Users come to Google Play and Apple’s App Store for the same purpose – to Install an app. The elements you find there are basically the same – an icon, image gallery, descriptions, reviews, and maybe a video.

And yet, the layout of these elements is different, which causes some striking behavioral differences between the two stores. We ran a series of tests comparing Google Play to the App Store, in which all other elements remained the same – same targeting, same creatives, same product – and this is what we found:

  • Decisive Visitors – if you read our previous post, you know that App Store users are split into two categories – Decisive Visitors, who choose whether or not to install based only on elements visible upon page load, and Exploring Visitors, who interact with your page elements (i.e. watching a video, scrolling your image gallery, etc.) before making their decision.

Perhaps the most significant difference between Google Play and iOS is that Google Play users are 40% more likely to show decisive behavior. This comes down to layout. With a prominent Feature Graphic at the top of the page and the screenshot gallery dipped beneath the fold, users get a more complete visual picture in Google Play. In iOS, on the other hand, there is a visible, scrollable image gallery to complete your messaging. What this means for you is that in Google Play, you need to focus the majority of your resources on the elements that Decisive Visitors see – the Featured Graphic, Icon, Rating and Short Description (1 – 2 lines before “Read More”). These elements need to have your best USPs and messages.

  • Video – Although Exploration is overall lower in Google Play, visitors are 20% more likely to interact with your video, making video the most prominent type of Exploration Action in Google Play. Test out your video to understand what your most compelling elements are, where users drop-off, and what seconds push visitors to install. Interestingly, though Google Play users are more likely to play the video, iOS visitors are 30% more likely to complete the video. iOS restricts you to a 15 – 30 second video, which users are more willing to watch until the end.
  • Image Gallery – in iOS, your image gallery is hands-down your most important element on the page. Almost all Exploring Visitors will interact with your image gallery in some capacity. However, with the gallery down beneath the fold in Google Play, visitors are 27% less likely to scroll through your image gallery.

  • Description – Finally, the description in Google Play gets twice as many clicks on “Read More” than in the App Store. Again, this is all due to layout – the Description is shown above your image gallery and above the fold for Android users, giving the “Read More” link more prominence. In the iOS App Store, your first 1-2 lines are crucial, especially when looking at new iPhone sizes with screens large enough so the description text appears above the fold.

Knowing these differences will help structure your testing priorities. In the App Store, you want to focus first and foremost on your image gallery. In Google Play, the highest priority should be given to both your Featured Graphic and Video.