April 1 2020

First impressions matter. And that doesn’t apply only to dating and job interviews. It matters for mobile apps too. Over 50% of mobile users download apps based on their first impression. So, where does this first impression come from? It stems from your app store listing, otherwise known as your app product page. More specifically, it’s your app screenshots that count. So let’s find out how your app screenshots can drive more downloads. 

App Screenshots Let People Try Before They Buy

Most buying decisions involve some friction. The item the person wants to buy may be too expensive, too investment filled, or too time-consuming for them. Before making the purchase, the person will determine if the price they pay is worth what they’re getting in return. This applies not only to paid apps but also free ones! That’s because the time a person takes to download your app and learn how to use it is also a type of investment. 

Balance gives users a sneak peek at their meditation practices

It’s no surprise that people like to try before they buy. They want to know what they’re getting before they purchase it. The same goes for mobile apps. Your app screenshots give potential users a sneak peek of your app. If they like what they see, they’ll download it. 

Highlight Your Main Features in Your App Screenshots 

People who are searching through the app stores are usually looking for something specific. They want an app that offers at-home workouts, a travel planner, etc. That’s precisely why your app screenshots need to scream your main features. 

When a person is looking at your app listing page, they should know immediately what your app is about, just by viewing your first three screenshots. When you offer up this information, you’re more likely to win the person over. 

Airbnb keeps their app screenshots updated with their newest offerings such as experiences

If you’ve updated the UX/UI of your app or added any additional features, don’t forget to reflect this change in your app screenshots too. Try using an app screenshot management tool like App Radar’s Media Manager to save yourself some time. The Media Manager enables you to update your app screenshots in a single click. You can then drag and drop to rearrange your screenshots and publish the changes directly to App Store Connect and Google Play Console

Easily manage your app screenshots with App Radar’s Media Manager

Keep Your App Screenshots Clear and Easy to Understand 

First, your app screenshots should be actual images of your app in action. Mockups or other designs are likely to be rejected by both Apple and Google. In addition, showing mockups may give people false expectations. When they don’t get what they see, they’ll uninstall your app. You don’t want that to happen. 

Next, design your app screenshots so that they’re easy to understand. Choose the screens you want to showcase wisely. Don’t select parts of your app that are stuffed with text or hard to read elements. Instead, opt for moments in your app that contain images and engaging UI. 

TikTok does a great job showcasing its colorful user-generated content

When people can quickly understand what your app is about, they’ll be more likely to download it. 

Furthermore, optimizing for different device sizes will keep your app screenshots clear and understandable. Keep in mind that there are more iOS app screenshot sizes than there are Android app screenshots sizes. That’s because the Apple App Store only serves iOS devices, meaning they can be more specific with their resolutions. Google Play, on the other hand, is available on many different operating systems and, thus, device sizes. So Google will adapt your app screenshots accordingly. 

Use Your App Screenshots to Describe Your App 

App screenshots usually contain a one-liner above the image to describe what the screenshot is about. This text is crucial to scoring those downloads. 
Think back, have you ever come upon an app where the screenshots contained no text? It was probably confusing and took you at least 5-10 seconds longer to understand what the app does. Confusing potential users is never a good thing. You want to present a clear and concise argument as to why they should download your app. That’s why the text in your app screenshots is so essential. 

Unfold beautifully integrates text into their app screenshots

But, be careful not to overdo it. A one or two-liner is perfect. More than that, you risk losing people’s attention and stuffing your app screenshots with too much information. Now let’s talk about language. 

Speak the Language of Your Users 

Research shows that mobile users are much more likely to download an app that is presented in their native language. When your app is available in multiple countries, you need to pay attention to this. Localizing your app is not enough. Your app store listing has to be localized too. 

VSCO app screenshots for English (US) and Italian (Italy) storefronts

That means the text in your app screenshots have to match the native language of the storefront it’s sitting in. Not only that. You also have to consider cultural references. For example, there are English phrases in the US, and that would be unintelligible in the UK, and vice versa. So make sure you’re speaking the same language your users do. 

When you’re stuck on what words you should be putting on your localized screenshots, start researching app keywords for that country. There are several App Store Optimization tools out there that will help you find keywords for different countries. In the tools you’ll see a keyword’s popularity or search volume. This value tells you whether or not people are actually searching for that particular word or phrase. Placing high popularity keywords in your screenshots ensures that you are connecting with your target audience. 

Update Your App Screenshots According to Seasonality 

App screenshots are a great place to take advantage of seasonal trends. Imagine we’re coming close to Halloween season. Apps and mobile games that update their app screenshots to reflect the upcoming holiday stand out more in the app stores. 

Sweat App updates its app screenshots for the new year

Searches for fitness usually increase during January because of the new year. The Sweat app took this opportunity to update its app screenshots. By correlating with the right seasonal trend, they were able to stand out amongst the crowd of fitness apps on the market. 

Keeping up with holiday and seasonal trends can be cumbersome, especially if your app is available in countries that celebrate different holidays. Working with an App Marketing or App Store Optimization agency is a great way to keep the work off of your desk. You can contract with an agency on a monthly or quarterly or yearly basis. They’ll ensure that your app screenshots are always in tune with seasonal changes. 

Summary 

App screenshots are definitely crucial to getting more downloads. People will use your app screenshots to determine if they want to download your app. Increase your chances of securing that conversion by giving them a great sneak peek of your app. Highlight your main features, especially in your first screenshot. Make sure your app screenshots are easy to understand and not cluttered with too many images or text. This will make it easier for people to see what your app is about. If your app is available in multiple languages and countries, don’t forget to translate your app screenshots too. People are more likely to download an app that is in their native language. Lastly, keep your screenshots updated! Follow seasonal and holiday trends to get your app listing to stand out even more. 

By following these design strategies, you’ll get more app downloads and be that much closer to landing in the top charts.