Black Friday Results: Shopping via Apps Gains Steam

Over the past few years, the fundamentals of Black Friday shopping have held steady – a slew of deals and a rush of consumers to take advantage of those deals. However, the mode of shopping over the past few years has changed; brick-and-mortar stores have seen less traffic due to consumers shifting towards shopping via the Internet. This year was no different, but that does not mean brick-and-mortar stores were excluded from Black Friday craziness and the profits that follow.  

In fact, multiple brick-and-mortar retailers caught onto and contributed to the trend of this year’s deals holiday: shopping via mobile apps. According to a Tech Crunch article by Sarah Perez, “More U.S. consumers were shopping on mobile devices on Black Friday this year, with $2.1 billion in sales coming from smartphones.” However, the shopping being done via smartphones was not just through mobile web browsers. Instead, the portion of consumers shopping via a retailer’s app grew steadily.

Perez writes, “…the top 10 shopping apps on the App Store added half a million first-time users on Black Friday.” To iterate this point: these are newusers, not users who re-downloaded an app after having deleted it in the past. These two statistics clearly show the growing interest and tendency for shoppers to prefer shopping not only online, but through an app specifically curated for the retailer of their interest.

This move towards app-specific shopping is no big surprise – many shoppers tend to have a handful of retailers they buy from more frequently than others, which makes the idea of them downloading and, therefore, giving up precious space on their smartphone more believable. What makes this scenario even more plausible is that in-app experiences, from shopping to game playing, tend to be better overall than experiences via mobile web browsers. The loyalty of a frequent buyer coupled with the more streamlined, visually clean, and convenient app experience makes for a perfect outcome of more app downloads & in-app purchases.

While Perez points out in her article that Amazon is “not surprisingly” the most installed retail app, she also draws attention to the growth of primarily brick-and-mortar retailers that gained mobile app users this Black Friday. For example, Perez cites that Walmart’s mobile app user base grew 39.7 percent over 2017 and Target’s grew 3.3 percent, making these two brick-and-mortar retailers the top two of their kind to have apps downloaded. Overall, the downloads of brick-and-mortar apps were up 24.7 percent over 2017’s Black Friday.

These numbers show that, while physical stores have been struggling through the rise of online shopping, these retailers might not be in as much trouble as some may think. While less people are physically going to their stores, these retailers do have a relationship and a reputation with their customers and it seems they are starting to translate that via their mobile apps, allowing them to get a piece of the online shopping market. 

Overall, whether a retailer is mobile first or brick-and-mortar, this year’s Black Friday shopping results show how consumers prefer the personalization and ease of shopping through apps rather than web browsers or in-person. If these trends continue, the mobs of people waiting outside physical stores may decrease, but Black Friday shopping will continue to live on.

At Oplytic, we work hard to promote and market your app to the right users, offering clear data analysis and safe, trustworthy placement. It’s never too early to start considering your strategy or to start building your user base for 2019’s Black Friday.

Forbes Article: Why Blockchain Can and Should Be Developed for Digital Advertising

Recently, our President, Andrew Degenholtz, wrote about how blockchain can and should be used in the digital advertising world to make paid advertising safer and more efficient. Read an excerpt below and head to Forbes to read the full article. 

"The buzz over blockchain has grown in the past few years, as can be seen in the $2.1 billion dollars forecasted to be invested in the technology in 2018. While eyes and investments have shifted to blockchain as digital currencies, like Bitcoin, have become popular, there are more ways to use blockchain technology than by financial firms, such as by advertisers and advertising agencies. In fact, investing in the use of blockchain technology for the digital advertising world could change the landscape as we know it."

Read the full article

Apple’s ending of the App Affiliate Program: Why App Affiliates are Still Vital

Post by: Hannah Downing

The world of app discovery and app marketing for mobile-first and app-first companies can be a tricky one. Just a few days ago, Apple made a big announcement that will likely forever change the landscape of app marketing.

Apple announced that they were putting an end to their app affiliate program, which will take effect on October 1st of this year. This means that in less than 2 months, app aggregate sites, like TouchArcade.com, will no longer be able to embed links to specific apps within their content and receive a percentage of the commission when a purchase is made from their promotion.

This move by Apple sheds a light on the app affiliate marketing world as a whole, as it is very likely that Apple’s most recent analyses of the traffic driven by their affiliates is what led to this drastic decision.

More likely than not, Apple took a look at the traffic that was being sent by their affiliate program and may have realized that there was not a high enough amount of legitimate external traffic to warrant keeping the program running.

The most important aspect of this idea is whether or not the traffic was legitimate. There are so many reports and articles out there that have shown how big of a problem fraudulent traffic is for the mobile marketing world. In fact, fraudulent traffic is such a consistent but seemingly elusive problem in the mobile marketing and affiliate marketing world that many marketing companies are still struggling to figure out how much exactly it is costing them every year, let alone how to combat it.

However, app affiliate marketing can actually help decrease the likelihood of fraudulent traffic when paired with the right software. At Oplytic, we work with mobile-first companies and their affiliate channels to precisely track each affiliate’s traffic so that not only will companies be able to accurately pay their top-performing affiliates, but also they can crack down on traffic that is fraudulent or very low value.

Oplytic’s system tracks affiliate traffic from the first click all the way until the purchase or valuable action has been made. With crucial software and information like this, Apple could keep their app affiliate program going, which would continue to aid in the discovery of new and noteworthy apps.

 Instead, because of the high threat of fraudulent or low-value traffic, Apple is ending a program that has created an entire industry that will now have to face the consequences and a very uncertain future. With affiliate tracking software like Oplytic’s, affiliate marketing is safer, smarter, and very much worth the time and money, because companies know they can get the high-value results they’re looking for.