Black Friday is gone and Cyber Monday is here, which means the hottest season for retailers and shoppers. Almost a third of some retailer’s profits are earned during November and December, according to Reuters. While stores and brands are preparing for profit flows, customers are getting bombarded with discount messages, special deal emails, and tons of intrusive holiday-themed ads. For them holiday shopping is just as stressful as it is for retailers. Mobile marketing agency ComboApp tells how brands can take advantage of mobile and make customer’s lives a little easier.
How mobile apps enhance holiday shopping
Adobe Digital Index 2015 Holiday Shopping Predictions show that 2015 Cyber Monday online sales will reach a record $3 billion, while 11% of online shopping will happen on a phone and 9% on tablets. Mobile apps provide a big opportunity for retailers and brands to catch a larger part of consumer’s shopping lists. They are able to enhance the holiday shopping experience for customers or serve as a separate retail channel.
Even when users make a purchase offline, they rely on their smartphone as a source of additional information about products, discounts and recommendations:
- Millennials use smartphones for shopping (no surprise here)
A great Wanderful Media survey shows that 92% of millennial shoppers use mobile phones during offline shopping, mostly to find deals, compare prices, research products online, and find store locations. Regarding mobile shopping apps, 78% of millennials are going to use them this holiday season.
2) App provides a point of interaction with a brand
Mobile apps change the way retailers provide value to customer’s lives. A Mobile app could be the first point of brand-to-customer engagement that will help guide purchase decisions on an offline store. Take an example of successful brands. Their apps don’t focus on driving sales, rather inspire customers, provide relevant information and additional services. Macy’s app guides shoppers through the store to particular products they are seeking. Vineyard Vines launched a mobile app that enables users to browse and shop the Instagram feed with a “Buy” button and also provides gift ideas.
December shopping: it’s not too late
52% of shoppers will complete holiday purchases by December 10th this year (Source). However, late December is a great time for retailers to catch the attention of mobile users since there is less tension and competition for mobile holiday marketing.
Here are 5 simple steps retail apps can take to win the rest of the holiday shopping season:
- The joy of discounts
Consumers expect significant discounts on holidays. According to a PricewaterhouseCooper survey, 87% of customers define the price to be a prime factor during the holiday shopping decision-making process. Special deals should be relevant to the audience and should be personalized, if possible.
- Focus on re-engagement
You’ve probably heard the awful statistics on cart abandonment rate, which is close to 70%. Targeted email following the abandonment carts have a 46% higher open rate than standard marketing efforts. There is a chance that users will lose interest in the retail app right after the holiday shopping peak. To keep users interested, launch a retargeting ad campaign and convert them to sales before the holiday season is over.
- Embrace social media
Social media enables brands and retailers to reach a targeted audience in the right place at the right time. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have the most precise demographic and interest targeting tools, and display ads while user is engaged with social activity make it possible for users to share links to products in social media or create wish lists/shopping lists they can send to friends.
Don’t forget to add a little Christmas magic to the creatives and messages. Holiday-themed advertising could be a real viral thing, as brands like John Lewis and Sainsbury’s prove year after year.
- A little bit of push notifications
December is a good time to catch the attention of customers during the final holiday preparations. To stand out from the crowd of ads and messages, push notification should be personalized and contain a clear statement. According to November 2014 data on retail apps messaging, one-third of all apps opened happens through push notifications.
When planning an app promotion strategy for December, don’t forget about the app store “freeze” period. Apple iTunes will not accept new apps and app updates through December 22-29. Make sure to submit releases in advance!
You can visit ComboApp’s website here to get started.