How E-Commerce Apps Can Win Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day — it’s like Cyber 5 (minus three) — in June. It’s become a two-day digital shopping extravaganza, when nearly everything goes on sale. Last year, Amazon managed to sell $10.4 billion worth of goods on the big day. This year, mobile experts are predicting a boom in m-commerce, as other top e-commerce and retail brands once again launch their own deals to capitalize on the online shopping frenzy set off by Amazon. But in the m-commerce space, to get the sale, you first have to drive the install. 

In 2020, Nike and Target reported 75% and 20% week-over-week download growth thanks to Prime Day, reports Martech. Of course, 2020 was a big year for apps all around, and e-commerce apps did not miss out on that boom. 

However, while e-commerce apps made considerable gains during the pandemic, it wasn’t necessarily driven by massive increases in installs. In fact, Adjust’s Mobile App Trends Report 2021 found that e-commerce installs only increased by 6% in 2020. But time spent in-app was way up. Sessions grew by 44%, showing that users became more engaged with the e-commerce brands they already love. This means brands hoping to win — and keep — new users on Prime Day need to think strategically. 

Advice abounds about how to prepare for Prime Day 2021 (June 21 and 22) — from perfecting your social strategy to how to score the best deals. Here are a few tips, backed by data, to help your brand come out of online retail’s biggest day with an even bigger win.

1. Don’t be afraid to spend

There are plenty of users for the taking on Prime Day — but there is also tough competition for shoppers primed to pay. If you want to win their business, you cannot be afraid to pay to acquire users. According to our data, the paid-versus-organic install ratio for e-commerce apps is high — 0.85 versus an industry average of 0.45. Moreover, new users in this vertical tend to have good lifetime value (LTV) — and are backed by solid retention rates (13% on day 7 and 8% even on day 30). 

So, don’t be afraid to put budget behind acquiring these users. Not only will it pay off on Prime Day, but we expect that these users will be valuable in the long run (think actual Cyber 5, the entire holiday shopping season, and beyond). 

2. Consider new partnerships

No matter how great your app is, you need the help of partners to find new audiences and drive installs. We found that the median number of partners per app hovers at around five for all verticals — increasing to six in Q4 of 2020 — but e-commerce apps lag behind most other verticals. In general, e-commerce apps work with just four partners (only fintech uses fewer). This presents a huge opportunity for e-commerce apps to increase and diversify the number of partners they work with to potentially find their next pocket of new users. Reaching out to new users through networks you haven’t already tried is good advice no matter what time of year it is, but there is no better time to experiment with new partners than on Prime Day.

Take this opportunity to branch out and give new partners a try, and you may just find a previously undiscovered treasure trove of users.

3. Put retargeting to the test

New user acquisition (UA) is essential, but as app marketers are increasingly aware, retention and engagement are equally critical to making the most of your UA budget and each new user. (Bonus Tip: Don’t ignore your current customers — make sure you spend as much time getting their attention on Prime Day as you do on bringing in new shoppers.) 

Of course, some churn is inevitable. Luckily, e-commerce also performs very well in reattributions. According to Adjust data, the reattribution rate (number of reattributions for every install) was 0.072 in Q4 2020 but was as high as 1.22 for e-commerce (Q3) — presenting yet another excellent opportunity for e-commerce apps. 

Employing retargeting to bring churned users back into the fold just in time to spend big on one of the most important shopping days of the year could prove to be a winning strategy.

Thinking Beyond Prime Day

Sitting out Prime Day is not an option. Forbes reports, “Two-thirds of U.S. shoppers are familiar with Prime Day and 81% of those who plan to shop on that day indicate that it puts them in the mood to shop.” 

However, intelligent app marketers will think beyond the day and plan to keep those newly acquired users for the long haul. Make sure you have a retention and engagement strategy in place to turn your deal-seeking customers into loyal shoppers. 

Kia Saedi is regional vice president, West, at Adjust.

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