Is Your App Ready for the Holidays?
Through analyzing the results of 2014 holiday shopping data and meshing it with 2015 predictions, we predict mobile will drive $55 billion in 2015 holiday purchases.
US consumers spent $617 billion last holiday season, with online purchases making $102 billion, and total holiday spending is projected to increase by 4.1% this year. Mobile purchases accounted for around half of all online holiday purchases in 2014, which roughly breaks down to $51 billion of total holiday spend coming from mobile.
Ecommerce is growing faster than overall retail sales, and did 6.8% growth last year. If we assume this growth continues, we can conservatively predict that growth will be around 7% in 2015. Because US shoppers are predicted to spend around $642 billion over the 2015 holidays, about $109 billion will come from ecommerce.
Amazon, Ebay, and other ecommerce giants have reported mobile makes up about half of their overall revenue, and because they make up such a large share of current mobile purchasing, we’ll use them as the benchmark. With $109 billion being spent on ecommerce and about half of that spend coming from mobile, we predict mobile will pull in around $55 billion this holiday season.
Whew, that was some serious number crunching. Let’s move on to what this all means for your app.
To the best apps go the holiday revenue
The holidays are a hectic time for all retailers as they juggle their in-store and online presence, but this year, making sure retail apps re in tip-top shape before the holidays is more important than ever before.
In our recent retail app consumer survey, 74% of people who use retail mobile apps plan to use them to do at least some of their holiday shopping this year. Of survey respondents who used retail mobile apps at least once in the last month, 81% of them plan on using them to do at least some of their holiday shopping this year. Retailers need to brace themselves for a surge in in-app traffic during the 2015 holiday season, and if there app isn’t looking its best, there’s a fair chance customers will go elsewhere for their holiday shopping needs.
I know what you’re thinking: “Many of my customers surely will still prefer to shop in-store, so I don’t have to worry too much if my app doesn’t look its best.” Oh, dear marketing friend, if it were only that easy!
Of our survey respondents who reported they prefer to shop in-store, 47% said at least some of their holiday shopping will be done using retail mobile apps this year. Just because customers haven’t bought on mobile doesn’t mean they aren’t influenced by the mobile brand presence of retailers, further solidifying the importance of omni-channel branding. Retailers cannot ignore the importance of mobile apps as an acquisition and distribution tool.
Tips to improve your app before the holidays
Even though the holiday season may seem lightyears away, there’s not much time left before most teams go into October code freeze.
Here are three quick tips you can use to make the most out of the short runway leading up to the holidays:
1. Get your app’s rating to at least four stars
A high rating in the app stores has never been more important. If your brand is spending heavily on user acquisition and your app isn’t at least four-stars, you’re wasting your money in acquisition when you should be spending it to improve your rating.
But how big of a difference can one star rating really make? Based on our research around ratings and reviews, a bigger impact than you might think:
- 15% of respondents said they would consider downloading an app with a 2-star average rating
- 50% would consider downloading an app with a 3-star rating
- 96% would consider downloading an app with a 4-star rating
TL;DR: Ratings matter a heck of a lot!
2. Understand what mobile shoppers care about
The more you understand about what your mobile customers want, the better in-app experience you can provide.
We’ve learned mobile shoppers care about a diverse set of criteria, stack-ranked below:
Can your app stack up to its competition in these areas? Where are the pieces of low-hanging fruit you can improve upon before your team goes into code freeze? Now is the time to push to get a few quick wins.
3. Enhance the in-store shopping experience through your app
It’s clear a large portion of potential shoppers will be engaging with your brand through its app, whether you’re ready or not. Why not enhance the in-store shopping experience through your mobile app by offering unique discounts, personalized experiences, and in-app only offers?
Our data shows 51% of people who retail apps will use an app while shopping in-store. Their reasons for using apps in-store varies, with the top five reasons including: redeeming in-store discounts, comparing prices, viewing product ratings & reviews, to find products, and to earn reward points. The better an experience is with a brand’s app, the more delighted its customers will be, positioning them to spend more in the near-term and become loyal over time.
Do you have additional thoughts on how retailers can improve their apps before the holiday rush? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the past. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Good luck, and happy holiday prep!