Apple App Store Connect
What is App Store Connect
App Store Connect is the platform that Apple provides to app developers to publish and, very important for the ASO and mobile marketing industry, to track their app’s performance on the App Store. As Apple outlines, using the console one can “Easily upload, submit, and manage your apps on the App Store with App Store Connect on the web or on iOS. This suite of tools also lets you view sales reports, access app analytics, invite users to test your apps with TestFlight, and much more.”
Why App Store Connect is Important
The platform is important as it provides developers with access to first party data (trustworthy information about an app’s audience that comes straight from Apple) which shows the real performance of an app. App Store Connect allows devs / marketers to monitor their conversion rates (CVR); it shows the number of impressions an App Store listing receives and the number of installs an app gets from different sources over time. It’s possible to see the different metrics that relate to financial reporting, the technical performance and subscription performance of an app. This is the only access Apple provides that developers can use to better understand the growth of their app.
However, the data is limited. In terms of the referral funnel, it’s not possible to see attribution (the science of attributing a user to its source) at the campaign ad level, just at the source level which is why Mobile Measurement Partners (MMP’s) exist- to bridge the gap between them.
App Store Connect and ASO
One of the key factors that affects discoverability (a pillar of ASO) is volume of first time installs, so the fact that Apple Store Connect provides such data makes the platform a vital tool for ASO teams. ‘App units’ is the terminology used by App Store Connect for first time installs.
Industry experts know that Apple takes first time installs into account when they’re making all their category and chart ranking decisions in the App Store. MMP’s who also provide tools for analysis can only show the number of users who installed and launched, they can’t differentiate. If these users were to be taken into account it would be impossible to view the figure as a true representation of first time installs which means that the app units data from Apple is more valuable to ASO teams. In order to really understand and improve CVR, it’s vital to know first time install figures.
The Connect platform ultimately provides the tools for teams to monitor organic performance. ASO teams must have the stats in order to Increase impressions and installs, and monitor CVR over time. Only by analyzing these are ASO teams able to identify any areas of an App Store listing that need attention or improvement and show where an app is successful, in order to iterate those elements and place them elsewhere on the product page.