Leverage the Holiday Shopping Season: A Strategy Guide for mobile marketers

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Robert Wildner, Co-founder and CEO at Avow, offers a guide to major end-of-year Shopping Seasons, and explains how brands can leverage them to best effect. 

The holiday season, filled with festivals and shopping bonanzas, provides an unmissable opportunity for marketers to amplify their brand presence and boost sales. With the proliferation of mobile usage, marketers are increasingly leaning towards mobile platforms to launch their campaigns and promotions. This article sheds light on how mobile marketers can harness the potential of the holiday shopping season by engaging with customers during major events and holidays such as Singles Day Black Friday & Cyber Monday, and Christmas.

Understanding the major end-of-year Shopping Seasons

Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Originating from the United States but celebrated globally, these events signal the onset of the Christmas shopping season. Steep discounts and colossal sales are emblematic of this period, urging marketers to deploy strategies that harness the buying fervor of the masses.

Singles Day (11.11): Known as “11.11” or “Double Eleven”, is a large online shopping event, taking place annually on 11 November. It originated in China as a celebration for single individuals, with the number “1” representing that individual, and was popularized by the eCommerce giant, Alibaba, in 2009 as a shopping holiday. Since then ,it has grown exponentially and has been embraced by numerous eCommerce platforms and retailers, not only in China but globally.

Christmas: A globally celebrated holiday, Christmas not only signifies joy and togetherness, but also stands out as a prominent shopping festival, with consumers actively seeking gifts and special offers.

Seasonal Shopping in the Mobile Era
During Black Friday in the United States, a significant 40 per cent of purchases in 2022 were facilitated through mobile interfaces, a proportion expected to balloon to 50 per cent by the subsequent year. Even the quintessentially global festival of Christmas observes a similar trend. The yuletide season of 2022 experienced 35 per cent of all US Christmas purchases through mobile channels, with anticipated growth nudging this figure towards 40 per cent by 2023.

Singles Day has steadily grown into one of the largest shopping events not just in China but in the world, with sales estimated at $157bn in 2022. In 13 years, Singles Day has seen overwhelming growth to the tune of 10,000 times, making Singles Day sales volume dwarf that of Black Friday in the US 10 times over.

On a broader scale, the global canvas of mobile shopping sales reached an astonishing $3.5 trillion in 2022, with forecasts predicting a surge to $5.4 trillion by 2026. Indeed, mobile shopping, representing 70 per cent of all global eCommerce sales, has permeated various product domains with electronics, fashion, and home goods emerging as preeminent categories. Particularly noteworthy is its adoption in emerging markets like India and LATAM where it constitutes the majority of all eCommerce sales. Retailers, confronted with these staggering numbers, recognize that a premium, user-centric mobile shopping experience is not just beneficial but indispensable, especially during pinnacle periods like Black Friday and Christmas.

In Brazil, 2022 saw black Friday sales hit a staggering $1.2bn , indicating just how large a shopping event it is in LATAM’s largest economy. Thus, ensuring the mobile user journey is seamless, intuitive, and festively engaging becomes imperative for brands aiming to capitalize on the colossal waves of the holiday shopping season.

Partnering with Mobile OEMs and Alternative App Stores

Provide Exclusive Offers
Collaborate with mobile Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, OnePlus, realme, Itel, Tecno and Infinix to offer exclusive deals and promotions on their platforms. Special app bundles, exclusive in-app purchases, or early access to sales for specific device users can amplify customer acquisition.

Optimize App Store Listings (ASO)
Optimize app listings on alternative app stores by focusing on keywords and descriptions that align with holiday shopping trends. An effective ASO strategy, complemented by compelling visuals and app store featuring, can enhance app visibility and downloads.

Prominent Placement in App Stores
Get your app featured on the alternative app stores through special mobile OEM collaborations. This could be a banner featuring your app on the main page, your app appearing as a recommended or featured app, or even as a special featuring of your app as part of the holiday or sale season.

Co-branded campaigns
Engage in co-branded campaigns with mobile OEMs to harness their user base. Crafting campaigns that intertwine your brand’s offerings with the OEM’s products can create a mutually beneficial marketing dynamic.

Strategies to Optimize Mobile Marketing During the Holiday Season

Festive app design: engaging content and user-friendly interfaces
Develop an app that resonates with the festive mood by incorporating thematic designs, user-friendly interfaces, and festive content. Tailoring app experiences to the specificities of each holiday (e.g., incorporating Diwali-themed visuals or Christmas-inspired interfaces) can augment user engagement.

Promote holiday spirit with personalized push notifications
Deploy personalized push notifications that align with the holiday theme. Messages highlighting limited-time offers, exclusive discounts, or special holiday bundles can induce urgency among consumers and drive app engagements and purchases.

Reach the right audience by utilizing geotargeting strategies
Employ geotargeting to send location-specific offers and promotions. This strategy is particularly crucial during Christmas, where regional variations in celebrations might necessitate tailored marketing approaches.

Data-driven marketing: harnessing insights for effective campaigns
Leverage data analytics to comprehend user behavior and purchasing patterns. Insights derived from user data can inform marketing strategies, enabling marketers to craft campaigns that are resonant and effective. This is where a trusted partner working with mobile OEMs is crucial. At AVOW, we don’t just speak data, but breathe it. To that end, our proprietary technology AVOW Intelligence captures and aggregates data from each mobile OEM we work with, painting a holistic picture from which we can draw insights, make optimisations, and clue you in on the best way to make your holiday shopping campaign work for you.

Mobile OEMs: paving the way for future success
One client who has seen the power mobile OEMs can bring to the table is Brazilian retail giant Magalu, which operates 1,113 stores in 819 cities. “Black Friday is a whirlwind of deals and discounts, and using mobile OEMs allows us to cut through the noise and connect with customers in a more direct and impactful way. After observing its value in our campaigns last year, we expect it to be a game-changer not only for our holiday sales but to also strengthen our brand in the minds of consumers,” remarked Diogo Lacerda, Senior Coordinator for Marketing Ecommerce-App at Magalu.

The amalgamation of strategic mobile marketing initiatives, collaborations with mobile OEMs, and a keen understanding of the holiday shopping seasons can create a mélange that propels brand visibility and user engagement. By combining the festive spirit with robust mobile marketing strategies, brands can etch memorable imprints on consumers, not just during the holiday season but beyond.

Mobile marketers, while embedding their strategies within the cultural and emotional contexts of Black Friday & Cyber Monday, and Christmas, should underscore values of joy, togetherness, and generosity, ultimately forging deeper connections with consumers and navigating them towards meaningful engagements and conversions.