How to optimize your app for the holidays

This is a guest post by Dave Bell from Gummicube.

The holiday season is the most profitable time of year for Apple and app developers alike. Just last year, Apple reported over $1.1 billion in total sales during the two-week holiday break. Similarly, Apple broke their own single-day sales record on January 1, 2016, with customers spending over $144 million in just 24 hours. The 2016-2017 holiday promises to be similarly massive, and no app developer should miss out.

Holiday App Store Optimization is essential for capitalizing on the wave of income, free time and attention that comes along with the holiday season. By utilizing common App Store Optimization techniques to call attention to your app this holiday, you can take your piece of Apple’s $1.1 billion.

For those unfamiliar with the practice, App Store Optimization involves utilizing market data to guide the creation of your App Store metadata, icon and screenshots for increased discoverability and conversion. By optimizing your app, you can reach a broader audience and connect with consumers who are searching for an app like yours.

Consider your app and its feature set; this holiday season, what is the message you want to send to users? Games, for example, often benefit from the holiday rush because their in-app purchases feel more accessible to consumers who have just received gift cards and cash. Shopping and travel apps are similarly popular, especially in the lead up to the holidays. Think about the benefits your app offers, and how it could be of use to others during the holidays – even if it’s just as a relaxation tool between hectic family get-togethers.

Many developers choose to update their apps to add new features or special deals during the holidays. Games like Candy Crush tend to release new holiday-themed levels or events, while shopping apps like Jet offer holiday gift ideas and sales.

These updates don’t just bring more attention from users, either. Apple and Google both tend to feature apps over the holidays, and updating your app to offer exclusive deals, bonuses and modes during this period can increase your chances of being a part of those features. So too can updating your app’s icon and screenshots to better communicate those updates.

However, the annual iTunes Connect holiday shutdown is right around the corner. If you haven’t updated your app yet, you are running out of time. This year, iTunes Connect will be shut down from December 23rd through December 27th, meaning your app should be updated and ready to withstand the holiday barrage by Thursday the 22nd.

Rapid prototyping tools can help you and your team quickly add the features you need to capitalize on the increase in attention that comes along with the holidays. Using MockingBot’s mobile prototyping suite, you can set screens and gestures, collaborate remotely and save your work to the cloud, so your team can prepare your next update faster and more efficiently.

No matter how you prepare your app, it is essential for developers to optimize for the holiday season. With over $1 billion spent during last year’s two-week holiday period alone, the 2016-2017 break is sure to be lucrative. Update and optimize your app quickly to ensure that you don’t miss out.

About the author

Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.
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