The Holidays Are a Crucial Time for Mobile App Exposure

December 19, 2017 - 4 minutes read

Online shopping now plays an essential role during the holiday season. Each year, it manages to capture more of the market that would usually go to traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Mobile’s impact on the holiday sales season will only increase over the years. But if new apps hope to cash in on this growing trend, they’ll need to have an innovative strategy.

Is More Advertising the Answer?

The National Retailers Foundation forecasted sales in November and December to reach $678 billion. This number is up from last year’s $655.8 billion. During this time of the year, many retailers receive up to 30% of their annual sales and start making a profit.

And for mobile app developers, this time of year is incredibly important for revenues too. In comScore’s 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report, they deemed mobile as the dominant digital platform, with mobile apps accounting for half of all digital media traffic. But they caution that half of U.S. smartphone users download no new apps on a monthly basis. With Android housing 2.8 million apps and iOS selling 2.2 million, consumers have more options than ever. Unfortunately, they’re also pickier than ever.

In response, app developers have drastically increased their advertising budgets in the last few years. Larger teams, more ads, and campaign optimization are leading to new frontiers for mobile app development. Mobile marketers are now focusing more on premium ad formats like video to get their message across. It’s not unusual for video to account for up to 50% of ad spend.

Reinventing Marketing Tactics

While these efforts aren’t for naught, they’re definitely not bringing the returns expected from such exorbitant budget increases. App developers focus on consumers who activate a brand new mobile phone; these customers are the ones most likely to discover new apps. Since the holidays are a prime time for new mobile phones to be gifted, it’s only logical that there is a substantial increase in consumers exploring the app stores at the end of the year.

Because it’s so difficult to get noticed in the app stores, mobile marketers need to re-examine their overarching plans. For example, apps that can be pre-installed on mobile phones and smart devices have a great chance of succeeding. This is the reason why many Internet of Things¬†devices like refrigerators and TVs now come with pre-installed apps.

Keeping Up With the New

Of course, there are other options for your app besides pre-installing. Optimize keywords for the holidays and add it to your app’s listing. Your title and description should be updated with terms like “Christmas gifts,” “deals,” and “save.”

If you’re able to launch your app before the holidays, you should make sure the app’s got a few ratings before holiday time. Since apps can take up to 14 days to get approved during the holiday rush, it’s prudent to be ahead of your timeline for the best chance at success.

As consumer browsing habits continue to change, mobile app developers from London to San Francisco¬†will constantly need to adapt. Although it’s risky to pivot your business model or marketing tactics, the payoff is enormous if you’re successful.

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