Happy Friday, everyone. Speaking of Friday–we’re officially 4 weeks out from the big day: Black Friday 2017. You’ll probably be more surprised by the remarks your relatives come up with around the Thanksgiving table than this prediction: People expect mobile to drive huge Black Friday sales this year.

In 2017, mobile sales are expected to increase 51.9%, with sales resulting in more than $100 billion for the first time ever. In fact, Cyber Monday sales are predicted to be even greater than Black Friday sales for the first time ever.

Unless your customers love the adrenaline rush of battling the crowds in-store, the ability of mobile to let you capitalize on the many, many consumers who love the convenience and ease of mobile is going to translate to better sales. But you also have the chance to launch campaigns that catch the eye of new users, too, and with a compelling mobile experience, build relationships with new users that increase sales way beyond the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.

1. Kick off your user acquisition campaigns now.

Get your acquisition campaigns going before new potential users are inundated with offers. We’re in between post-summer sales and the holiday rush, so it’ll be easier to start building a connection to new users now. At the same time, the early birds are already trying to get some shopping done, so there’s a market to be tapped there, too.

Instagram + Facebook.

Create ad campaigns around the special perks and content available to app users for campaigns on Instagram and Facebook. Target both current customers who don’t yet have your app and prospects who might be ready to try you out.



Customers who have already signed up for your email list are perfect candidates for an app acquisition campaign. You’ve already established a relationship with them, and you know it’s positive–otherwise, they wouldn’t have give you access to some of the most precious real estate on the internet: email inboxes.

App Store Optimization (ASO).

There’s over 2.2 million apps in the App Store and over 2.5 million in Google Play Store, but properly optimizing your app is proven to make it more discoverable.

  • App name. Is it unique?
  • Keywords. Include relevant keywords but be careful not to ‘keyword stuff’
  • Description. Does your description clearly articulate your app’s value and is it frequently updated with app update descriptions and release notes?
  • Screenshots/Video. Do you have 2-3 feature screenshots or a video tutorial highlighting what users love about your app?
  • Ratings. Is your app rating positive? A good rating increases downloads.
2. Make sure you have an onboarding flow in place, too.

Cool stuff like Black Friday geofencing or personalized rich push notifications aren’t going to be possible unless you establish trust with these new users and get them engaged in your app right from the beginning. Make sure you have an onboarding experience that directs them toward the features/actions that are proven to contribute to the long-term engagement and happiness of your most valuable users.

3. Check up on your checkout.

It’s not an easy time for retailers right now, for sure. But while it can be tough to stand out when every brand is offering discounts, an easy, user-friendly mobile app experience can be what differentiates the user experience to avoid every retailer’s nightmare: an abandoned cart.

Make sure it’s easy for users to check out via your app:

  1. Can users easily apply promo codes and discounts?
  2. Do you have a mobile wallet solution integrated into your app?
  3. Do you force users to create an account to check out, or do offer guest access?


Athleta’s streamlined mobile checkout makes it easy for users to access rewards and offers across all Gap brands–functionality that will certainly be handy for users over Thanksgiving weekend.

4. Integrate mobile into your in-store experience.

For the users who love the day-of Black Friday adrenaline rush, your app can be a valuable tool. Use location-based marketing tools like geofences to remind users about special offers as soon as they walk into your store, and remind them about offers or limited quantities as they get oriented. You can even create geofences around competitor’s storefronts so you can specifically target users who might be doing a little comparison shopping.

5. Get creative with your messaging campaigns.

If you’re putting out your best offers of the year, they’re definitely worth a push notification. But yours won’t be the only message users get this year, so make sure both your push notifications and in app messages are:

  • Targeted. As much as you can, target messages to users based on their own actions and behavior in your app. Highlight offers for services and products similar to what they’ve bought or checked out before.
  • Eye-catching. Create rich push notifications and in-app messages with video, imagery, and sounds to help your messages stand out. Localytics users who sent rich push notifications saw a 30% increase in engagement, so we know they’re working.
  • Conversational. Users like to engage with brands that feel like they’re run by real people.

Wayfair’s push notification last year makes it clear why their users will want to take advantage of the offers on their app: you don’t have to miss out on your hard-earned relaxation to take advantage of the deals (pretty much the dream for all of us). Relatable, subtle, and effective.

6. Don’t limit yourself to one day.

Like we mentioned before, it’s not just about Black Friday anymore–and Cyber Monday’s expected to exceed sales this year. The entire weekend represents a big opportunity now, so take advantage. After all, mobile marketing works because it adapts to people’s lives, and the continuous access they have to brands via their mobile devices. Stretch your campaigns from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, so your users have the chance to take advantage of what you have to offer.

Last year, mobile sales easily topped $3 billion, exceeding predictions and marking an increase of over 13% from 2015. This year, those 4 days that span Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday are expected to reach sales over $3.52 billion. There’s no question that your users expect to connect with your brand on mobile. But plenty of brands, of all sizes, haven’t optimized their app strategy to provide the experience users expect–and that’s costing them the opportunity to stand out and make the sale.

Read more: Brands Who Crushed Mobile Marketing This Black Friday