The Holiday Season is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time for the US to kick it into high gear and do what we do best: shop! With the gross sales and number of Black Friday shoppers increasing steadily every year, we are poised to have one of the biggest Black Fridays on record. The holiday promotions continue to start earlier and earlier each year, which means retailers need to do everything possible to stay ahead of the competition and make the most of this season.

Recent data has shown that the steady shift in shopping habits from brick and mortar to online and mobile has reached a new height: while Black Friday 2016 was the first $1 billion mobile shopping day in the US, Black Friday 2017 is set to top this, making it the biggest mobile shopping day ever recorded. According to data gathered by App Annie, this year during the week of Black Friday the US is expected to spend nearly 45 million hours in shopping apps on Android phones alone, which is over a 45% increase in the past two years.

For retailers this is great news. More time spent in apps means more purchases are made, which increases revenue and creates more loyal customers.

To break this data down further, we anticipate that in the US on Black Friday well over 6 million hours will be spent on Android phones alone in the top five Digital-First apps, which include retail apps with little to no brick and mortar presence. This shows a 40% increase from last year’s Black Friday. The top five retail apps that also have a prominent brick and mortar presence aren’t expected to have quite the same level of time spent in-app, but the data shows that they should see 30% growth in time spent from last year.

This rise in mobile commerce use also means that mobile retailers have a greater opportunity to reach overseas markets. In Japan, it’s expected that there will be a 65% increase from two years ago in time spent in shopping apps, and about a 45% increase in the UK.

In light of this data, it’s more and more apparent that retailers (whether digital-first or traditional) need to prioritize mobile, especially during this holiday season. By optimizing mobile traffic and user acquisition during Black Friday when consumers are the most active and willing to make purchases, retailers can set a trajectory for continued growth and engagement that could last far beyond the promotional period itself. Retailers should prioritize user acquisition and engagement over all else, and here are a few things to focus on:

  1. App Store Optimization (ASO): Retailers should give the most people the highest chance possible of finding and downloading their app, and this comes down to ASO. Check out our article on how to improve ASO for the full run down on how to do this.
  2. User Engagement: App-exclusive deals, promotions and rewards are the key to upping user engagement. For retailers with a brick and mortar store as well as mobile, leveraging the physical store to complement and promote the app can be a very effective strategy as well.
  3. Marketing: The weeks leading up to Black Friday is the time when retailers can get the most bang for their buck in terms of ads and marketing. Our article on how to drive traffic to your e-commerce app is a helpful asset to learn more about how to optimize marketing at this critical time.

Overall, it is expected that retailers will buckle down on their mobile strategy this Black Friday, and ignoring the data could be very detrimental to a retail business. Sandbox Commerce is the number one provider of native apps for e-commerce, and we are highly experienced in creating seamless customer journeys that include native apps, automated push notifications, and email marketing integration. During this time when mobile commerce is on the rise with no end in sight, it is vital that retailers create high quality mobile apps that will optimize their business. Contact us to improve or create you mobile commerce app today!


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