Why You Need to Get Your Retail App on Smartphones Before the Holidays

Oct 25, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

The busy holiday shopping season is only a matter of weeks away. It’s make or break time for many retailers hoping to hit the ground running and make this festive period the best yet. With more than 50% of online holiday purchases driven by mobile devices, the big focus for brands this year is optimizing how they engage their customers via their smartphones – and the smart money is focusing on retail apps.

According to a recent article in eMarketer, the time users spend on retail brands’ apps has eclipsed the mobile web with apps from Amazon, Etsy and Walmart respectively enjoying 76%, 71%, and 81% of mobile engagement. These huge brands, of course, have a major advantage over less-well-known names in the retail sector. Their vast online presences, significant traditional media budgets and (in the case of Walmart) millions of acres of physical retail space, make it easier for them to sell the benefits to their customer bases of downloading and engaging with their apps.

This represents a big problem for smaller retailer brands. If the big guys, with their vast retail offerings, get in first with their app, why should anyone bother downloading anything else?

Building a Mobile Marketing Platform

The big guys know, if they can get their app on a device, there is a huge range of benefits they can exploit.

Owning the mobile retail environment enables them to promote coupons or special offers, drive membership to lucrative loyalty and rewards programs, encourage user-generated content in the form of reviews and ratings, and of course sell more.

The more skilled they become at exploiting the mobile platform, the harder it becomes for their competition to find prime real estate in the already crowded app ecosystem.

Mobile Log Jam

It’s not just the quality of service and the range of goods offered by the big guys that stop smartphone users from downloading competitive brands’ apps.

Research shows that nearly 50% of smartphone owners do not download apps to their devices because they already have too many apps on their smartphones.

The problem of this mobile log jam is compounded when brands are targeting smartphone users who don’t necessarily have lots of free space on their devices. It’s worth remembering, that just because a smartphone owner doesn’t see the value of owning the latest high-spec device with lots of spare memory space, it doesn’t mean they do not have access to a significant disposable income.

Further Reading: App Usage through the Ages – Targeting Older, More Lucrative Users.

Beat the Big Guys at their Own Game

Smaller brands shouldn’t be too disheartened by the dominance big names retailers hold over the market. While the big brands have all the advantages afforded by big budgets, deeper market penetration, etc., a smaller brand can be more agile in their attempts to capture market share. This represents a huge advantage in the mobile age when a business’s fortunes can rise and fall in the time it takes to post a tweet or Instagram/Snapchat story.

If you are ready to make a quick decision, there is still time to position your app in-front of everyone else’s on the home screen of millions of new smartphones in time for the holidays with a pre-loading campaign from Digital Turbine.

Further Reading: Superstar Apps: What Are Native App Preloads and Why Do They Matter?

The Benefits of Pre-Loading

A pre-loading campaign enables marketers to position their apps ahead of the conversation, leaving rival brands (potentially including those larger competitors) in the log jam further down the river.

Pre-loaded apps are available the moment a new device is unboxed and powered-up, dramatically improving discoverability and enhancing opportunities for engagement. A pre-loaded campaign also helps elevate users’ concerns about fraud. This is important because 34% of smartphone users cite “security” for not downloading apps.

Pre-loading can be targeted to specific devices, networks, and geographies, reducing marketing waste. Simply put, pre-loading puts the right app in front of the right person at the right time.

Once a pre-loaded app is activated, all the benefits available to those big brands (coupons, loyalty programs, etc.) fall into the hands of those smaller but equally agile brands. Essentially pre-loading opens the door for any brand to do great things.

Further Reading: Why Legacy Retail Brands Must Adopt a More Robust App-Based Strategy.

Demonstrate Your Agility

There is still time to launch your pre-loading campaign in time for the holidays but availability is limited. Demonstrate your agility today by talking to one of our app marketing experts to learn how pre-loading can help you build your retail brand ahead of the competition.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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