We’ve barely emptied our plastic pumpkins of Halloween candy, and holiday mania is already upon us. Christmas carols serenading us while we shop, festive lights twinkling through windows, eggnog-flavored drinks at every coffee shop—but how does this season impact your business? For starters, huge numbers of consumers use their smartphones while shopping—roughly 44% of shoppers as of last year, according to data published in Harvard Business Review. With mobile taking such a central role in influencing purchases, your app presents a tremendous business opportunity this holiday season.
Holidays can be overwhelming, and many businesses want to take advantage of their apps but just don’t know where to begin. So this year, our special gift to you is our app-tastic calendar, wrapped up with holiday marketing tips and ideas to take you through the holiday season.
So get ready to make the most out of the holiday season, create your app now if you haven’t done so already, and follow our guide to success!
Deck the Halls – It’s App Download Season (Nov. 23rd – Dec. 6th)
Anticipation of the holiday season brings us to our first step: preparation. It truly will be the most wonderful time of your year when your app gives you that coveted boost in holiday sales—but before the dough comes rolling in, you need to begin mixing the ingredients. This is the stage at which you start recruiting potential customers with a special app download push.
Let’s look at three ways to get your holiday shoppers downloading your app:
- In-store advertising. You are probably busy decking your halls with snowflakes and pine needles, but have you displayed one of Swiftic’s QR-enhanced storefront stickers yet? If not, now’s the time to take advantage of this free gift from us to you (shipped anywhere in the world). Advertising your app’s QR code is a great way to get people downloading your app. Besides your storefront sticker, try placing it on receipts, business cards, napkins, menus, and even your checkout countertop to advertise your mobile presence! You’d be surprised how many places your QR code can go.
- In-store promotion. Another fantastic way to get more app downloads is by offering a holiday promotion to customers who download your app. Once they’ve downloaded it, they can receive a mobile coupon, redeemable solely at your business. It can be for a free gift or an in-store discount—anything that offers value to your customers and gets them downloading your app. And don’t forget to jingle those bells: Advertise your app download promotion on all your social media channels to get the word out.
- E-commerce. Each year, online holiday shopping seems to creep up earlier and earlier, so make sure your app’s catalog and e-commerce features are up to date with your latest merchandise, marked-down prices, and special promotions. With consumers spending more and more time using mobile apps, don’t fall behind the curve.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow – Bring in Holiday Sales (Dec. 7th – 20th)
Now that you’ve spread the word and people are downloading your app, it’s time to start using your app as the mobile marketing and sales tool it’s meant to be! Bottom line: It’s not enough to have downloads galore—they need to lead to sales. And to make that happen, you need to get those people who have downloaded your app actually using it. So what’s the next step?
Turn your holiday downloads into holiday sales using these three app features:
- Push notifications. The most powerful feature that sets your app apart from your website is the push notification. And now, you can reach customers even more effectively with Swiftic’s new rich push notifications featuring pictures and HTML! Keep your customers informed throughout the season with friendly, cute, and holiday-themed reminders about your special sales. A countdown to your New Year’s blowout can also be valuable. Whatever unique promotions you are running, with a click of a button your customers will be instantly notified.
- Coupons. Don’t be a Grinch this holiday season! With virtually every store giving away holiday specials, you can’t afford to be that business that doesn’t give discounts. Create a special coupon as part of your holiday marketing strategy, exclusively for your online customers. Remember to include an appealing visual, a holiday-themed title, and of course a fantastic deal customers just can’t resist. And don’t forget to send out a push notification to get the word out.
- Holiday loyalty card. Creating a holiday loyalty card good from November through January is the perfect way to keep your customers coming back for more. Loyalty cards are easy to make, and adding holiday flair will give your customers a sense of urgency to use them during the holiday season. Add cute holiday stamps and a free offer your customers will love, and you’ve got yourself a golden opportunity to attract and retain customers!
Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Creating Loyal Customers (Dec. 21st – Jan. 3rd)
As we wind down the year, it’s time to connect with those last-minute holiday shoppers and foster ongoing customer loyalty. Use your app to close out this season with a powerful sales boost and plant the seeds for 2015’s sales!
Have a holly jolly time with these three holiday promotion ideas:
- In-store Instagram contest. Contests are some of the best opportunities to actively involve your customers, not to mention a great word-of-mouth tool. Bring out your customers creativity by creating a fun, holiday-inspired Instagram photo contest. Add our Instagram feature to your Swiftic app, and invent a unique Instagram #hashtag involving your business. Customers can then submit pictures of themselves with your products and post them on Instagram. Your hashtag will organize all the pictures together in one section on Instagram, where you can choose a few of your favorites and reward their owners with cool prizes.
- Thank you message. The holidays might be coming to an end, but the countdown to the New Year is just beginning. Take this moment to thank your customers for their loyalty. Close the year out right by sending an appreciative push notification. Simply say “Thank you,” and let your customers know how much you value them. People like receiving messages with no strings attached.
It’s your app’s time to shine bright throughout the holidays. Promoting and growing your business is literally at your fingertips—all you have to do is get your app into the holiday spirit. Let’s close out 2014 with a bang!
Maureen Hochdorf, Swiftic’s Business Content Writer, was a contributing writer for this post.