Unless you’re living under a rock, we can guarantee 100% that you’ve heard about Google Play and App Stores. When we talk about publishing apps, both names will strike everyone’s mind. They are undeniably the most recognized app platforms in the world.
However, what if I tell you that there’s another realm out there that you might not have heard of, but if you look further, you can reap the benefit of acquiring more users for your apps?
Introduction to Alternative App Stores
Also called OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer), an alternative app store is the app store from major device manufacturers like Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi. These brands push their own app store to get a piece of the pie from Google which currently has the largest Android store available.
Let me give you some examples:
With a worldwide market share of 16.9%, it grows rapidly in emerging markets in Europe and South America. Being sold at a zero to as low as 5% margin, its device manufacturer is focused primarily on monetizing its users through advertising.
Oppo App Market
Oppo tailored its devices to get users to use their device and monetize these users through advertising on their phones. With the Oppo Store, it acquired 10,5% market share and is growing heavily in Southeast Asia.
Samsung Galaxy Store
The brand focuses on high end devices and its users are researched to have higher spending power compared to other brands. Although it is the market leader in terms of worldwide market share on Android (soaring up to 18.8%!), it is going down due to the high competition of other OEM’s.
So to say, basically all these OEM’s help you to have access to a more localized and specialized audience. However, you need to take note that they are not the substitute of Google Play and App Store!
Remember, they simply act as an additional channel to get more downloads for your apps because they follow different approaches and are focused on different niches.
How Does It Work with User Acquisition?
Many things need your consideration. For example, you can focus on the market share in a specific market and use its historical data. You use these data to determine which vertical and market which OEMs deliver the highest results at the lowest acquisition cost.
Another factor that may come in between would be the amount of time spent. Developers are usually worried that putting some work on this will keep the tech teams very occupied because of the constant updates within these stores.
However… fret not!
Nowadays, some marketing agencies like *cough* TyrAds *cough* has a lengthy relationship with each of these OEM’s. So just say the words and we will magically make it all happen. (Well, technically we will focus our effort on using the exact app you’ve currently published and update it with these alternative app stores. But you know, magic does sound more fun).
It is also important to look at the different possibilities to promote your campaigns with OEM’s. At the very basic, and we are sure everyone is familiar with it, is to have your apps promoted within the alternative app stores. You can recommend users with the appropriate apps based on their download behavior and interest.
But let us enlighten you with the next level stuff.
When you buy a phone from these brands, you’re already bundled with some apps on your device. And you’re wondering where these are coming from?
Yeah, that’s basically our area of work. Or maybe it is literally our work and it is our satisfied client’s apps that you’re looking at. This is also a possible opportunity for you, app people. Basically, you can have your apps pre-installed on the device. Then, users activate it at the beginning of their phone’s journey. Think of it like a surprise pitch to your prospective users!
Last option is promoting through the audience networks of specific OEM’s (bear in mind that not all OEM’s have this capability) where you can promote on their partner apps similar to that of the Google Display Network (GDN) and also promote on their own suite of apps like Xiaomi Music and Xiaomi Weather.
How Exactly Can You Benefit from Alternative App Stores?
This is the most frequent question we face: “Why should I focus on alternative app stores? Won’t Google Play give me the best results?”
And our answer stays the same.
Yes, but only if the app is successful. Well, it is one of the most competitive marketplaces out there, what do you expect? Imagine 80,000 to 120,000 apps released every month. Number’s crazy. You definitely don’t wanna end up with a sad, low download app after those long hours of sitting which probably makes you have a bad back.
Also, to get any substantial growth from its organic download, you need your apps to be in the top 25 positions. It will cost the company a consequential marketing budget to achieve.
Back to the question. Even though there are so many answers to this, here are two of the most important reasons:
Many app developers are yet to fully understand the alternative app store market and the growth of OEM’s. They always aim to launch their products on Google play. They believe it is the most suitable source to achieve download growth.
Again, with 2.8 million apps registered there, it is not always the case. The fact is, it is rare to hear of a sudden breakthrough product on that platform. On the other hand, an alternative app store that has relatively less published apps available is able to create easier competitive promotion in order to achieve higher organic ranking.
Publishing an app on OEM’s may reduce the marketing budget by half compared to what would be spent on Google Play. Of course, with the same number of users generated.
Also, the alternative app store efficiency plays a huge impact on the performance of campaigns. Why? Because users are not redirected through a tracking link. The chosen app is instead being downloaded directly from the advertisement. It opens once the download is completed.
With this, mainly the conversion rates are impacted drastically. For example, CVR on Google Play downloads is around 2-5% of our traffic. It jumps up to 10-15% with OEM’s. These massive differences allow the app to achieve users at 2x to 5x lower cost than they would be able to get normally.
To Sum It All Up…
Implementing an alternative app store strategy for your app marketing is great. It allows access to a more localized and specialized audience to generate more users for your app’s success. OEM’s also have some advantages over their market leader competitors as it enables you to bypass these crowded app stores and reach your potential users.