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'Tis the Season: 4 Tips to Get Your App Ready for the Holidays

Posted on November 29, 2016

It’s one of the busiest times of the year for us and everyone in e-commerce, so I guess all advertisers need to really pull their socks up. We’re using retargeting to make sure our users, both new and returning, come back to our app. With dynamic ads, we are able to remind our users of their most recent searched products to turn them into loyal customers.

– Henrike Böckmann, Project Manager Online Marketing at ABOUTYOU Gmbh

Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the beginning of the most hectic time in the year for advertisers. But despite e-commerce stores slashing their prices to keep up with their competition, reports from the NRF and RetailNext have reported a lower average spend by shoppers who have taken advantage of the massive promotional offers available and avoided the frenzied on and offline queues in favour of a more relaxed approach to Christmas gifting.

Mobile officially overtook desktop visits this year with Holiday shoppers turning to their mobile devices to compare prices and browse gifts for their loved ones. The ease of use of m-commerce apps to browse gifting options has led to a huge shift in consumer behavior with more and more shoppers holding onto their hard-earned cash expected to spend big on the last weekend before Christmas, and even on Christmas Day when traditional brick and mortar stores are closed for business. Despite a 24% increase in the use of mobile devices to complete transactions, it’s anticipated that e-commerce merchants will lose more than $4.6 trillion dollars this year due to shopping cart abandonment. To tackle this growing issue, we wanted to give our readers a late Thanksgiving present and provide you with some top tips to make the most out of the season of spending!

1. Get Creative!

Just like the rest of the year, you should be using your customer data to inform your use of creatives during the festive period. Leveraging customer data pertaining to purchase intent, behavioral data, and device type can inform your choice, and allow you to create more personalized ads featuring specific holiday products, offers, and sales. Dynamic ads are a great way to achieve highly-targeted display ads that reach the right user at the right time. These ads are constructed by drawing on behavioral data about a specific user and combined with information from your product feed.

Dynamic ads

To target shopping cart abandoners, use your dynamic ads to remind your customers of the items waiting for them in their cart. Offering seasonal promotional discounts, or displaying the estimated delivery date are also great ways to get your users back to your app to complete their transaction. It goes without saying that the checkout process should have a simple user flow without unnecessary information fields. Use deep links as well to ensure that once a user clicks on your ad, they’re brought directly back to the checkout point for a smooth and swift conversion process.

2. Going Native

Native ads can also help you to scale your retargeting campaigns and stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds as they browse through their social media newsfeeds. Native ads deliver engaging messages and also come with the power of social sharing amongst users’ friend groups, creating additional brand exposure. As consumers continue to spend more each year, they are constantly on the lookout for the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Incorporating native ads into your retention strategy addresses a newly developing trend in purchase decisions whereby shoppers want to learn about products by reading or viewing valuable content. Providing your users with a seamless user experience during this time is sure to get you noticed and make you stand out from competitors using regular interstitials with irrelevant copy.

3. Spend Big, Win Big

The intense market competition in the so-called golden quarter of ecommerce means higher media cost. To tackle this, we recommend increasing your budget to keep up with the competition who typically spend almost 70% of their annual advertising budgets during Q4. December is still the busiest month for mobile shoppers so spending big on alluring ads with promotions and deals to secure their business is a wise business investment. Always tailor your copy to suggest a limited offer period and update your product feed to show items that are swiftly selling out.

4. New Year, New Users

After Christmas, the high CPIs will drop, but the huge number of new device owners means lots of new users to convert into buyers on your app, and all at a much lower price. Don’t discount January just because you’re not in the office and still in holiday mode. In January last year there were over 240 million app downloads from the app store, and not all of them mcommerce. Gaming apps can be extremely successful during this period with new device owners wanting to test the features of their new toys. Food delivery apps also have the unique opportunity to cater to everyone’s laziness after the Christmas rush. Dreading the thoughts of preparing another meal, users will seek out easier solutions and want food delivered right to their doorstep. Fitness and banking apps always see a surge in installs right after New Year’s as the resolutions begin, so capitalize on that and create highly targeted ads that address your users’ needs.

We hope these tips were helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. If you want to find out more about how you could step your Holiday re-engagement strategy up a notch, get in touch with your account manager or shoot us an email to!