Daily Tips

The Seven best practices for preview screenshots on the App Store

By Victorio Duran III

Nowadays, digital marketplaces like Amazon and Apple rank highest for customer satisfaction. Thanks to their accessibility and the variety of products on offer, these online software stores have reshaped the industry. 

According to a report issued by customer management solutions expert Verint, the App Store came third in the aforementioned rankings, with a score of 85.1 out of 100. As evidenced by these numbers, its popularity is beyond question. 

In 2020 alone, the App Store made 64 billion US dollars. However, some app developers struggle to sell using Apple’s platform. The preview screenshots displayed on the product pages are a key selling element, but not everyone gets them right.

This list will help you make the most of them.

Convey a professional look

Let’s start with the basics. We can all agree screenshots that include the status bar are a complete mood killer. Those un-edited images that feature things like the Wi-Fi icon, battery icon, or time look hugely unprofessional.

If you can, design your high-resolution custom images instead to create impactful and creative visuals that catch the buyers’ eye. These are a far superior alternative to dull screenshots that anyone could have taken.

Connect your screenshots

You can connect your screenshots by implementing storytelling marketing to design aesthetic visual content that carries a narrative and embodies the personality of your brand and product.

Here’s an example to better illustrate this tactic. Software products like marketplace management app Zoho Inventory use this strategy perfectly, fusing screenshots to create a holistic design.

As you can see in the image below, this arrangement creates a dynamic and aesthetic visual that doesn’t feel like “just another screenshot” and functions as a more effective piece of marketing.

Pick one subject per screenshot

If you have a quick look at the best-selling apps on the App Store, you might find a pattern. Each image is designed and chosen to showcase a particular feature or aspect of their app. The first still is used as an attention-grabbing introduction, while the rest of the screenshots depict different sides of the app’s functions.

To successfully implement this tactic, you must choose those aspects of your app that you want to highlight. Apple only allows you to use five images, so prioritize which features are going to be included in your visual preview.

The best way to make sure you pick the perfect features to showcase is to run some application testing, asking manual testers to give you a review of the features they found most helpful. 

Manual testing is not only an integral part of the development process. It’s also essential to launch a streamlined mobile DevOps strategy.

Remove language barriers

Although visual content is generally considered to convey a universal message, a quick look at the App Store proves this theory wrong. The vast majority of screenshots advertising apps in Apple’s store include some form of text-based information.

If your app or game is sold internationally, you should try to make sure you translate the text included in your images to match the language with the region where the product is being marketed. 

English is spoken in most Western countries, but the gigantic Asian market is fairly new to English and you don’t want to miss huge opportunities due to poor advertising choices and a short-sighted strategy that assumes everyone in the world speaks your language.

Zoom in on important elements

Sometimes, the dimensions of the screenshots don’t give you enough room to showcase your interface design. If this is the case, don’t despair; zooming in on important features and visual elements can allow you to highlight the user experience of your app.

Some clever selling apps use this strategy to good effect. Things like Discord, communication, and conferencing apps are a great example of these screenshot-centric selling tactics. As you can see in the image below, the zoom-in effect helps prospective buyers see the user-centric design in more detail.

Include reviews, testimonials, and awards

Using selling tools like product reviews in your marketing materials is a great way to boost your brand image. Trusting users to give objective reviews will make you seem like a company that listens to customers, is open to criticism, and all-around transparent.

According to a survey conducted by Statista in 2017, over a quarter of online shoppers find user-generated content such as reviews more interesting than branded promotional content. If you believe in your app, you shouldn’t be afraid to use customer reviews to create high expectations.

Using a third party’s opinion – an app user in this case – is a great way to market your product. Whether you’re trying to establish your app as one of the best free online meeting tools on the market or sell a fun iPhone game, don’t be afraid to beat your drum.

Additionally, if your app has been awarded specific distinctions due to its functionality or design, use those marks of excellence as a lure for demanding clients.

Include a video preview

Last but not least, let’s talk about an often-neglected aspect of the App Store’s preview feature: the ability to use video previews. Nowadays, most app users feel more inclined toward audiovisual content than text or still images.

Using these videos will not only help you grab their attention, but it can allow you to add more content to your preview, even creating onboarding messages such as a short tutorial explaining how your app would add value to the prospective user’s everyday life.

Isn’t it time you implemented these seven top tips to improve your preview screenshots? 

Victorio is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement in web and digital operations with diverse experience as a web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.