With consumers’ reliance on their smartphones continuing to grow, it’s clear that the future of commerce is mobile. According to a report published by Kleiner Perkins, mobile shopping app sessions grew by 54% in 2017, while Forrester
predicts that shoppers will spend $152 billion directly through mobile by 2021.
It is no surprise that the holiday season accounts for a large portion of annual revenue for retailers and brands - in some cases as much as 30% of yearly retail sales (Statista). Just last year, the rise of mobile commerce drove Black Friday sales to an all-time high, growing 24% year over year. Of this increase, smartphones accounted for 40% of sales, up 29% on last year (Business Insider).
Likewise, the role of m-commerce when it comes to holiday shopping is growing. Christmas Day 2017 saw the biggest jump in mobile shopping, with mobile accounting for 50% of all online orders (Adobe).
The sustained growth of m-commerce in recent years has demonstrated that mobile is becoming the way people shop. Yet, the pressure is on for retailers and brands to have a holiday strategy in place early on as 41% of buyers start their holiday shopping in October or earlier (NRF). Launching a holiday campaign as far in advance as possible
means an opportunity to convert customers that are planning on starting their shopping ahead of the holiday season, as well as keeping ahead of competitors and maximizing revenue.
From push notifications to personalization, PredictSpring has prepared an extensive guide of seasonal best practices to nail your mobile app strategy over the holiday period. Plan ahead with these tips and you’ll be well prepared to win customers over this holiday season.
These are strategies you should already have in place to drive downloads, app awareness, engagement, and conversions.
Dedicated Landing Page on Website Promoting App
Promote App In All Customer E-mail Touchpoints
In-Store Leaflets or App Callouts
Promote App on Social Media Channels
Implement Smart Banners on Mobile Site Promoting App
(Partner with Branch Metrics)
Send Regular Push & Geo-Targeted Notifications (Rich
Media or Text)
Launch App Campaigns on Google AdWords to Drive
Downloads from Mobile Searches
Launch Facebook Ads to Drive App Installs (Create a
Video for Increased Impact)
Launch Instagram Ads to Drive App Installs (Use an Image
Carousel or Video)
Personalization is one of the best ways to boost customer experience, with 89% of US marketers reporting a positive change in revenue following personalization updates on
websites and apps (Google). By harnessing unique user data and engaging customers with tailored messaging and offers, retailers can provide a more customized experience for users, but moreover benefit from boosted engagement and revenue.
While personalization should not be exclusive to the holiday season, the impact of personalization is clear, with Salesforce showing that while only 5% of shoppers engaged with personalized material, this spending accounted for 30% of revenue during Black Friday week. It is therefore essential that personalization is built into your mobile app strategy.
When it comes to your mobile shopping app experience this can be executed in a number of ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Treat your VIPs this year with personalized in-app content and promotions. Reward these customers for their loyalty by serving them special discounts, tailored product recommendations based on past purchases, early access to new product drops and other exclusive promotions. Use CRM segments to target specific user groups with tailored
content and unique promotions based on their segment, including loyalty tier or gender. Leverage the following features to inform your customer groups.
It is is imperative to develop a holiday marketing strategy that incorporates notifications. Moreover, a study by Leanplum found an 800% increase in open rates with personalized notifications. To maximize the effect of your notifications, there are a number of ways you can do this, such as referencing past in-app activity or rewarding customer segments based on loyalty status. Reinforce past engagement with praise for that activity and you will encourage users to return to the app, helping to increase customer lifetime value and boost sales.
It is also important to set-up a notification calendar around other key holiday themes. Leverage notifications to let users know about new app features, holiday-specific products, promotions, and to remind shoppers to prepare their wishlists
ahead of Black Friday and Christmas. Notifications can also be used to highlight key milestones such as delivery cut-offs and Free Shipping Day. Notifications will help create a sense of urgency for customers, drive user engagement, and encourage them to convert.
Design an interactive quiz to capture data about consumer demographics and preferences. This data can then be used
to better understand customers and deliver targeted content to specific consumer segments.
While engaging your users through push notifications is ideal, the average notification opt-in rate is 43% for iOS
(Accengage).To get around this issue and ensure that you’re targeting users who might not have opted in, implement
a Message Inbox. This will allow you to send targeted and personalized messages such as promotions, or back-in-stock item straight to their app inbox. Schedule these messages to expire based on a date that you set.
It’s no secret that everyone looks forward to getting spoilt over the holiday season. So what are shoppers’ go-to gift of choice? According to NRF, six in 10 people want to receive a gift card over the holidays. What was once the last minute gift choice is now a crowd pleaser, with gift cards allowing shoppers to purchase whatever their hearts desire, while ensuring the gift giver peace of mind that their gift won’t be returned.
For retailers, gift cards are a fantastic tool to boost holiday mobile sales. In addition to being popular among consumers, gift cards often encourage increased sales, with 65% of gift card holders spending an additional 38% more than the total value of their gift card when making a purchase (Gift Card Granny).
Gift guides are also essential tools during the holiday season, and allow retailers to showcase products, inspire shoppers and stay top of mind among consumers in the gifting mindset. When building a gift guide, it is recommended that retailers take multiple factors into consideration aside from which products to include in the gift guide. Retailers should carefully consider product categorization, as well as past sales performance of products. In addition, retailers can leverage social media channels such as Instagram to poll users - this is a great way to stay ahead of audience preferences.
Ensuring that your mobile shopping app incorporates a digital gift card and gift guide is a quick and simple win, serving as a
convenient way to help shoppers prepare for the holiday season.
Maximize your potential sales by offering gift cards in the lead-up to the holiday season. Ensure that you have this feature set up well before the festive period to allow methodical planners and last minute shoppers alike to take advantage of offering. Get a gift card plan set up quickly by using SVS to enable gift card purchasing and payments.
Gift guides are an easy win over the holiday season, helping to inspire shoppers to convert to buyers. Collect your customer preferences via Quiz feature native to the PredictSpring CMS, and serve relevant product selections or product bundles based on user responses.
The holiday season is stressful enough, app shoppers shouldn’t have to deal with a confusing checkout process or poor user experience. A combination of short attention spans and smaller screens mean that your app needs to be streamlined and built to boost conversions. This means cutting out any potential friction points which can arise at any stage in the customer journey and inhibit shoppers from buying. Don’t give your users a reason to leave without completing their purchase - make sure that you’re doing all you can to guide users to convert more efficiently.
It’s simple, no one likes a lengthy checkout process. Don’t let a drawn out checkout cost you conversions. Instead, implement
one-screen checkout with Apple Pay or Android Pay to help increase purchases by reducing the time and effort it takes to
complete a purchase. And the results are worth it, with a $2.5 billion multi-brand retailer citing a 19% lift in mobile conversions after implementing Apple Pay (Salesforce).
In addition to one-screen checkout, make sure your app is leveraging PredictSpring Checkout V2 for iOS. Helping to remove potential friction points, V2 reduces the number of steps it takes to purchase, offering shoppers a seamless and
simplified experience and increased conversions. Convert more iOS app users with an enhanced UI design at checkout. Retailers and brands that implement Checkout V2 benefit from a double digit lift in conversions and a decrease in time spent to place an order.
Providing users with a lookbook in-app is an easy way to highlight key items and potential collection ideas, leading shoppers to consider more products. Presenting items curated by a team of experts, lookbooks offer shoppers an easy solution for holiday gift ideas. Allow users to purchase all the items in one look as a bundle to help simplify their checkout process.
Nowadays, free delivery on orders has almost come to be expected as a standard by online shoppers with NRF citing that half of shoppers will back out of a purchase if they don’t qualify for free shipping. According to data from Google, mobile searches for “same-day shipping” have increased over 120% since 2015. Clearly, offering convenient shipping options, and in most instances, offering free shipping has become table stakes for retailers, especially over the holiday period.
Consider offering as many delivery options as possible, as well as participating in Free Shipping Day. A promotional holiday taking place in December, Free Shipping Day is one day on which consumers can shop from different retailers offering free shipping and guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas Eve.
In addition, it’s well worth offering as many shipping options as possible. Maximize conversions by facilitating last minute
shoppers with some of these options:
Express Xmas Delivery
Pick A Date Delivery
Ensure your customers are aware of the different shipping promotions that you’re planning on offering. If you’re participating in Free Shipping Day, be sure to send push notifications or a message via the inbox feature to remind customers to get their orders in if they want them to arrive
before Christmas Eve.
Reduce friction at checkout by indicating the Free Shipping code in the cart banner, configurable with the PredictSpring CMS.
Make your customers’ shopping as convenient as possible by ensuring that your app offers in-store pick up as an option at checkout. This provides the ability for customers to reserve an in-store item within seconds. Encouraging free in-store pick-up also assists in driving foot traffic to nearby stores and provides additional sales opportunities
for store associates.
Mobile has proven to be a highly valuable platform for encouraging consumers to shop in-store. Research by Criteo revealed that while omni-channel customers make up just 7% of total shoppers, they generated 27% of all sales. These findings highlight the potential value for retailers who are able to merge data from multiple touch points, supporting in-store sales through mobile.
Shoppers must go in-store if they want to purchase last minute gifts in time, therefore giving retailers even more of a reason to focus on driving store traffic from mobile throughout the holiday season.
While omni-channel marketing is an undoubtedly useful tool, it is often overlooked. Seventy percent of shoppers (aged 18-44) use their smartphones while shopping in-store, very few retailers harness mobile to engage their customers (WWD). Ensuring that you are targeting these shoppers is imperative over the holiday season. Google shows that searches for ‘where to buy’ peak on December 23 when late buyers are busy finding their last minute gifts and stocking stuffers, so make sure that your mobile strategy takes these tips into account in order to help drive foot traffic in-store.
Leverage the in-app barcode scanner to scan in-store inventory, or as an omnichannel loyalty card to ensure shoppers are rewarded for in-store purchases.
Equip customers with the information they need to make an in-store purchase. While it might sound obvious, ensure that specific store opening times are easily accessible for customers within the app - this will help shoppers plan their in-store trip.
Make sure that up-to-date information on product availability is accessible to customers within your app. If they know that their prefered product is in-store, they know that it’s worth making the trip. What’s more, once your customers are in your store, they are likely to discover more products to purchase.
Select feature deployments you would like to implement with PredictSpring in time for the busy holiday period:
Apple Pay or Android Pay Checkout
(4 Week Deployment)
PayPal Checkout (6 Week Deployment)
Digital Gift Card Integration with SVS, Vantiv,
Clutch, Value Link (4 Week Deployment)
Gift Wrap Option with Personalized Message
Integration (2 Weeks Deployment)
Visual Search Integration with Slyce
(2 Week Deployment)
Buy Online, Pickup In-Store Integration
(4 Week Deployment)
Loyalty Program - Tibco, Smart Button,
500 Friends, Epsilon, Oracle Relate
(4 Week Deployment)
These holiday-friendly features are native to the PredictSpring CMS, ask your Customer Success Manager how you can implement these features today:
Personalized Gift Guide Quiz
Personalized Layouts for Customer Groups