Case Study: Amazon’s App Store Optimization

E-commerce giant Amazon had been fighting for top rank in the app Shopping Category, never reaching first place. Recently a conflict of interest with Google’s app store policy forced the company to rebrand their app completely.  The resulting app store optimization (ASO) of the Amazon brand allowed the newly relaunched Amazon Shopping app to surge in rank from 300 to 1st place in less than two weeks.

We compared the app’s performance before and after ASO to see how smart rebranding coupled with keyword optimization allowed Amazon to reemerge with an even better shopping app.


Forced Rebrand: Google Play Restrictions

Up until recently, Amazon’s own app store was accessible via their app in the Google Play Store. Google subsequently changed their policy to prohibit apps from facilitating or distributing other apps outside of the Play store. Amazon’s app was also removed from Google Play results in early December 2014.

This was potentially very troubling for the brand, as a huge channel for revenue was essentially cut out of the picture. The e-commerce industry is at its busiest during the holiday season, so the timing could not have been worse.

Keyword Strategy: How Amazon Optimized their New App

Renaming the app was a crucial part of Amazon’s rebranding efforts, and perhaps one of the key features critical to their success. Adding the highly competitive “Shopping” keyword to the strong Amazon brand name doubled the effectiveness of their keyword strategy.

For the past 6 months (before the name change), the Amazon App received 2.12% of global traffic from the keyword “Shopping.”

Amazon app rank



Once the app was relaunched with the term “Shopping” in the title, traffic skyrocketed, with the app receiving 9.88% of global traffic from the Shopping keyword.

amazon shopping rank



A search for the term “Shopping” in the app store for the US now brings up Amazon Shopping as the first result.

amazon shopping app play store US


There’s more evidence showing how well Amazon optimized their app with this very valuable keyword – when looking at the top app store keywords for the ‘Amazon Shopping’ app. Excluding branded keywords, the first keyword on the list is “shopping.”

Google Play instore keywords for Amazon Shopping app between Oct '14 - Dec '14 by SimilarWeb

Google Play instore keywords for Amazon Shopping app between Oct ’14 – Dec ’14 by SimilarWeb


Amazon’s rebranding efforts are truly impressive when benchmarking their newly optimized app against the entire shopping industry.

Amazon shopping benchmark


The graphs below detail how the change to Amazon Shopping affected the app’s performance. In the first graph, it’s clear that compared to all app categories, the rank of the newly optimized Amazon app improved markedly after rebranding. 

all categories average


Similarly, the app saw a huge boost in rank within the shopping category after it was rebranded as Amazon Shopping. In fact, after the ASO Amazon’s app performed even better than it had in the previous version.

shopping categories average


Conclusion: Amazon Shopping on the Rise

Amazon’s rebranding efforts allowed the ecommerce giant to flourish despite the app store setback. The crucial addition of the highly competitive “Shopping” keyword to their ASO strategy was a key factor in their success, and helped them take the top rank in the lucrative shopping category.

About the Author -

Pavel Tuchinsky is a marketing analyst and blog editor at SimilarWeb. He came from the world of International Economics, passionate fan of e-commerce and technology.

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