Why Custom Product Pages change UA and ASO Forever

Storemaven’s President Adam Rakib unpacks Apple’s new iOS 15 ‘Custom Product Page’ feature to explain how it will change the way your ASO and UA teams work.

Among several groundbreaking announcements during WWDC, one stands out above the rest for ASO and UA leaders in the industry: Custom Product Pages (CPP). The announcement changes the role of the App Store Product Page, amplifies its importance, and makes it inseparable from User Acquisition. From 30,000 feet up, this change splits the App Store in two and binds the success of UA and ASO together.

This article will provide insight into the magnitude of this update, why now, the new definition of what a campaign consists of, and why supporting CPP needs to jump to the top of your priorities. Last but not least, we’ll show how Storemaven will help you turn this opportunity into massive success. 

This is part of a series of articles that will tell you everything you need to know about iOS15, so stay tuned.

Visit our iOS 15 Preparation hub for all you need to know about Apple’s new OS coming soon.

Ready for iOS 15? Announcing Storemaven’s new Growth Intelligence Platform

    The role of the Product Page

    The Product Page has always served an important purpose for user acquisition and app discovery. No matter how people learn about your product, whether it’s through paid channels, search or just browsing the store, there’s one single Product Page responsible for telling your app’s story with the purpose of encouraging people to download. 

    Crafting the right story isn’t just an art, there’s a science to it. We’ve spent the last 5 years understanding both and in particular – how to get the story right for different audiences. Guess what our data points out: it’s highly likely that different audiences relate to different Product Pages. Despite having to compromise by selecting a single Product Page to go live in the store, these findings have been substantial. Successful companies create thoughtful strategies to make sure they’re using a Product Page that has been scientifically tested and optimized towards their most meaningful audience. 

    Why Custom Product Pages change UA and ASO Forever - 1

    There’s almost always some tradeoffs, but this one is actually a lot more painful than you can imagine. Conversion rates can be as low as 1% if you’re not showing the right audience the right message. In fact, we know that by delivering the right message to each audience, you have the chance to multiply your conversion rates.

    The visual above represents the current flow pre iOS15 and exactly why it’s so difficult to capture people’s intent. Assume you’re marketing a food delivery app. Your audiences include vegans, carnivores, McDonalds lovers, and people that are flat out hungry and only care about time to delivery. As you craft ad creatives to target these audiences, you’re basically creating intent. As an example, an intent for Vegans to order a vegan dish. Few would argue that an image of steak and eggs would convert better than fruits and a salad. 

    With Custom Product Pages, we can finally create the optimal funnel for our different audiences. We have up to 35 unique Product Pages that we can direct our traffic to, unlocking their full value. 

    Why Custom Product Pages change UA and ASO Forever - 2

    So why now? Let’s start from the top (or iOS 14.5)

    We’ve written about IDFA deprecation extensively, but a simplified take is that Apple believes that it’s unjust for companies like Facebook and Google to access any data they wish in order to optimize ads. Either that, or they want to create a new environment where they’re the one company that has access to all relevant data. Whether it’s about fairness or about creating their own edge, time will tell, but the end result is that Apple stripped networks of their super powers and revolutionized digital advertising. 

    The implications of IDFA deprecation are: ad networks like Facebook can no longer provide us with “Lookalike” audiences, and instead of a machine that builds audiences, our alternative is going back in time to think of marketing through a “contextual” lense. This means that UA managers have to think about how to segment their potential audience profiles, and find ways to target them based on the capabilities that are available within the different ads managers. Parameters such as interests, demographics, or where the ad placement actually appears are all things we need to think of as we build campaigns. Now we have to find ways to understand what “Lookalike” audiences actually look like!

    Since iOS 14.5, Apple has heard the cries from the industry, but they’re not rolling back their strategy. Instead, they’re going to provide new solutions in the world of contextual advertising, and what’s better than offering 35 Custom Product Pages for different contexts.

    If you’re still asking yourself how Custom Product Pages apply to your business, that’s OK. This is part of a massive disruption to the way the industry has been thinking about user acquisition in the last 5 years, and the gap in the market, processes and technologies available. That’s what we’re here for 😉

    Here are just a few questions to help you get started:

    Segment your audience:

    • Who are you trying to reach?
    • Who are your existing users?
    • What are their interests?
    • What attracts them to your product?
    • Do you want to expand into new markets?
    • Are you looking to attract new audiences?
    • Where are your conversion rates high or low?
    • What campaigns monetize the best and why? 

    The new definition of a campaign

    Historically, campaign building ignored the App Store Product Page. The simple reason is that it wasn’t in our control. We sent all of our traffic to the App Store – hoping for the best.

    With Custom Product Pages available for your different audiences, this is what a thoughtful UA campaign needs to take into account from a storytelling perspective and campaign structure:

    1. Audience
    2. Ad creative
    3. App Store Product Page
    Why Custom Product Pages change UA and ASO Forever - 3

    This raises many unanswered questions:

    • How do you craft a holistic story from Ad to App Store?
    • What data is available to optimize these campaigns based on new Product Page KPIs? 
    • Who should own the Product Pages? ASO professionals, or UA managers? How do these teams work together? What processes are necessary? 
    • Scaling UA designs has been hard enough, as has App Store Product Page design, so now what do we do with 35 custom product pages per GEO?

    If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s this: The success of ASO and UA is now more interdependent than ever.

    What does success look like?

    The role of the App Store Product Page has changed, and so has the role of App Store Connect data. Luckily, App Store Connect will be updated to present data per Custom Product Page, supporting KPIs like page views, conversion rates, installs, average proceeds per paying user and retention metrics. This is great news, as it will allow companies to monitor their install funnels across all CPPs, understand what funnels need treatment, and lastly measure the impact of new custom product pages on the relevant KPIs. 

    We’ve invested years in the right technology and methodologies to analyze the impact of events on aggregate KPIs. With missing user-level data, this is the shift that’s happening now, and will become more important than ever.

    Why Custom Product Pages change UA and ASO Forever - 4
    Event impact analysis with Storemaven’s Growth Intelligence platform

    What do you need to do about this now?

    The ingredients for getting your App Store Product Page right aren’t going to change, but the recipe will. We’re now looking at a massive operation at scale which is why we have to adapt. From a single Product Page to care for, we’re going to experience the birth of App Store Operations at scale. This is why we’ve never been more excited about our mission to create a single platform to plan, operate, and analyze your App Store performance. If you haven’t already, check out our new Custom Product Page testing solution to help you prepare for iOS15, as well as early access to our new ASO platform, Mobile Growth Intelligence.

    Adam Rakib
    About Adam Rakib
    Adam is the Co-founder of Storemaven, having previously founded Shaker (and winning TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011). Amidst a sea of techies, Adam translates code to dollars and specs on business models. When not denying his emo-hipster essence, Adam likes playing soccer, reading every article about mobile ever, and stealing everyone else's chargers.

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