The holidays are upon us, with "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" pointing to a very mobile holiday season.
The end of the year and January are always very big for app publishers as new smartphones are received as presents, and down time with family is time spent on "the second screen". So how to make sure your app is well positioned for the holidays and the January spike?
Don't Neglect Push Notifications
One of the huge advantages of acquiring users for your mobile app is the ability to reach them with notifications. Notifications can be automated via some in-app trigger (local) or sent manually remotely (push) and are the tool for engaging with your app audience. One reason people prefer notifications to email, SMS/text or other marketing is because the information is short, time-sensitive and actionable. A user can look at a short notification, and immediately decide if it is relevant and if they want to take action - or to ignore it. No saving for later like email, or even having to open an email app to view - notifications go directly to the user's home or lock screen, and may even buzz or sound an alert depending on the user settings. Unless your app is Facebook, your app is not top of mind to your users no matter how much they love your app or brand. Give them a reason to re-engage with your app, and share that reason with a notification.
Expect Mobile Sales
Even from customers are in your store. That's right, data from Thanksgiving weekend in the US showed 23% of purchases from consumers in a retail store were via mobile. The shopper was in the store and was either price-checking the item, or finding ratings or reviews or more information, and purchased from the retailer's website via their mobile device. IBM reported that mobile accounted for 57% of online traffic and 36% of online sales - up 30% from 2014.
Holiday Icons & Screenshots
Updating your app regularly is generally a good idea for several reasons, and having an icon that is aligned to the season (or at least the holiday season) signals to prospective users that your app is up to date. A holiday-themed icon is also eye-catching for existing users who notice your updated icon in their device. Likely your app is either a brand or an extension of your brand, so don't stray too far from your existing icon, but adding some seasonal treatment can show users your app and brand are engaged with the season just like they are.
Convert Mobile Web Visitors
The latest operating system for iPhones and iPad, iOS 9 introduces new features for users and publishers that makes searching the web, the app store, content within apps and their device much easier with Siri and Spotlight. To capture mobile web traffic and convert these visitors to mobile app installs and users - add an app banner. This alerts your mobile web visitors that you have a mobile app and links users directly to the app store for installation. Even if you miss Apple's app store shut down (Dec 22 - Jan 4th), get your app updates submitted as January is generally a big month for mobile and mobile apps! Best wishes and happy holidays!