boss
Gaming - Choose the right boss - 2

Use case focus: Zeroing in on the highest performers by testing

Custom product pages also allow App Store marketers to compare the performance of different product page variants so that they can ramp up conversion rates. 

Testing and analyzing the visual elements of a product page is especially important because these elements are essentially an extension of the ad creative that brought the user to the product page in the first place.  

Below are two testing ideas for the Gaming and Gambling verticals.

a. Gaming – Video clip vs. static image

A product manager at a Gaming company runs a campaign centered around new visuals created by marketing. She’d like to compare the performance of a product page with a video clip vs. a static image, creating two variants to do so.

Gaming - Video clip vs. static image

b. Gambling – Testing creatives

A Gambling company would like to understand how different creatives affect the performance of the product page. The marketer displays visuals with the word “Jackpot” on one product page, a clip of a slot machine on another, and the numbers “777” on the last.

Gambling - Testing creatives

Now it’s your turn

Now that your juices are flowing, why not start creating custom product pages to move the needle on your KPIs? Read about implementing custom product pages in our Knowledge Base here; and if you’re still not on the AppsFlyer Cloud, learn about our plans here.

Elan Freedberg

Elan is a seasoned product marketing manager with two decades of experience helping large and small tech companies bring products to market by honing in on core product value, messaging, and narratives. In his current role as Senior Product Marketing Manager at AppsFlyer, he is focused on improving customer and user experience through the creation of seamless digital journeys. When not at the office, Elan loves to spend time with family – especially in nature – and is an avid skater and aspiring surfer.
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