Everything you need to know about alternative app stores for Android

When it comes to mobile advertising, many marketers tend to gravitate to the two largest markets, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. However, alternative app stores are growing larger and larger with each passing day. As of 2019, according to the consultancy IDC, Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo made up 40.1% of global handset shipments in the fourth quarter, making them extremely viable alternative app stores for Android, full of untapped markets. These alternative app stores go hand-in-hand with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers such as Xioami). 

In the mobile industry, OEMs refer to companies who manufacture phones which also have their own apps and app stores – manufacturing both the hardware and software of the device. For example, Samsung – which shipped 80.4 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2020 – is a popular Android OEM. Marketers can use these alternative app stores to reach untapped audiences for user acquisition campaigns and app growth.

Getting set up with multiple alternative app stores can be a complex process in comparison to only use the App Store and Google Play Store, but the advantages really  outweigh the work put in. Marketers can benefit from better exposure and higher user acquisition at a lower CPI (cost-per-install). Moreover, OEMs are free from fraud because there are no additional barriers between the budget holder and the OEM itself – more on this later.

What kind of app stores are out there?

Xiaomi GetApps

Xiamoni was founded in 2010, and sells hardware and software worldwide. The company is expanding to become a global brand and became the youngest company on Forbes’ Fortune Global 500 list in 2020, with over 500 million Xiaomi smartphone users in 220 regions. 

As one of the top five mobile brands in over 40 markets, the Xiaomi marketing platform offers an alternative app store for Android (Google Play) and Apple’s App Store. For example, Xiaomi’s India market has increased by over 120 million within a year and reached 280 million targeted users with user acquisition ads. Users can be targeted by gender, age, region, time zone, language, and device type. The platform also offers ad frequency control.

OPPO App Market

Consumer electronics company OPPO operates in over 40 countries and sells products in 320,000 retail outlets, shipping 115.1 million units in 2019. OPPO’s Color OS has more than 300 million MAUs (Monthly Active Users) and the company’s App Store offers more than 1.2 billion MAUs. The platform offers several ad formats to create strong impressions, such as splash screen ads, icon ads, banner ads, and push ads. With sub-brands like Realme and OnePlus Oppo covers the entire spectrum from low to high-end devices, making it an attractive alternative app store for Android.

Huawei AppGallery

With a 14.7% share of the market, Huawei ranks as the third-largest smartphone manufacturer, which means that by pre-installing their App Gallery on their devices, their app store is a strong source of untapped app users. Additionally, the Huawei AppGallery serves over 500 million mobile users worldwide and 350 million users actively search for their favorite apps on the platform each month. This contributes to up to 750 million daily downloads.

Galaxy Store

Formerly known as Samsung Apps and Galaxy Apps, the Galaxy App Store is the default app store for Samsung devices. This is pre-installed on Samsung smartphones and Samsung Gear. The app store is available in 125 countries and includes apps for Android, Windows Mobile, Bada, and Tizen. The Galaxy App Store makes personalized recommendations based on user preferences, seasonality, and events. Users can use the ‘My Galaxy’ tab in the Store to customize their device and get exclusive in-app purchases for popular games.

Vivo App Store

The Vivo App Store from China has over 74 million MAUs worldwide with a focus on markets such as India (with the second largest market share, Indonesia (with the fourth largest market share), and Southeast Asian countries. Vivo app store ad formats include push ads, banner ads, splash ads, and floating icon ads.

What are the key advantages of alternative app stores for Android?

Developing apps for multiple different app store formats can be a difficult task to undertake initially, but the benefits make it more than worth the effort. Building apps for these different app stores provides access to millions more users.

  • You can achieve your growth goals: OEMs enable marketers to grow on a global scale by reaching new audiences and accessing new markets
  • You can reach your acquisition targets: On OEMs you pay lower cost-per-install for higher levels of user-acquisition 
  • You’re in a fraud-proof ecosystem: Marketers gain access to a fully fraud-free user-acquisition ecosystem. This is because there are no additional layers between the budget holder and the OEM itself: reach advertising placement is fully controlled by the OEM.
  • Build trust with your audience: Users who are brand-loyal to the OEM will view your ads as more trustworthy.

Where are these alternative app stores for Android to be found?

AVOW has partnered with OEMs from around the world to help clients get the most out of their advertising spend. These partnerships with several OEMs can expand mobile marketers’ reach and unlock new revenue streams. Moreover, these audiences cannot be accessed via social, search or SDK networks. This is what makes access to these audiences so exclusive. We also help clients with a consultative approach, guiding them through the entire campaign cycle. This includes everything from how to get listed on each OEM app store, to distributing and tracking campaign performance. 

Clients can also benefit from AVOW Performance Optimizer (APO), which optimizes OEM on-device inventory in real time. This is an in-house solution that optimizes inventory towards your KPI goals and engagement levels. This consequently improves campaign performance and boosts ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). All OEM on-device inventory is verified by the leading mobile measurement companies in the industry (MMPs), offering a process that uses automation to our clients’ advantage.

With exclusive access to these untapped markets, no fraud, and verification from mobile measurement providers (MMPs) working with an alternative app store for Android is the key to broadening your user base.

>>Get in touch with us now and see how you can use OEMs and alternative app stores for Android to widen your user base!<<