Christmas is the busiest shopping holiday of the year, but not just for retailers…app developers can cash in on the holiday craze just as easily.

Normally, when we think of Christmas, we think of presents piled beneath a tree. But with the rise of the internet, we’ve also seen a rise in the popularity of a digital Christmas. Apps themselves make great gifts and stocking stuffers, so with the right marketing techniques, you can monetize the holiday season just as retailers do. 

Online Shopping Statistics for the 2014 Holiday Season

The holidays are probably the busiest commercial season of the year, which is why every app developer needs to prepare for Christmas.

Here is some information that highlights why you should take advantage of holiday shopping trends:

  • Spending during Thanksgiving and Black Friday in 2014, for instance, topped $2.5 billion. The total for both days is up from less than $2 billion in 2013.
  • According to comScore, Cyber Monday in 2014 set the record as the heaviest online spending day in U.S. history. Cyber Monday alone exceeded $2 billion, a 17% increase versus last year. Holiday spending as of December 2ndexceeded $26 billion.
  • The UK has decided to follow the USA’s example, and big names offer discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. eBay, which built its own online Christmas shop, offered 104,000 deals the day before Cyber Monday, on “Super Sunday.”
  • But if you’ve missed Thanksgiving weekend, don’t worry. Online shopping has made many people take a more relaxed approach to the typical holiday frenzy…after all, by ordering gifts online, you don’t need to stand in line or compete with other customers for that last item on the shelf.
  • Each year, e-commerce and online shopping take more and more market share from retailers. Part of the reason for this is that younger, tech-savvy demographics enjoy online shopping and adopt new trends earlier than their seniors.
  • On Christmas day, expect to see an enormous spike in the number of app downloads worldwide. Why? Simple: all the people who open their new tablets, laptops, smartphones, or desktop computers will be downloading the latest apps to try out. In 2013, downloads on Christmas day increased 91% compared to an average day in the month of December.

Clearly, app developers should prepare their marketing and advertising campaign for Christmas day if they want to make the most of the holiday shopping season. But where should developers connect with their customers?

How to Reach More Customers During the Holidays

People use a variety of outlets to shop for and download apps, so developers should make sure all their bases are covered before Christmas day.

Here are some of the top ways to reach more customers and tap into the seasonal spending frenzy:

  • App Stores – Naturally, app stores are the first place people go to find and download mobile apps. Google Play, iTunes, the Mac App Store, and the Windows Store are obvious choices. However, there are quite a few other app stores, such as Amazon’s app store, CNET’s app store, and Yandex. Also consider niche stores that feed your target industry, such as video game stores.
  • Download Portals – Software directories such as Softonic can also be a good place to offer software. Though not quite as popular as app stores, they are a good way to supplement your distribution strategy. And these portals will also see a download spike on Christmas.
  • Paid AdvertisingSupplement your standard advertising program during the holidays with a Christmas-themed promotional campaign. Since every other developer will be increasing their advertising efforts during the holidays, you should too…if you want to get noticed.
  • Your Existing Customers – Your content network, from your website to your social media accounts, should allow you to tap into existing customers and cross-promote your products.  Use everything from email to push notifications to push your Christmas deals to customers who are already loyal, since it’s easier to convert existing customers than it is to create new ones.
  • Price for the Holidays – Tis the season to be generous: slash prices, create holiday bundles, and incentivize your offers to increase sales volumes. People will be expecting lower prices this time of the year, so don’t disappoint them. The more creative you are with your Christmas marketing and pricing strategies, the better return you will see on your advertising spend.

These are the most essential ways you can get in touch with more customers during the holidays. If you wish to pursue more elaborate marketing methods, there are always more creative ways of promoting your app.

So far, this holiday season has been setting records in terms of online shopping. It’s also likely that Christmas day will see a spike in app downloads and purchases that surpasses – or is at least comparable to – last year’s. To monetize this season effectively, ensure that you’re reaching out to customers whenever and wherever possible so that they know where to go when they get their new gadgets on Christmas