Being featured on the Shopify App Store is a rare chance to drive significant traffic to your app listing page. There are over 100,000 page views per week on the App Store homepage, and apps can accrue hundreds of installs during the week that they are featured.
With more apps launching every week, and only 260 featured slots per year, this opportunity may only be offered once, therefore it is crucial that you make the most of it.
To be featured you must submit a banner image that is 680 x 300. This banner is the key to ensuring success during your time in the featured slot.
What does success look like?
There were 200+ apps featured in the App Store last year. We tracked the click-through rate for every banner to see what common characteristics performed well. Here are some of the most successful banners from the last year.
You might also like: How to Build Your First Shopify App.
Elements of a successful app feature banner
Despite the variety between these banners, there are some common trends among them which helped increase engagement for these apps.
Here are the three most prevalent commonalities of successful App Store banner images.
1. Single value statement
Each of these banner images presents a concise phrase that explains their app. Our featured carousel rotates every five seconds, which means you have very limited time to catch a merchant’s eye and convince them to learn more about your app. My recommendation is to use no more than seven words for your main value statement, and aim to use simple language that highlights functionality.
2. Focused Layout
Merchants can quickly consume these banners because they have very few words, and only a single graphic or image. They also include plenty of open space, which helps further sharpen the focus on the particular content included. When creating your layout, be sure to limit areas of interest to no more than three (eg. title, value statement, icon or image), and leave plenty of open space.
3. High Quality Imagery
Esthetics can be extremely subjective, and each of these apps have chosen different layouts, fonts, and colors. However, there are no fuzzy fonts, and the images are both sharp and clear. Merchants will assume a lack of quality in your app if there are any visual quality issues, so keep your visual asset quality high.
Extreme makeover: Shopify app edition
You might be asking yourself, “does the additional effort required to make a high quality banner really matter?” We were wondering the same thing, so we decided to put things to the test. We asked three developers to use the resources in this article to redesign their banner, and offered them a second chance at the featured slot.
The three developers we chose received a low number of clicks on their original banners while they were featured. Here are the banners that were used.
A brand new look
Using only the tips and guides in this article, the developers of these apps completely overhauled their app banners. Quick Quote decided on a single value statement, and reduced the amount of words from forty-four down to just eight. The team from Recently updated their banner to have a more focused layout, which helped to clarify the app’s main function. Boxify achieved a more professional look by focusing on high quality imagery.
The original banners did not help drive significant traffic to these app’s listing pages. Despite having thousands of merchants view these banners on the App Store homepage, only a few hundred merchants clicked through to further investigate their app.
With their new and improved banners, each of these apps were able to pique the interest of significantly more merchants.
- Quick Quote - 80 per cent traffic boost
- Recently - 434 per cent traffic boost
- Boxify - 122 per cent traffic boost
How can you ensure you see these results for your app?
Start with the right tools
Having the right tools makes all the difference. This adage is especially true when it comes to creating visual assets for your app. Luckily, the web is filled with free and paid resources to help designers and non-designers create a professional looking banner.
Logos, icons, and photos
If you have not already created a logo for your app, start there. The lowest effort option is to use the Shopify Logo Generator. This tool is extremely straightforward and can produce a high quality image, however the options are quite limited.
If you are looking to create something more unique, be sure to review our tips for logo design. In general a logo should be mainly text-based, but if you wish to include an icon we have collected a list of twelve incredible resources for downloading icon packs. We even have four premium ecommerce icon sets, exclusively designed for Shopify Partners which you can incorporate into your designs.
Finally, a high quality image can dramatically improve the level of engagement for a banner. The right image can help catch a merchant’s eye, and convey a certain level of quality. To help find the right image for your app, be sure to explore these ten bookmark-worthy websites for free stock photography.
If you are not trained and familiar with the latest version of Photoshop, or if you have never edited images before, there are plenty of tools available to help you get started.
Whether you need to remove the background from an image, touch up an existing image, or bring everything together, there are free and paid tools to be found all around the web. To save you time, we have collected a list of 18 free and paid editing tools to help with all aspects of photo editing.
For banners in particular, one service really stands out. By offering hundreds of layouts, pre-formatted text blocks, backgrounds, and other elements, Canva offers everything you need to create a high quality banner in one place.
If you prefer to leave banner creation to the professionals, there are a few great marketplaces available to you.
These services allow you to hire professional designers to create whatever you need. From a logo, all the way to a full banner image, these services can help bring a professional look to your designs.
Step-by-step for non-designers
I am not a designer, and if you are reading this I assume you are also not a designer. Before now, I had never attempted to create a banner ad, or any other type of marketing asset. However, with just the resources listed above I was able to create two attractive banners, in two hours, for just $2.
I set out to create banners for a fictional app called Product Swatches, which helps fictional merchants add a color picker to their product pages. Here’s the process I went through to create the banner.
1. Making a logo
I started with no visual assets whatsoever, so my first task was to create a logo. I wanted to keep my costs low, so I decided to start with the Shopify Logo Generator.
The generator’s interface was limited, but extremely straightforward. All I had to choose was a graphic, a border for the graphic, and the font for my title. The results were simple and visually pleasing, and I was able to export the logo in both black and white.
2. Creating the banner
After exploring stock imagery and photo editing tools, I decided to try out Canva. This tool was extremely user friendly, and had a whole section devoted to creating different types of banners.
I had to sign up for the 30-day trial to unlock custom banner dimensions, which allowed me to choose 680 x 300px. Once I had the correct dimensions, I was able to start adding content including my logo, background images, and all types of text.
The ‘Elements’ and ‘Text’ options were numerous, and I was able to find many options that looked great. Some of the backgrounds and elements that I decided to use cost $1, so when I exported the finished products, my final total was a whopping $2.
3. The final product
By following the elements of success outlined above, I was able to walk away with finished products that I would be proud to have in the App Store’s featured slot.
I had to flex some parts of my right brain, which I have not engaged in a very long time, and learn some new tools. However, these tools made the process much less painful than expected, and they also helped to produce a final product with a high level of polish.
You might also like: Marketing Your Shopify App: The App Listing Page.
Make the most of your time
Being featured in the App Store is one of the greatest opportunities you will have to drive traffic to your app’s listing page. However, if your banner is not able to quickly engage merchants, you will likely miss out on a significant amount of conversion opportunities.
By creating a banner with a single value statement, a focused layout, and high quality imagery you can increase the likelihood that merchants will further investigate your app.
Even if you have never created any visual assets before (like me!), there are countless tools available to help you create a banner with an extremely high level of polish. The level of quality you bring to your banner can dramatically increase the amount of traffic you receive (by 400 per cent in some cases!). So invest in your banner and make the most of your time in the featured slot.