Local insights to drive incremental sales on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Prepping for the Big Day

We’ve teamed up with Adjust and MoPub to share actionable insights and best practices that can help mobile marketers drive incremental sales this holiday season. If there is a time when Retargeting can really help you hit an in-app sales home-run it’s on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

How to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday relevant in your region

Much like Santa, we owe Black Friday to two New Yorkers who in this case had no intention to buy or sell any clothes, shoes or electronics. As popular as Santa is, he did mostly make it in the Western World. In contrast, Black Friday has become much more Universal, even getting its own brand in the middle east where it’s known as “White Friday” and in China… “Single’s day.

Nothing has ever been as revenue rocketing for apps as Black Friday ($2B were spent in last year’s Black Friday in the US via mobile), from the US to Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Not only is it obviously a high-revenue day due to aggressive offers from retailers, but it’s also proven to be the most ROI-positive time to run app retargeting campaigns IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

The most notable sign that Black Friday has been adopted by retailers globally, is that mobile e-commerce revenues are actually growing faster outside the US.

Source: Adjust

High competition can drive costs up, especially since many marketers are willing to pay more for these big in-demand days. It pays to pay more for these dates. CPMs will be higher but so will app usage and in-app spend.

“The benefits of getting retargeting right go beyond Black Friday: According to our data, retargeted users generally stick around longer, show 150% higher engagement rate and generate 37% more revenue than new users.” — Kevin Ailloud, Marketing Campaigns Manager US at Adjust.

Don’t take our word for it, let’s look at the numbers 🤓⬇️

United States

Marketers in the US have been leveraging Black Friday and Cyber Monday for a while now, as opposed to some other regions where advertisers are still figuring out the impact.

In America, we know this is THE time to run retargeting. As a result, prices actually start climbing ahead of special dates as advertisers try to start early to test and optimize as much as possible before the actual dates.

In every region, the price drop towards January is quite marked and advertisers taking advantage of this opportunity will reap the rewards.

As mentioned, eCPMs do increase around these dates, but so does app usage.

Last year, we saw +102% increase in monetization events, such as purchases, on Jampp’s Retargeting Campaign from October to November 👀.

Latin America — Brazil

Brazil definitely takes the lead in Latam, with advertisers ramping up ahead of the holidays to make sure users are engaged with their apps for the big dates.

The drop towards January doesn’t last long, because end of year special dates are shortly followed by Carnaval. In-app events follow a similar trend, where November sees a peak for the special dates, as does February (presumably due to promotions around Carnaval) and a steady ramp up in March (which this year might have had something to do with all the preparations for the World Cup. Football is a pretty big deal in Brazil 😬)

In-app events follow a similar trend. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are so big in Brazil they drive even more sales than the traditional Christmas shopping.

While there is a slight decrease in purchases from November to December, December activity is still comparatively high.

Europe

The general trend can be clearly seen in the graph above, with price spiking towards the end of the year, and then making a sharp drop in January.

While iOS and Android prices are pretty close during the holidays, iOS does have higher increases than Android on the actual dates.

Germany

Germany’s mobile shopping during the holidays is growing strong, likely a combination of a tech-savvy population, more retailers offering discounts and the convenience of being able to shop 24/7 (and without having to head out and freeze.⛄❄️)

Germany has seen some of the most significant activity boosts month over month within Europe, proving to be a highly responsive audience.

A healthy ramp up in retargeting efforts on transparent channels will result in both incremental sales and actionable user-behavior insights.

MENA

The most interesting changes for this region, probably happen in Saudi Arabia where the CPMs rise and fall quite dramatically. eCPM picks up around the beginning of November as brands start advertising for White Friday.

Again showing overall higher CPMs for iOS than Android.

While “White Friday” is newer than in other regions, last year most companies doubled or tripled their sales. Saudi Arabia sees the most significant in-app event growth from October to November. Unlike the other regions, this growth doesn’t carry on to the next months, which is likely due to the fact that Christmas is not as big here.

Best Practices to beat your competition

So how do you plan an efficient, large-scale retargeting campaign when every retail app is fighting for a piece of that pumpkin pie? When we’re all bidding for impressions on the same day, how do you make sure you’re not overpaying nor missing out on the right users?

  1. 📈Start Retargeting before the actual date. Even if most discounts are on the day, most ads will run for at least the week prior to the date, to ensure your app is top of mind. People will start looking and shopping in October, and we want to capture that intent. Retargeting will help you get to those shoppers that showed intent but didn’t come back on their own. Additionally, a healthy ramp up on transparent channels will provide you with insights you can use to make the most of these dates.
“It’s no surprise that Q4 is a competitive time on MoPub’s exchange as spend increases across the board, particularly from brands. To maximize success, we recommend to start testing inventory in October so that you’re well positioned to ramp up when the holidays hit. We also recommend testing ad formats like native, which are visually compelling and can showcase your app or product in a seamless ad placement.” — Evon Sahaleh, Strategic Partner Development, MoPub

2. 🔀 Run separate campaigns for each specific date. Capturing user interest with relevant messaging is key so we recommend having specific ads for Black / White Friday and separate ads for Cyber Monday. Make sure you have enough creatives to rotate: App usage soars over these dates, ad rotations will help keep users more engaged and will provide more data.

3. 🎨 Create more than one themed-set and try different formats (display, video, dynamic ads). Ad rotation is key during this period: app usage soars over these dates, ad rotations will help keep users more engaged and will provide more data.

4. 🔁 Dynamic Product Ads — Users tend to do a lot more browsing during these dates, leverage this data to bring users back to the app with the customized product offerings.

*Keep in mind* for a successful DPA strategy make sure you launch the campaign in October and to keep product feeds clean!

5. 🛑 Themed ads should be cut off after the holiday has passed. RELEVANCE is key. Advertisers need to have a post-holiday set ready. Specially since the prices drop at the beginning of January but intent is still high, which offers retailers a unique opportunity to drive incremental sales at a lower-cost.

Keep the season spirit selling for you! The Month by Month Breakdown

Yes, Black Friday is the one day you can hit it out of the park. But that home run doesn’t need to be the end of it, and there are more benefits to reap from your Black Friday retargeting efforts than you think!

Wrapping Up

Last year mobile sales in the US hit $2B on Black Friday. Not too shabby. Hard to blame users for turning to their phones rather than getting their gladiator gear out, especially with extra incentives given by retailers such as free shipping.

App Institute | Black Friday 2017 stats

Retargeting campaigns will get you the most results and the best ROI. Customers who are already familiar with you are most likely to convert if engaged with the right offers.

Prices haven’t peaked yet, so it’s a good idea to start testing and optimizing today, gleaning key insights you can apply during the special dates. Remember people are browsing today the products they want to buy during the discount season.

Inventory is more expensive in November and December, but so are the returns.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are obviously big dates, but there may be other relevant dates in your region.