It’s no secret that the holiday season is a critical period for apps in various verticals. Whether you’re a seasoned app developer or a newcomer to the mobile app industry, you can’t afford to miss the holiday season opportunities. Our holiday guide explores strategies, tactics, and statistics to make the most of this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving. Read on!
Why so hectic?
The holiday season is a time when people are not only in the mood for celebration but also in a shopping frenzy. According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season can represent as much as 30% of a retailer’s annual sales. This gives mobile apps a unique opportunity to grow their user base, engagement, and revenue. You must, however, have a well-planned marketing strategy if you want to make the most of this season.
The holiday season can significantly impact your app’s success throughout the year. This is the time of year when users actively search for deals, discounts, and brand engagement opportunities. By using the right holiday marketing strategy, you can increase your app’s visibility and build long-term relationships with your users.
Holiday Season Marketing Landscape
Before diving into holiday marketing specifics, let’s understand the landscape. A typical holiday season runs from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. It’s marked by key shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The day following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is known for in-store shopping, while Cyber Monday follows as the online equivalent, featuring many discounts and deals.
👉However, these events have evolved over the years. Traditionally, Black Friday was characterized by early morning store openings and long lines, but today it is a multi-channel shopping experience. Mobile apps play a significant role in connecting customers around the world to deals.
👉Cyber Monday, on the other hand, focuses primarily on digital deals, making it a prime target for mobile app marketers.
👉Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday of November, officially marks the start of the holiday season and it is not just about turkey and family gatherings; it’s also an excellent opportunity to engage with your app’s users.
How to Prepare Your Mobile App for the Holidays
Assess Your Mobile App’s Current Status
You should assess the current state of your mobile app before planning holiday marketing campaigns. Take a look at your user data, the performance of your app, and the results from past holiday seasons. By analyzing your performance, you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and set realistic goals for the season. Start by looking at your app’s analytics. Especially for e-commerce apps:
- What does your user data reveal about past holiday seasons?
- When does user engagement typically peak?
- Which products or services are most popular during the holidays?
- How does the holiday season affect user acquisition and retention?
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
This holiday season, what are you hoping to accomplish? Are you looking to increase downloads, user engagement, or revenue? Having clear, measurable goals will guide your marketing efforts and help you track the success of your app.
As an example, if you want to boost revenue over the holiday season, set a specific revenue target you want to reach. If you want to increase user engagement, consider KPIs like time spent in-app or the number of interactions. It is easier to evaluate your app’s performance if you attach key performance indicators (KPIs) to each goal.
Allocate Your Budget Wisely
Advertising, promotions, and user acquisition require a substantial budget for holiday marketing. You must allocate your budget strategically to ensure your holiday campaigns deliver the best results. To effectively reach your target audience, you must invest in paid advertising, influencer collaborations, and social media promotions.
The budget you allocate for your holiday marketing campaign should be based on your goals and the scale of the campaign. If your aim is to increase user acquisition, you may need to allocate a significant portion of your budget to paid advertising and promotion to reach new audiences. On the other hand, if your primary focus is retaining and engaging existing users, you might allocate more of your budget to in-app promotions and rewards.
Know Your Audience
Segmenting your audience is an essential part of a holiday marketing campaign. It is important to remember that not all users are the same, and their preferences and behaviors may vary. Segmenting your audience allows you to tailor marketing messages and promotions to each group’s specific needs and interests.
Segment customers based on past purchase history, demographics, location, and user behavior. For example, you might have segments for loyal customers, first-time users, or users who browse often but rarely make purchases and adjust your deals and messaging according to the segments.
Thanksgiving is a great time to show your appreciation to your app’s users. Provide exclusive discounts or early access to Black Friday deals as a token of your appreciation.
Thanksgiving-themed contests and promotions generate excitement and engagement. From food and drink to mobile games, developers can consider a “Thanksgiving Recipe Contest” or a special holiday-themed in-app game to keep users entertained and involved. You can also update your ad creatives to catch users’ attention during the season.
Let’s look at some numbers:
- Online shopping reached a record $5.29 billion on Thanksgiving Day 2022.
- A Salesforce report noted that Thanksgiving online spending grew 9% to $7.5 billion in the U.S. Additionally, 78% of sales traffic came from mobile devices. (2022)
Leveraging Black Friday Marketing
Strategies for Pre-Black Friday Promotions
Black Friday is the perfect time to build excitement and anticipation. Publish teaser campaigns, create a sense of urgency, and offer sneak peeks at your Black Friday deals. You can increase participation on the big day by engaging your audience early.
Running Black Friday Flash Sales and Discounts
Offer irresistible deals on Black Friday to attract users. Promoting buy-one-get-one (BOGO) sales, limited-time discounts, and flash sales are effective tactics. Ensure your app clearly communicates discounts, whether you’re offering 50% off or buy-one-get-one-free. When the deals are hard to navigate, it might lead to user churn. Don’t forget to optimize your app in order for it to handle more traffic as well.
Let’s look at some numbers
- There was a 3.5% increase in Black Friday online sales in 2022, reaching $65.3 billion globally.
- Almost 73% of sales from merchants on Shopify’s platform were performed via mobile in 2022, up from 71% in 2021.
- Black Friday plans begin at least two weeks in advance for 40% of Gen Z shoppers.
Cyber Monday Campaigns
Crafting Compelling Cyber Monday Deals
Give users a reason to shop with you on Cyber Monday by offering different deals from Black Friday. You can sweeten the deal by bundling products together at a discount, offering exclusive digital content, or providing free shipping. The key to making Cyber Monday a successful shopping event is to present it as a distinct and appealing event.
Let’s look at some numbers:
- Cyber Monday sales are expected to generate $13.7 billion in revenue in 2023.
- Compared to an average day, US buyer activity on Cyber Monday is up 512%.
- Cyber Monday 2022 conversion rates were 6.9% through desktops and 3.4% through mobiles.
How to Retain the Holiday Season Shoppers?
Shopify reports that 64% of retailers‘ customers acquired during BFCM have a lower lifetime value (LTV) than customers acquired during any other time of the year. To prevent that from happening to your users, engage them with:
As the New Year approaches shortly after Thanksgiving, start offering new deals and content to your users to turn them into repeat customers.
Mobile app marketing during the holiday season offers users a tremendous opportunity to engage with your users, drive revenue, and build long-term relationships. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving all have unique marketing demands, so it is important to understand their significance before creating your marketing plans.
Remember to assess your app’s current status, set clear objectives, and allocate your budget wisely as you prepare for the holiday season. Analyze your performance data and industry statistics from 2022 to identify trends and benchmarks for continuous improvement. Incorporating lessons learned from the past holiday season into your planning for the year ahead will help you make smarter decisions for the future.
Your app’s success depends on staying on top of changing consumer behavior and trends during the holiday season. With the right strategies in place, your mobile app can flourish during the season and beyond.