Google Play Store Now Lets Developers A/B Test Their App Listing Pages, Customize Their Catalog Page

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Google today at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco announced a number of new features for developers who want to sell their apps in the Google Play Store.

Developers who have a number of apps in the store can now customize their app catalog page that shows all of their apps in the Store, for example, and in addition, they can now A/B test their app listing pages to try out different images and app descriptions.

trulia_I_o_screenCurrently, developer catalog pages on Play are pretty sparse and show little more than a basic list of the developer’s apps. With this update, developers will be able to customize these pages with special banner graphics, an icon that represents their brand, and an app from their catalog they want to feature on the page — maybe because it’s the newest app or because it recently got a major update.

Ellie Powers, Google’s product manager for Google Play, told me earlier this week the company believes that this will be especially helpful for developers as they grow their app catalogs.

Currently, these catalog pages are also pretty hidden in the Play Store. With this update, Google promises to give them a more prominent position in the store when users look at one of the developer’s apps.

Store listing experimentsDevelopers will also now be able to A/B test these individual listing pages for their apps. They will be able to set up a total of three variants (plus the original listing). There is no need to write any code to do this and they can manage these tests from standard Google Play Developer Console. All the developers have to do to get started is to feed the tool different graphics and text and then Google will run the tests for them.

As Powers told me, Kongregate used this feature in a private pilot program and saw a 30 percent increase in its conversion rate. That’s a pretty big improvement, though individual results will obviously vary widely.

Still, an increase in the conversion rate in the Play Store (that is, how many people who land on the listing page actually install the app), will amplify a developer’s other marketing efforts. In the end, after all, the user has to click the ‘install’ button in the Play Store, no matter how you got them there.