How Bukalapak drove a 5x increase in daily app installs

Bukalapak is one of the biggest online marketplaces in South East Asia. With more than 1.2 million sellers, and more than 40 million products, the e-commerce giant offers goods ranging from toiletries and baby needs to gadgets, electrical, and even motor vehicles to local shoppers.

Not surprisingly, this abundant range of products selection attracts more and more users to visit the site each month and make a purchase. While the overall traffic from all platforms exceeded 500 million sessions, the vast majority of visits came from mobile – with mobile app and mobile web representing 78% and 13% respectively of the total visits. In terms of purchasing behavior, the native mobile app converted six times better than mobile web and hence it was imperative to find ways to nudge the user from the mobile web to the native app.


It’s much easier to develop campaigns and create new banner designs without requiring lengthy development cycles, and we track key metrics including events related to app downloads and use,” Bukalapak Product Manager Bayu Adi Persada added.

In particular, Bukalapak’s goals were to:

  • Promote awareness of the Bukalapak mobile app,
  • Drive app installs and usage,
  • Increase in-app conversions and the lifetime value (LTV) of the customers and,
  • Improve user engagement and retention

To meet its goal, Bukalapak tried displaying an interstitial banner to users after they purchased on mobile web, but it negatively impacted their SEO. They also placed an app download link at the top of their navigation bar, but the average number of daily downloads only amounted to 400-500. In addition, the web engineers were spending time on building and optimizing these solutions in-house.

After a few attempts, they looked to Google for “how to increase traffic to mobile app from mobile web,” which led them to Branch’s Journeys Web to App Conversion product.


Tuning up the Journeys performance

After selecting and implementing Branch’s Journeys solution, Bukalapak saw an immediate increase in installs, but it took some testing and fine tuning before things really took off.

At first, Bukalapak put a very simple banner at the top of the screen without any filter, and then also used a simple button just like the one Airbnb has – the one that appears in the first time user visits the web.

However, these approaches only increased the overall app downloads by hundreds – barely reaching the target. After referencing related articles and working with a dedicated team of experts at Branch, they changed the approach by running multiple campaigns at once and targeted the same segment of users with multiple forms of banners. Here is a part of strategy that Bukalapak used:

  1. First time mobile web visitor: show a simple smart banner or a floating button banner
  2. Second time mobile web visitor: show a half screen banner promoting the chat in app feature.
  3. Third time mobile web visitor: show a full-screen interstitial with an offer to complete purchase in-app.

Of course, at every stage the user’s preferences were paramount and no banner was shown to the user for 2 weeks if the use dismissed the banner even once. It ensured that the banners were not intrusive.

And, that’s when the magic happened.


The Results

So far, the number of app downloads has catapulted by six times and the team believes that there is still room for improvement.

In the first few months after implementation and testing, this is what Bukalapak achieved.:

  • Average daily clicks rate increased 47x
  • Average daily app download increased 5x
  • Users acquired by Journeys are 2x more likely to convert/transaction compared to our global benchmark.