ASO Tips & Trends for Travel and Lifestyle Apps
In today’s fast-paced digital world, the travel and lifestyle industry is evolving rapidly, and so is the way companies market their apps within these categories.
Lifestyle apps encompass a wide range of functions – from helping people select vacation rentals to finding romantic relationships or even providing plant care tips. The versatility of this category is huge, but also a hurdle regarding competitiveness in the category. The travel industry, on the other hand, has always been known for its ability to adapt and bounce back from challenges. With technology evolving faster than ever, it’s crucial for travel apps to lead the way in digital marketing strategies.
As developers compete to market their apps effectively within these categories, it’s crucial to stay updated on the latest trends. In this blog, we’ll explore the key trends shaping travel and lifestyle app marketing in 2023 and beyond, along with some valuable insights and tips for app marketers in the mobile industry.
Lifestyle app category trends
Top performers on the App Store
- Pinterest: Pinterest remains a dominant player in the Lifestyle category. Its visual discovery platform attracts users seeking inspiration for travel, home decor, fashion, and more.
Expert TipVisual content is king in lifestyle apps. Ensure your app’s visuals are eye-catching and inspire users.
- Bumble & Hinge (dating apps): The fact that dating apps like Bumble and Hinge are still going strong speaks volumes about the enduring appeal of online dating and social connections. These apps thrive because they offer personalization and innovative features that keep users engaged and excited.
- Alexa, Google Home, Ring (smart home apps): With the growth of smart home devices, apps like Alexa, Google Home, and Ring are thriving as users seek convenient ways to control their connected homes. This is especially true for countries like the US. Users need to use more smart devices to use these apps, like a smart TV, thermostat, lighting, doorbell, and so on.
- NGL and Lemon 8 (new social media apps): Emerging social media platforms like NGL and Lemon 8 indicate that users are still open to exploring new ways to connect and share experiences. Notably, Lemon 8 positions itself as more of a lifestyle app than traditional social media. It emphasizes exploration, inspiration, and the sharing of ideas, similar to the approach seen on Pinterest.
- Planta (plant care apps): The rising popularity of plant care apps reflects an increasing fascination with gardening and the upkeep of indoor plants. These apps serve as helpful companions, guiding users on how to nurture their green friends. For instance, Planta sends reminders to water plants, monitors light levels, and fosters a community where users can share valuable tips.
Lifestyle apps on Google Play
Just like in the App Store, Pinterest continues to lead the way on the Play Store, catering to the visual discovery and inspiration needs of Android users. Additionally, the Play Store mirrors the popularity of dating apps, smart home apps, and emerging social media platforms like Lemon 8.
However, there are some notable distinctions between the two platforms:
- My Diary: The Play Store features a strong presence of journaling apps, appealing to users seeking digital solutions for documenting their thoughts, experiences, and memories.
- H&M Shopping: H&M Shopping on the Play Store signifies the convenience of mobile shopping and the sustained interest in fashion e-commerce.
- Life 360: This live location-sharing app highlights the importance of safety and staying connected, particularly within families and close-knit groups.
Expert TipGiven the versatile nature of the Lifestyle category and the wide array of competitors, benchmarking can be challenging. Thanks to AppTweak’s AppDNA, an AI-powered app store taxonomy, apps can navigate and gain a deeper understanding of the specific competitive landscape within their category on AppTweak.
Travel app landscape in 2023 & beyond
With pandemic restrictions largely behind us, the travel app industry is in a state of recovery. Nevertheless, economic and inflationary pressures cast a significant shadow. Despite this, there is an overall sense of optimism regarding travel.
On one hand, people are more eager to travel this year, freed from the shackles of lockdowns. Long-term planning and booking in advance are now more feasible and attractive.
On the other hand, rising travel expenses and economic uncertainty have led to budget cuts, affecting both travel and recreation.
Travelers today are also changing the way they think. They’re now more careful and selective, looking for travel options that prioritize safety and responsible practices, reflecting a shift in their mindset.
Travel app category trends
The Travel category, while somewhat more niche than lifestyle, primarily comprises travel and navigation apps. This holds true for both the App Store and Play Store, where similar trends can be seen.
In both app marketplaces:
- Uber and Lyft reign as the go-to giants in the US ride-hailing industry. They offer users the convenience of on-demand travel options. Additionally, alternative ride services like Bolt and Lime maintain a significant share of the transportation market.
- Flight and hotel booking apps, such as Booking.com and Agoda, continue to be favored by travelers seeking accommodation options, underscoring a strong interest in travel planning.
- Airbnb, the vacation rental app, remains immensely popular, reflecting the enduring appeal of unique and personalized lodging experiences.
- Airline apps cater to travelers’ essential needs, providing flight information, booking capabilities, and various other travel-related services.
- Food delivery apps in the Travel category signal that travelers value the convenience of having their favorite meals delivered right to their doorstep during their journeys.
- Public transport apps highlight a practical approach to travel planning and daily commuting by facilitating ticketing and schedule information for public transportation.
- Parking apps are evidence that travelers seek solutions to simplify the often challenging task of finding suitable parking spaces during their trips.
Effective marketing strategies for travel & lifestyle apps
From optimizing your app’s visibility to making it more appealing, and planning events at the right time, here are some app marketing tips to make your travel and lifestyle app stand out:
Leverage seasonality in ASO
Regularly update your app with timely, season-specific content. This keeps the app fresh and encourages users to return for relevant information. For example, Tripadvisor has leveraged seasonality by refreshing its app screenshots in June that speaks to the desires of vacation seekers.
Conduct a competitive analysis of your app’s default screenshots
With AppTweak’s ASO Creatives Explorer, you can effortlessly compare default screenshots of apps in the travel category in a single view. By filtering the first 3 screenshots, you can analyze the design choices and identify the USPs or features emphasized by other apps. You can then enhance your own screenshots by adhering to industry best practices.
Participate during special seasons with in-app events/promotional content
Use limited-time offers and exclusive content to stimulate user interest and downloads. For example, promote a limited-time summer wellness challenge that encourages users to achieve their health goals before the season ends. Use in-app events to inspire users to participate in challenges, share their progress, and connect with others who share their interests.
Tailor your app product pages with custom product pages (CPPs)
By tailoring your product pages to different regions and languages, you not only enhance discoverability but also show that your app speaks the user’s language. For instance, Bumble strategically targets competitor brand names with CPPs on the App Store in the US. By doing so, Bumble aims to position itself favorably in the search results and advertisements, and capitalizes on user interest in these competitor brands.
The influence of AI on travel apps
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making its mark everywhere, even in dating and travel apps. Let’s see how AI is shaking things up in these areas.
Simplifying travel planning
AI is making it easier for us to plan our trips.
- Hopper, for instance, uses AI to predict airfare and hotel prices. This helps users make smarter booking decisions. It keeps an eye on prices and notifies people when it’s the best time to book and get the best deals.
- JourneyGenie uses AI to create customized travel plans. It takes into account customers’ interests, travel dates, and budget to craft seamless itineraries tailored just for users.
Personalized travel experiences
AI is also all about making user travel experience unique.
- iPlan.ai, for example, stands out by using AI to suggest intelligent travel ideas. It guides users to off-the-beaten-path attractions and local experiences that match their preferences to make each trip special.
- Voyager Tech offers a range of AI-based solutions to enhance various aspects of travel, including personalized recommendations and real-time travel updates. This technology makes sure that user travel experience is as smooth as possible.
- Trip Planner AI crafts personalized travel itineraries by gathering details about individual preferences, travel dates, and budget.
AI in lifestyle (dating) apps
But AI isn’t just about travel. It’s also transforming dating apps, changing how we find love in the digital age. These AI-driven improvements breathe new life into dating platforms. They provide smarter matches, enhanced safety features, and a highly personalized dating journey.
Many dating apps already harness advanced machine learning to analyze user profiles and preferences, all to bring together compatible matches. But AI goes further by also considering factors like behavior and conversation patterns. It identifies potential matches that not only align with individual preferences but also match the way users interact.
Dating apps have stepped up their game when it comes to safety. They now have the ability to spot fake or suspicious profiles and reduces the risk of encountering fraudulent accounts or falling for catfishing scams. Additionally, real-time monitoring helps identify and flag inappropriate content, creating a safer online dating environment for everyone.
Virtual dating assistants
AI-powered chatbots and virtual dating assistants are becoming increasingly common. They help users initiate conversations, plan dates, and even offer relationship advice. This makes online dating more approachable, particularly for those new to the scene.
Exciting changes are happening in both the Lifestyle and Travel categories. By closely monitoring these trends and conducting effective benchmarking using AppTweak, you can position your app at the forefront of the industry. Whether you’re launching a new app or seeking to thrive in this competitive market, staying informed and differentiating yourself is the key to success.