October has come and gone in the blink of an eye and now the busy holiday season is quickly approaching. It’s time to bring together family and friends, shop until you drop and make those end of year goals come true. Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry – apps are here to help!
Consumers rely on apps during this season to make their lives more convenient and to save valuable time. App downloads reached 36.1 billion in Q4 of 2021, a 2.7% year-over-year increase, which we expect to match if not surpass this year. App marketers need to lean into this busy time and maximize their return on investment in order to capture active users and retain loyal ones.
The holidays have become synonymous with shopping. Everywhere from grocery stores to malls become crowded and overrun with last minute consumers, battling for the last of each seasonal item. It’s estimated that retailers account for up to 40% of their company’s sales during this crucial period. To meet the insane consumer demand, many retailers have turned to mobile apps to capture their audiences and make the most of this busy season.
Shoppers prefer to get the majority of their holiday shopping done within mobile app platforms. Americans are expected to spend over 150 million hours on Android shopping apps this holiday season, and 64% of consumers will use their mobile phone or tablet to shop during this time.
Source: Business of Apps
With this organic increase in downloads and shopping app usage, mobile marketers have a unique opportunity to capture users during the holiday season. Investing in growth campaigns to remind users of holiday sales, items they’ve previously shown interest in, or any other promotions will be successful, with nearly half of mobile shopping app users surveyed noting that mobile ads have influenced their gift decisions.
Shopping app marketers need to double down on this extremely profitable time of year and make sure they are creating messaging that will resonate with their customers. Ads that provide rewards or extra savings have a particularly positive impact during the holiday season. Offer coupons or discounts if the user purchases before a certain date. This not only creates a sense of urgency for the user but also saves them from last minute holiday shopping panic.
With November and December providing multiple days off from school and breaks from the office, it’s the perfect time to plan a getaway or travel to visit family and friends for any holiday celebrations. Nearly 47% of Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, despite rising travel costs. According to Delta’s CEO, advance holiday season bookings are up significantly over last year and the demand for air travel is stronger than ever.
Using travel apps is a helpful way to find discounts, make last minute changes, and streamline your trip each step of the way. In fact, 61% of US travelers have booked and paid for travel through their smartphone within the past year. Top features that consumers look for in their travel apps include real-time flight alerts, a seamless user interface to search and book flights, and the ability to save and consolidate their entire itinerary in one place.
Successful travel app marketers focus on users' concern and making sure that they offer rewards. Offering discounts or points when users buy within the app is a way to create a win-win scenario for both the app and end users. By using location information, marketers can target users in a specific area or climate and push or promote specific trip offers tailored to their circumstances. They can also suggest new offers deemed successful with lookalike audiences.
With shorter days and colder weather, staying inside and finding entertainment indoors becomes extremely appealing. Sitting by a fire listening to your favorite holiday playlist or watching a seasonal classic is a must during these end of year months. Streaming app usage surged in 2021 during the holidays right up to the new year with installs for music streaming apps 86% higher than the annual average. Music streaming apps in particular spiked during the new year by 24%.
According to Spotify, listeners in the US start streaming seasonal classics in early November. By the end of the month, holiday streaming goes completely global. This means that there is no time to waste when it comes to marketing holiday promos!
Get users excited about this time of year by sending them messaging around new seasonal movies that will be available through your app. Utilize nostalgia when it comes to video and other creatives to entice users to start using your platform. Starting holiday promotions early will be the key to success when it comes to streaming apps as users are more than ready to get into the holiday spirit. Draw users back to your app by creating your campaigns at the very start of the holiday season!
There are so many amazing things to look forward to during the holiday season, however, many of us can’t help but think about our new year's resolutions that are just around the corner. It’s common for people to struggle while balancing indulgence and health during the winter months. This is where wellness apps come into play.
During 2021, fitness apps generated $5.35 billion revenue, a 54% increase on the year prior. Forecasts predict that at-home wellness apps are going to continue to gain in popularity as people become more used to them. Additionally, it’s well known that January is the biggest period of growth for fitness and wellness apps as people try to start their year on a positive note.
Source: Business of Apps
From the mental wellness side, it’s estimated that Americans are five times more likely to say their level of stress increases rather than decreases during the holidays. Studies also show that 55% of Americans experience the holiday blues, with many saying their loneliness is worse than the previous year. To top this all off, 58% of Americans aren’t completely satisfied with their health insurance plan’s mental health coverage. This is where mental wellness apps step in to give users the relief and comfort they need during these hard months.
Wellness app marketers have the opportunity to gain users before the new year and create a sense of loyalty with their audience. Apps such as Peloton are creating seasonal challenges to generate user participation and consistency. Creating a sense of community and togetherness when it comes to well-being helps users feel the value of your app. Mental health apps such as Headspace remind their users to embrace their every feeling during the holidays. They use seasonal messaging and play upon the mixed emotions that these months bring.
Takeaways of Mobile Apps: Santa's Little Helpers
Consumers rely on apps during the holiday season to make their lives more convenient and save time. With app downloads reaching an astounding 36.1 billion in Q4 of 2021, it’s the perfect time for app marketers to lean into this busy time and capture active users and retain loyal ones. Below are a few of the app verticals that peak during the holiday season.
- Shopping Apps: Americans are expected to spend over 150 million hours on Android shopping apps this holiday season. With the increase in downloads and shopping app usage, mobile marketers have a unique opportunity to capture users during the holiday season. Try offering coupons or discounts if users make purchases before a certain date!
- Travel Apps: 61% of US travelers have booked and paid for travel through their smartphone within the past year and 47% of Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, despite rising travel costs. Travel app marketers should hone in on users' concerns by offering customized rewards and a seamless user experience during their travel journey.
- Streaming Apps: Streaming app usage surges during the holiday season. According to Spotify, listeners in the US start streaming seasonal classics in early November. This means that there is no time to waste when it comes to marketing holiday promos!
- Wellness Apps: It’s well known that January is the biggest period of growth for fitness and wellness apps as people kick off the new year on a positive note. This means app marketers have the opportunity to gain users before the new year and create a sense of loyalty with their audience. Try starting group challenges before the holiday to create a sense of community within your audience.