How to Get a Slice of the Holiday App Bonanza

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Modern holidays are becoming more like marketing ploys to make people spend money. According to a 2014 data, people spend the most on these holidays:

  1. Winter Holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year) – $616.9 billion
  2. Valentine’s Day – $17.3 billion
  3. Easter – $15.9 billion
  4. Mother’s Day – $20.7 billion
  5. Father’s Day – $12.5 billion
  6. Halloween – $7.4 billion
  7. Patrick’s Day – $4.8 billion

 

These numbers are bound to fluctuate but not by much. This is surprising especially that this data is only for the US. It is estimated that online shopping will increase up to 45% this year. As a result, e-commerce revenue is estimated to reach $327 billion.

 

Christmas day app downloads can increase up to 91% and Apple reported New Year’s Day 2015 as having the highest sales in its short history. Surveys also show  that online spending in other countries increased in the past years.

 

So how can you have a slice of the holiday app bonanza?

 

Skin the app according to the festivities. 

Or better yet, submit a holiday app. There’s a study  that shows how the right type of holiday music and atmosphere influence the behavior of customers in malls and retail shops. This same principle is applicable to apps. A lot of people chose holiday-themed apps just to get into the “holiday vibe”. The use of holiday themes is also an effective strategy to increase your app’s exposure, engagement and click-through rate especially if the app is newly published.

 

Offer holiday-themed promos.

Decorations are good, but adding seasonal  features and in-app goodies can make your audience feel the holiday spirit more. It could either be collectible items or sales that mimic real-world promos. After all, 70% of online shoppers are in holiday shopping mood all because of the promos.

 

Adjust your ad campaigns.

Make sure that your targeted demographics and ad campaigns coincide.  This is very important since app stores are very competitive during these peak seasons as the quality of users increase.

 

Try your hand on app retargeting.

Some advertising networks offer an app retargeting service where you can send ads to users that installed your app but haven’t used it for a while. This way, you can re-engage them to the app, increasing both engagement and retention rates. This advertising strategy can become a boon during the holidays. Users are more forgiving of advertisements and more ready to spend on in-app purchases.

 

Take advantage of in-app messages and push notifications.

These messages can increase user interest in your app. Users are more likely to open your app if they are given a prompt using timely, relevant and persuasive , messages.

 

Prepare for high CPI costs.

CPI costs usually increase during the holiday season due to high demand. It is important to have a balance between user acquisition costs and estimated installs.

 

Submit the app early.

Almost every developer wants to take advantage of the high-spending trend of the holiday season so it is best to submit a holiday app early for review. The length of the approval process can double starting the third or fourth week of November.

 

Make sure that all’s set with your app.

Last year, the ‘App Store Freeze’ was implemented on December 22-29. The freeze would mean that manual changes on the app version updates, descriptions and prices won’t be allowed. This is also important since for the duration of the ‘App Store Freeze’, app ranking would remain mostly static so it is important to rank higher and give a good impression to possible users.

 

Aim for the holiday charts.

The ‘App Store Freeze’ is beneficial especially for apps that rank high in their categories. But another way to gain high exposure is through holiday app charts that feature the best holiday-themed apps. Visitors of the App Store is immediately drawn to this listing.

 

Plan ahead for eventualities post App Store Freeze.

A few days after New Year, things would go back to normal.  After the holiday fever subsides, your holiday app may experience high churn rate. Another update may be necessary to shed off the holiday app skin and return to regular marketing strategies.

 

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