Oct 21, 2019 | By poq

Holiday shopping is starting earlier: Is your app ready?


Your shoppers are downloading apps in preparation for Black Friday as many as 3 weeks before the sales. And, Black Friday sales are starting earlier every Holiday season.

Here are our top 5 tips to make sure your app is ready.

1. Minimize the risk of crashes and bugs

Freeze the deployment of changes to your app over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and we recommend the week before Black Friday too. If you plan to host early Holiday sales in the run-up to Black Friday, we suggest you ask your app team/app provider to freeze the deployment of changes for these days too. 

Freezing the deployment of changes means your customers will have a smoother shopping experience on a stable app version, free from last-minute changes. It’s risky business to launch an update to your app just before Black Friday as any unforeseen issues that arise will have a bigger impact than on an average trading day.

2. Plan what you can in advance

Plan ahead. Schedule your push notifications ahead of time to target your shoppers when they are most likely to purchase. Being prepared and maximising the time you have available for ad hoc issues over these most crucial days of the year is critical.

In 2018, we found that Black Friday shopper browsing on app peaked at 6pm but actually most app money was spent at 10pm. 

Top tip: Create a fear of missing out on sales around 9pm-10pm through push notifications to drive shoppers back to your app.

3. Ramp up your loyalty perks

Your loyal customers generate most of your revenue. Reward them. Encourage your loyal customers to shop and interact with you over Black Friday with early access to sales, rewarding app specific-activities (like downloading, reviewing or sharing your app) and points earning.

Watch our webinar on loyalty and app commerce with Antavo to find out how to run a successful loyalty programme in the age of app commerce.

Watch the webinar now

4. Can your app handle the traffic?

Scale up your servers and thoroughly load test your app for the growth in app traffic. It couldn’t be more important to ensure your shopping app can deal with the increase in traffic. 

Black Friday sales expected to grow 11%-14% year-over-year according to the NRF. And shoppers spend 5x more time in app per user than mobile websites

You need to make sure your app can handle your customers shopping for longer and more frequently throughout the high traffic days. There’s nothing more frustrating to your customers than downtime.

5. Get notified

So, you’ve fully prepared for peak trading, and you have planned for every scenario, but what if the unexpected happens? You need a backup plan. Ensure your systems have the correct level of monitoring and alerting in place to quickly identify and resolve issues as they arise.

Bonus points if your system has the resilience to be able to identify and resolve issues itself, automatically by scaling on demand during busy periods without the need for manual intervention.

Want to know more about how app shoppers behave over the Holiday sales? Download our guide for tips on how to maximise sales over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Get my copy now

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