Black Friday is dying, so an ever more recurrent claim in the retail industry. At least this is the reality for traditional brick-and-mortar stores. People’s shopping behavior has shifted more and more from in-store to in-app. And the most anticipated shopping day of the year, known for its crowded, signposted stores, is becoming less likely to turn the ship around.

Whereas the lines at the brick-and-mortar stores are vanishing, you reach out to your mobile to anticipate the year’s hottest Black Friday deals. You fill your virtual shopping carts with the exact items you have been sneaking around in the online store, wait until the deal-day, type in the promo code, press “BUY”, relax. A behavior that has become seemingly rational, but enfolds into big excitement on delivery day.

Black Friday is expected to become the largest online sales day in 2017, surpassing last year’s online sales of $3.34B, and outperforming Cyber Monday if its online sales keep increasing at the same pace of 22% like last year, according to Adobe and eMarketer.

If you are a shopping app marketer, it’s vital to have a mobile strategy around Black Friday as more people than ever before are likely shop on their apps this year. To put things into perspective, 50% of all mobile shoppers make their purchases via app to this date, and 34.5% of online shopping is predicted to be done on mobile devices this year, according to eMarketer. Last year on Black Friday, app downloads skyrocketed with a 166% increase for major shopping apps, while app downloads already increased 50% during the week just before Black Friday, according to Glispa data.

That tells us, not only are you on the bright side of Black Friday when hosting numerous app visitors that day, people will also prep to shop on your app in advance. So let’s don’t waste time and face the challenges you need to tackle in your dedicated mobile strategy:

  Bridge the gap between people’s expectations and experience: Shopping apps are repeatedly replacing the physical shopping habits and people want to use them to their full potential. Make the experience for people as smooth as possible.

  Don’t stop at the install: Mobile strategies around Black Friday should comprise of both installs and engagement. Have strategies around post-install engagement metrics that signal a valuable customer.

How to implement these? Follow these five rules to make the most out of your mobile strategy around Black Friday.

1. Give people incentives to download your app

Offer special discounts for first-time downloaders to increase people to shop with you such as 10% off your first purchase or free shipping, suggested by eMarketer. Offer people the chance to win a prize when downloading your app. You can also reward your users for referring friends to download within a given time frame building excitement up to Black Friday.

2. Offer specific in-app deals

eMarketer surveyed, 68% of the people use apps to receive deals and special offers. By offering special deals and offers available in-app only entices people to download and shop in-app even more. A must during Black Friday. If you are a Bricks-and-Clicks retailer, provide your app visitors with special features they can redeem in your physical store such as loyalty cards or scanners (AppAnnie).

3. Make the checkout experience friction free

47% of people use apps to avoid going to physical stores, according to eMarketer. It’s important to make the in-app shopping experience as easy as possible. Around half of the app users are unsatisfied with a slow checkout process, surveyed eMarketer. As a result, more than half of mobile shopping carts are abandoned, according to Amazon Pay. All the more reason to make your checkout process short and simple. Use Black Friday to invite your shoppers to reactivate their abandoned carts and benefit from savings. Incorporate hassle-free payment options like Android Pay, Apple Pay or Paypal, which increase your conversion rate by 2-3X, as reported by AppAnnie.

4. Relevant ads

88% of the holiday shoppers who start shopping on Black Friday say they want to see ads, as long as they come from brands that are relevant to them. 46% prefer to see ads with discounts. Work with your ad partner/distribution partner to come up with a media strategy when distributing advertisements. Know who your target audiences are, build persona’s around them and share that information with your ad partners.

5. Retain users

Once you have people hooked from Black Friday, make your strategy sustainable by using email marketing and push notifications to keep users interested. Thank people for shopping at your store or remind them not to forget their abandoned cart. Check in with a personal, sensible tone to those who have been inactive for a while by letting them know about new arrivals and special offers. Generally, be conversational, funny. And of course: give exclusive in-app offers!

Julia Buchterkirchen

Content Marketing Manager | Glispa

Julia is the Content Marketing Manager at Glispa with an affinity for storytelling and creating purpose. From startup to scale-up, she has worked in ad tech companies in Tel Aviv and Berlin.

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