How to Increase Galaxy Store Downloads

Ron Liechty

Samsung Developer Relations

Now that you have created an Android app, game or watch design, the question is how do you get people to download your latest and greatest boon to mankind? Unfortunately, the answer is you just did the easy job; the hard job of marketing your app has to be done. In this era of computer-generated online store lists, you need to be noticed to get on a list. And, the way to achieve that is through self-promotion.

First a warning

Don’t fall for any scam that tells you it can increase downloads for free. It can’t, and it won’t be free. The first way to know it is a scam is that it is unsolicited. Second, if you search for a company that will help you, they probably won’t help and it won’t be free. Also, if a consultant is just doing search engine optimization (SEO), it may tarnish your company’s image.

Now for the good news

Samsung Developer Program has created tools and documentation on how to do self-promotion that you can use whether you are an Android app developer, Themes designer, Tizen app developer, or a watch face designer.

The ten percent rule


For some reason, and no one knows the reason, things often break down to roughly a ninety to ten percent distribution. There is an old saying in business that ninety percent of the work in an organization is done by ten percent of the people. When it comes to apps in an online store, ninety percent of the downloads on a list are from the first ten percent of the list.

With computer-generated online lists, the app with the most downloads does not necessarily mean that the app will be the top featured app. Stores like to change what is featured in a list so it isn’t always the same app in the same position. To do that they use a complex algorithm to generate their lists. I don’t know the algorithm but I have noticed some of the factors used by many online stores. Here are my empirical observations:

  • Number of downloads does matter.

  • Download trends do matter. When your downloads are trending up, you move up the list. When downloads are trending down, you move down the list.

  • Click-to-Download ratio does matter. That is, if five buyers view your app page and only one downloads it, that is a 20% click-to-download ratio.

  • Reviews and ratings do matter. No matter how many downloads you have, if your ratings are poor, the store does not want to list you.

Now we can discuss things you can do in your self-promotions that can help you improve downloads and increase visibility so you can self-perpetuate on the list.

Stand out from the competition


I would travel by automobile four or more times a year for ten to twelve hours. Wherever I got low on gasoline, there were many options for gas stations. But, I always chose the same brand because I knew it would have clean restrooms and friendly service. No matter how special or unique you think your app is, there will be competition. Whether you have a single Android app, a suite of Android tools or dozens of watch or theme designs, how you present your company on social media and in the store is important. Samsung’s Create and Manage Your Seller Brand page provides information on creating or modifying your brand name in Galaxy Store.

Reduce the competition


Did you know that the placement on a grocery store shelf is paid for by the manufacturers? They pay to have the eye level shelf so consumers don’t see the competition. Badges do this for online promotions. One of the most important things you can do in social media promotion is to use badges so consumers go directly to your product.

By using badges, the consumer is taken directly to your software and does not see similar products as they would in a store search. The use of badges affects your click-to-download ratio as well as customer satisfaction. Samsung documentation on Galaxy Store badges lists all the who, what, when, where and how to create and use Galaxy Store badges effectively.

Know who your consumer is


A man noticed a stranger had been looking at the street under a street light for 15 minutes, so he walked up and asked him what he was looking for. The stranger said, “I dropped my keys when I got out of my car and I am looking for them.” Not seeing a car, the man asked where the car was and the stranger pointed to a dark area half a city block away. “Why are you looking here, if you dropped the keys there?” the man asked. The reply was “because here is where the light is.” In order to generate downloads, you need to know where the consumer is and not where it is convenient to market the product. If you have a camera app, promote yourself in a photography interest group, not in a mobile phone group.

Understand your customers, who they are and what devices they use. If your apps are selling well in France, be sure there are localized descriptions in French and that the price is localized in Euros. GSS customer data helps you target consumers and the marketing materials that are the most effective use of your resources. Knowing your customer will directly affect your downloads, raise trending downloads, as well better customer satisfaction.

Inspire downloads


There is a term used in marketing, CTA, which stands for a call to action. It means words like “on sale,” “buy now,” and “new and improved” that inspire the consumer to purchase and purchase quickly. There are also subtle ways to inspire or use call-to-action in the ad copy that you write and the images that you use. If you have a fitness app, show people with a smile working out, not a bunch of charts on a mobile phone. Show images and written text so consumers will think their life will be better with your app

Tailor your social media


Have you ever read a technical manual written by someone who is not fluent in your language and wondered what the documentation said? Ninety percent of the world is like that. If you aren’t fluent in the written language, find someone who is. They should either write or proofread the descriptions for you. Samsung’s Social Media Guidelines can help you create social media ads that make your product inviting and entices them to download it.

Do not be overly clever


Do not hinder downloading by hiding the download link in some clever wording; make it obvious. Do not overdo the number of hashtags so they become confusing. Do not include links to other web sites. Every time someone clicks to a page other than downloading your app is a chance to lose the download.

Samsung has written a page to help those who are not fluent in social media marketing to market their products. Samsung’s social promotion site includes things like social promotion guidelines, Samsung developer hashtags, and social media kits. While this information is useful for sellers with multiple apps, it can be adapted for a single app seller as well.

Get positive reviews


While I was sitting in a restaurant enjoying a cup of coffee, a few tables away, two men were talking. When I heard them mention shoes, I sort of listened in as I needed some athletic shoes and wanted something different. One man was complaining that his shoes had worn out in three months while the other was saying his were extremely comfortable, even after a year of having them. I didn’t know either of these people. I didn’t know the cause for the ones to wear out faster than the other. There could have been dozens of things that caused one pair of shoes to wear out quicker. But that complaint stuck in my mind, and when I bought shoes, I bought the shoes with the positive review.

Positive online reviews will increase the likelihood of an app being downloaded. But, lower ratings, when responded to correctly, may also increase the chance of an app being downloaded. Consumers pay attention to reviews and read what people say. So, unlike my experience, they may know the circumstances why a review was poor and if you corrected it. Wait to ask for a review. The initial use of an app may be off-putting; but after a few uses, the customer starts to understand the benefits of an app which may outweigh everything else. When you get a bad review, respond to the customer in a positive manner.

Samsung has documented best practices for asking for reviews and how to read and respond to reviews in the Galaxy Store App Review Page. Review ratings and the speed of a response may be used by a store in the placement on a computer-generated list.

One more lesson


When I was young, we had a large snowfall and I wanted to build a snowman. I started out with a small ball and pushed it around and it got larger. I looked at my dad and said, “This is hard work. I don’t think I can make a snowman.” He said, “Son, if you want to make a snowman you have to keep pushing it.” The same is true with increasing your downloads. You need to keep pushing until you are top of the list.

Tony Morelan’s Samsung Developer Podcast recently interviewed the founder of Skimble, Maria Ly. Skimble is the 2021 Best of Galaxy Store Awards winner for the mobile fitness app Workout Trainer. During the interview, Maria discussed Skimble's use of marketing techniques for discoverability and monetization. I was inspired by how she grew a small diverse start-up into a worldwide enterprise.

Additional resources

Samsung Developer Program and Galaxy Store Seller Portal have documented much of the marketing methods above and even more to help you be a successful developer in the following links:

Galaxy Store distribute page is the overview page for Android apps, Tizen apps, Android games, Smart TV apps and podcasts.

Galaxy Store app page helps from start to finish on creating, publishing and marketing your apps.

Galaxy Store games page helps game developers to prepare, monetize, launch and level up.

Galaxy Store Seller Portal guides include technical information on implementing the marketing techniques in Seller Portal.

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