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5 Ways to Win This Holiday Season with Mobile App Marketing

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and incorporating mobile personalization that meets customers meaningfully on mobile will be crucial. Here are five quick ways to effectively reach customers on their phones this peak season. 
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For most people, the holiday season is the last thing on their mind as the summer begins to wane. But marketers, on the other hand, know all too well that it's holiday planning crunch-time, especially as the upcoming busy season is poised to be just as unpredictable and early as the last. 

As a result of Covid-19, the days of traditions such as midnight Black Friday hauls, cramped shopping malls, and long line campouts for new product releases may soon be numbered. In fact, major brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have already announced that they will be closed for Thanksgiving again, which will likely drive even more shoppers online and solidify eCommerce as the top destination for convenient and safe holiday shopping.

Enter smartphones into the eCommerce conversation. It's no secret that people are more dependent on their phones than ever, so dependent that one in five people would rather go without shoes for a week than take a break from their phone. For marketers, this makes for a safe bet that mobile is on its way to becoming the preferred channel for product discovery and purchasing. To put the mobile usage boost into further perspective, Statista shared that in 2021, 53.9% of all retail e-commerce expects to be generated directly from mobile commerce. 

So the question is, what can marketers do now to ensure they're making the most of the mobile channel this holiday season? There's an easy answer. Strategizing quick mobile wins that meet customers where they are shopping ensures a marketing approach ready to grow with the next generation of shoppers.

If you're looking to up your brand's mobile game, here are five quick ways to effectively reach customers on their phones this holiday season. 

Will BOPIS evolve to BOMPIS?

If marketers learned anything from last year's holiday craziness, it's that BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in-store) isn't going anywhere. According to eMarketer, approximately ⅓ of all eCommerce orders in the week before Christmas 2020 were BOPIS, highlighting how consumers shifted channels to get items in time for the holidays. Rapid order fulfillment is now a customer expectation, and for brands to get ahead this holiday, they'll need to offer an array of fulfillment options across channels. 

BOPIS strategies now create a huge opportunity for buying on mobile and picking up in-store. (let's call it BOMPIS?) As mobile app usage continues to rise, apps expect to generate over $156 billion in consumer app spend by 2022, heightening the need for marketers to prioritize app experiences this holiday season and provide users convenient fulfillment options that meet their needs.

In this example, store information is paired with first-party data to populate a customer's preferred store location on file, information about the location's fulfillment options, and applicable services. But what if there’s no first-party data available for the user? With Movable Ink, IP locations are still available to harness in the mobile channel so that users can receive personalized information about stores in their recent proximity. Sent through an in-app message or rich push notification, marketers can include pick-up locations and even display their store's available products to make the in-store experience is as quick and seamless as possible.

Did you leave “Mobile Behavior” in your cart?

Mobile abandonment rates are much higher than desktop - up to 85% on mobile devices. Therefore, capturing the attention of app shoppers and capitalizing on missed revenue is a smart way to stand out against competitors, other offers, and the hecticness of the holiday season. 

Marketers utilizing behaviors such as abandoned carts or browse in email will need to replicate their behavior strategies in the mobile channel this holiday season. In the below Inkredible Retail notification, the user receives an abandoned cart campaign that mirrors trigger emails typically sent when a customer abandons an action. The notification personalizes to remind the user that the item they left is still available, noting that the product is a best seller to muster up a little urgency. The rich push notification goes a step further to not only alert the consumer about their abandoned product but displays an eye-catching visual of the product that stands out on the screen. 

Loyalty is Holiday Strategy Royalty

Customers are overwhelmed with messages coming from all angles during the holiday season, so it's important to remind, thank, and encourage further shopping by celebrating their loyalty. By tapping into zero and first-party data, including favorite categories to shop, amount of money saved, and rewards points, leveraging loyalty can be a great mobile tactic to deepen customer relationships. 

In this example, Inkredible Retail utilizes first-party loyalty data in the form of an in-app message to provide the user with a quick snapshot of their relationship with the brand by showcasing points earned and urging them to take advantage of exclusive opportunities. This tactic can be extra powerful during the holiday season, particularly if rewards points expire or shift on an annual basis.

Is there a better time to use a countdown timer than Cyber Week?

Time-sensitive content helps to drive urgency, which is critical to capture attention during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. While privacy updates such as Apple’s iOS 15 make countdown timers challenging with content caching in email, timers can be a great addition to mobile strategy. Unlike email, the content inside the app can still be “real-time.” 

In this example, a countdown timer is used to drive urgency for shoppers to a special sale coming up for Black Friday. There’s also a call-to-action for shoppers opt-in to push notifications, so they don’t miss out on the action. With time-sensitive content, brands can better inform shoppers in a way that helps guide their purchasing decisions and even add another layer of helpful information such as shipping cut-off times or limited-time offers.

Make it Fun with Mobile Scratch-Offs & AR Experiences

Brands that will win this holiday will execute strategies that stop consumers in their tracks. Scratch-offs and AR experiences are a powerful way to demonstrate to customers that the brand’s marketing is inventive, engaging, and has a fun factor. 

Scratch-offs fit well with mystery, special, and even secret offers, which can be perfect for Cyber Week strategies that revolve around exclusivity or urgency, ultimately offering shoppers what, in their eyes, is the ultimate deal. With the scratch-off seen below, the campaign leads to a dedicated landing page where customers receive a gamified experience by “scratching” to reveal their special discount.

AR experiences are continuing to rise across the retail industry. Once simply nice to have, AR is now a utility in which many consumers have expanded the way they interact with products due to the pandemic making in-store interactions more difficult and impossible in some places. Shopify found a 94% increase in conversions for content employing 3D models and AR (vs. those without). In the example below, we see an AR experience used to help drive product engagement, consideration, and conversion by enabling users to interact with products before purchasing.

While the holiday season may be rapidly approaching, there’s still time to start incorporating a mobile personalization strategy that meets customers meaningfully in their mobile moment. The time to prioritize mobile marketing was yesterday, and the brands that will succeed this holiday season will be gearing up to make their mobile marketing stronger than ever. If you'd like to use AR in your holiday campaigns, reach out to your account team to join the  AR research program we currently have underway.

For more holiday strategy inspiration, download our State of Retail Holiday Marketing 2021 eBook here

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