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The Mobile Minute: Mobile Apps & The 2013 Christmas Season

Posted on 12/24/2013 by in Mobile Apps Reasons to go Mobile Mobile Commerce Mobile Websites Mobile App Minute

As Flurry reported last year, the amount of device activations skyrockets on Christmas day (for obvious reasons). Naturally, along with it comes a massive deluge of downloads. In 2012, the total was well over 300 million. Total downloads numbers were up by a huge margin for 2013. In addition, Christmas day device activations tend to favor tablets. While the ordinary split is about 80% smartphones, 20% tablets, on Christmas Day, the split is about 50/50.

As Flurry reported last year, the amount of device activations skyrockets on Christmas day (for obvious reasons). 

So, what does all this mean for small business apps, now that Christmas is over?

Well, first of all, we want to congratulate those small businesses that got their apps out before year-end – we’re guessing you saw a nice bump in downloads over the holiday. For the rest, the message is pretty clear – get your app up and running so that you can enjoy the coming holiday boosts of 2014!

The boosts aren’t confined just to Christmas either.

It stands to reason that any holiday which leaves users free to fiddle with their devices will be a good day for small businesses that have an app out. This means that holidays are a great time for app promotion, as well. A simple standee inside your location with a “Download our app, get a 10% off coupon” offer will do well on the holidays when everyone has a hot new device in hand.

The other lesson from the massive holiday download volumes is that apps are insanely popular. With each Christmas bringing a record-breaking number of downloads and new users to the world of apps, it’s hard to argue that apps won’t be an important part of any business’s 2014 marketing strategy. There’s a mobile device in almost every hand now, and a mobile screen in front of every face.

Another interesting fact is the peak of mobile shopping occurs on Christmas Eve itself! xAd, a global mobile-location ad platform recently issued some amazing data about Christmas shopping:

That’s right! Christmas Eve sees 24% more mobile shopper traffic than Black Friday itself.

Some have opined that the peak is due to customers trying to figure out which places are still open. That is, last-minute shoppers are heading home after work on Christmas Eve, or are finally getting in gear, and their mad dash begins the way so many things do nowadays – with a mobile search. Rather than wasting precious seconds driving to Best Buy, or to the local beauty boutique, or to the jewelry store, only to find that it’s not open, customers need to know the $64,000 question:

“What time do you guys close tonight?”

Honestly, it would be very smart to have your mobile website display your hours front and center on Christmas Eve. It would free up your employees to, you know, actually help customers during the maddest of the mad rushes. Not a bad strategy, eh? Also, if your store tends to experience near-riot conditions on Christmas Eve, it would be really nice if the phones weren’t ringing off the hook with people asking for simple information, right?

Anyhow, folks in the mobile world are calling it “Mobile Eve” (the people who don’t like “X-mas,” are really going to love that). About three days prior to Christmas, mobile activity levels reach Black Friday levels. Then, they continue to rise to a fever pitch until they hit their peak on Christmas Eve.

For small businesses and large businesses alike, the advice from Monica Ho, VP of marketing at xAd is to, “[T]ake advantage of this opportunity to reach retail procrastinators and drive them in-store.”

Sounds like they won’t need much of a push, in our opinion, but knowing what they’re after will help a lot. You can, as we said, post your hours at the top of your mobile website. But you can also put last-minute offers there as well. (Ones that cater to desperate shoppers that have no time to think through a gift will probably perform especially well.) You can also put very brief directions to your store there, too, to help people get there before the doors shut.

In short, give mobile users what they want on Christmas Eve, and you’ll have what you want on Christmas Day. Keep that in mind next year, and you’ll do just fine!

Our question is, shouldn’t your business app be there, too? We can help!