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Black Friday and Your Mobile App: How to Build Momentum, Increase Sales and Outrun Your Competition

With Black Friday looming, we expect the usual scenes of eager consumers crashing the gates of their favorite shops in a desperate bid to grab the latest product. Increasingly though, these scenarios will play out on mobile, many consumers’ preferred way to shop. If you’re not yet preparing for one of the highest peaks of the season, it’s time to limber up

It might seem like a long way off, but Black Friday is nearly upon us – if you’re a mobile marketer. With just a few weeks left until billions of eager consumers take to their smartphones and mobile devices to grab a bargain, smart marketers everywhere are already planning out what will likely be their biggest, most profitable campaigns of the year. Bottom line? If you’re not doing so already, it’s time to limber up, make your way to the starting block and start your preparation to take advantage of the burgeoning mCommerce landscape where mobile is king.

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Stats don’t lie, this time is no different

Driven by changing consumer habits – the recent pandemic being the biggest driver – today, over 70% of mCommerce sales are made on a mobile device. With a finely -tuned focus on personalization, and an immersive, friction-free customer experience, savvy brands that plan in advance of that big day in November will boost conversion rates, power ever-higher cart values, and nurture long, mutually beneficial relationships. 

What do you need to do next to make Black Friday one of your most profitable events of the year? Dive in and get started!

First things first – ensure you’re app is optimized across the app stores

… and start now to build momentum! Yep, Black Friday happens but once a year, but it’s the big day for mCommerce brands, so your app has a lot to gain by optimizing it for Black Friday keywords. Decide what they are, and integrate them into your app’s title and subtitle, description,  and creative ads to ensure you’re off to a good start and targeting potential customers searching with those terms. 

Also worth looking at are the product images you’ll want to feature alongside your app descriptions. Focus on your ad creative to emphasize unmissable deals and promotions that could provide the nudge new customers are looking for to download your app – and don’t forget to create a sense of urgency!

Start retargeting efforts long before the event

As well as giving your team to experiment with customer acquisition at a lower cost, kicking off retargeting campaigns early will give you a head start on boosting conversions. While most of your discounts and promotions will only run on the day itself, it’ll pay dividends to target lapsed customers ahead of time with special offers that bring them back and get them familiar with your app again – and ensure your brand is top of mind once the event kicks off.

Reward your loyal customers

If you’re doing it right when it comes to app marketing, you’ll already be regularly rewarding your loyal customers. Black Friday is no different, so think about what these rewards are going to look like this November. For example, you might provide advance visibility of products that are going to be heavily discounted, with the opportunity to ‘add to basket’ in advance of your sale. On the day itself, you could offer early access to unmissable deals, free shipping, or additional discounts on purchases of a certain number of items. 

Use Email

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools to use for brands – in comparison with other marketing channels, email has the best ROI, netting around $40 for every $1 spent – not to be scoffed at! Once you’ve segmented your leads and customers into your email lists, you can build campaigns that bring them to your app (don’t forget DDLs!), where you’ll promote your Black Friday deals. Another highly effective method to drive downloads and boost your Black Friday sales is to send out referral codes to your email subscribers. Offer them compelling subscriber-only promotions or deeper discounts as incentives.

Propel profits with push

In the days and hours leading up to your Black Friday event, you’ll want to utilize push campaigns to tell customers about the deals that are going to appeal specifically to them. **STOP PRESS** >>> Blasting everyone with the same deals will not a happy customer make, so you’ll need to segment your audience to ensure that you’re hitting each individual customer with offers that they’re likely to engage with.  For example, you could ship a push notification letting a customer know that items on their personal wishlist will be discounted; or if you’ve got a bricks-and-mortar store, you could send them a push notification with an ‘even more money off!’ discount code for instore sale items … If you’re up to speed (and if not, why not?!) with your proximity marketing efforts, create a campaign that reaches Black Friday shoppers with unbeatable promotions while they’re passing your store (or if you’re super-smart your competitor’s store!). And when your Black Friday event is coming to an end, time-sensitive offers (countdown timers are always a great way to create FOMO) shipped via push are a fabulously effective way to drive last-minute purchases.

Get social

When it comes to seasonal events like Black Friday, many consumers are happy to source the best deals on the day. Others, however, know that it can pay to plan ahead and take advantage of early bird offers. You can tease both kinds of consumers by utilizing social media to expand audience reach and promote app-only offers (again, Deferred Deep Links will be your go-to method!). There are a ton of ways you can do this … Promote ‘mystery deals’, deploy that old favourite the Countdown Timer, or share ‘early bird’ offers that build anticipation and compel app downloads in advance of the main event – or simply post exactly what your big-hitter promotions will be! And of course, your social platforms are a great place to directly connect and communicate with customers (and potential customers!)  and answer any questions they may have about your Black Friday sale.

And if you can, extend your promotions beyond the big day

One of the most effective ways to promote your app around the Black Friday event is to simply extend it beyond the day itself … infact, most brands do exactly that, promoting their best deals on the day, and offering discounts on best-selling products over the weekend and into Cyber Monday – 179.8 million unique shoppers made both in-store and online purchases during the Black Friday Cyber Monday holiday weekend last year, and we can expect more of the same in 2022. 

A final word

As online revenues from Black Friday events continue to grow exponentially and competition for a piece of the pie grows fiercer, a well-thought-through app campaign is crucial. By planning and implementing your Black Friday app strategy well in advance of your big event, you’ll be able to significantly boost your reach, drive app downloads, and enjoy increased sales this holiday season – and use your successes as a foundation for each big sale event you run throughout the year. 

To find out how Optimove is helping mobile marketers run successful campaigns all year round, let’s get the conversation started!

Sephora’s app-only deals boost app downloads in preparation for the big day
Preparation is key. Walmart – the most successful mobile app in the US during Black Friday 
Macy’s super-successful ‘Walk in and Win” Black Friday mobile app campaign, driving downloads and store visits
Amazon kick off their app campaigns in October to tease customers and boost conversions
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Bob Lawson

Bob Lawson is Director of Mobile Offerings at Optimove. He joined Optimove early in 2022, when it acquired Kumulos, the company he co-founded. Kumulos was a market-leading Mobile and Web Messaging Platform serving a broad range of industries. Bob has spent more than 18 years in technology, particularly Mobile MarTech. He has held commercially facing roles in start-ups, scale-ups, and large enterprise businesses, particularly in Mobile Technology. Before working in the Tech space, he spent 15 years in Financial Services, most recently as Marketing Director of one of Europe’s largest Fund Management Companies.