App Marketing for International E-Commerce Apps

female holding smart phone app sms street
21st September 2016

App marketing is relatively new – only as old as the mass-market smartphone age, in fact. It has recently taken on a more important role in digital marketing, with companies like Google offering powerful marketing tools for apps. So how can you market your international e-commerce app?

First, You Need an App

Not just any app: a great one. One that works well, records customer data properly and makes having an app worthwhile. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon if you’re not going to invest some effort.
When it comes to e-commerce apps, the biggest barriers to success are often self-created. The worst culprits are those that simply try to scale down their desktop site into a mobile app.
Our advice: before you consult a designer and developer, download as many e-commerce apps as you can stand to and try them all out.
See what works and what doesn’t. You’ll soon find a list of “wants and do not wants” that you can brief a developer on. Things like simple navigation, stripped-down interfaces and clear calls to action. Implement a customer support section to streamline communication.
There’s no point investing marketing effort into an app that’s been half-baked.


We recently wrote about translating your website. The same should be applied to your apps: get a native speaker to do the work to avoid embarrassing mistakes.
You’ll need to make sure metadata and app notifications are translated too, as well as your app store descriptions for iOS and Android. Proper local tagging will ensure the right app goes to the user.

International App Marketing: The Easy Start

Once you have a great mobile app experience, it’s time to get people to use it. The first, easiest way is to use your existing customers and visitors to your website.
If you have separate apps for each territory, make sure the right one corresponds to each international site. Then, provide App Store and Google Play links prominently on your site, so people are aware that you have an app on offer.
Be careful of interstitials and pop-ups; they can be really off-putting. Instead, try offering an app download link to users after conversion, or after they read a blog piece. You can use your existing mailing lists to offer your app too.
Don’t forget to promote your app on social media: ask loyal, engaged customers to try it out. Feedback is always helpful, so offer some small rewards or discounts for using the app and leaving a review.
Make sure all of this is localised. It would be best to form a team to run your marketing efforts, social accounts and online customer support in each territory.

Advanced App Marketing and Advertising

Google has some excellent tools for app marketing and mobile, and not just on Android.
For example, with mobile advertising, you can run Display Network ads for your app within other apps (bypassing any ad blockers) and specifically target people who have used your app before.
You can also run web and app marketing campaigns that target users who’ve downloaded your app but haven’t used it yet.
Engaging your users with your app is extremely important. Downloads alone will not equate to success; they have to get involved. The average person uses only 26% of their apps every day and one in four apps never gets used. So how can you win users back?
Google search, by default, shows app install buttons – great for increasing your reach and downloads, plus it reminds users that already have the app to use it.
When building your app, supporting http URLs will allow you to implement deep linking, which basically means that pages within your app can be accessed outside the app.
This way, Google search results can include specific parts of your app that answer the user’s query. If the app is installed, the user will have the option go to the right part of the app straight from search, which is a great way of bringing your users back into the app.
iOS has a similar way of searching in app content, but the popularity of Google makes that a much more successful avenue to pursue.

What’s Next?

Are you ready to go global? Get in touch today to find out more about taking your e-commerce apps worldwide.