BFCM Marketing Strategies: Mobile Apps Are Changing the BFCM Game for Innovative Brands

A year from now, you’ll wish you started today. Here’s what top brands like yours are saying about their success stories by launching a mobile app in time for BFCM.

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With the holiday season quickly approaching, ecommerce brands are gearing up for the strongest revenue-generating weekend of the year. 

Innovative brands are thinking beyond the revenue spike, and also believe that BFCM is an opportunity to strengthen their community and drive sustained revenue growth into the new year. 

It’s all about personalizing the customer experience to grow loyalty and retention. By nurturing customer relationships, meeting their expectations, and consistently delivering value, ecommerce brands can thrive in a constantly evolving and competitive marketplace.

In the ecommerce world, mobile continues to be the preferred shopping platform, ranking at 71% during BFCM. Brands see this and have turned to mobile apps to provide a unique and personalized shopping experience for their mobile customers. A mobile app is a slam-dunk way to supercharge your BFCM customers with higher AOV on Cyber Week and increased retention in the new year. 

Here are a few success stories about brands that leveraged a mobile shopping app during BFCM to drive business growth for the long run:

  1. How the Messi Store tripled sales in one month for the holiday season.
  2. How Reason Clothing launched an app for BFCM and saw 7.5x higher orders per session.
  3. How LSKD’s genius app marketing strategy drove its app to #1 in the App Store.

Keep scrolling to learn how to prepare for BFCM from the experiences of the fastest-growing Shopify brands. We’re spilling all the tea including marketing strategies to retarget customers and offset CAC.

How the Messi Store tripled its sales in a single month 

The Argentine soccer legend Leo Messi's official lifestyle brand, the Messi Store, offers a premium, sharp approach to menswear. While over 90% of the brand’s customers were already shopping on a mobile device, the company believed the shopping experience was not converting as well as expected. That's one of the reasons the company decided to build an app.

“We were looking for the next thing that this brand needs in order to actually fulfill a better experience to our consumers and followers.”

Maximiliano Ojeda, Co-Founder & CEO at MGO Global

So as a strategic marketing move, the app launched in November 2020, during the height of the pandemic and just in time for BFCM.

This turned out to be a brilliant app promotion strategy. Leaning on marketing announcements and discounts that led users to the app as well as influencer marketing that featured the soccer star himself, mobile app downloads surged. The company was also able to lead additional customers to the app by touting app-only exclusivity. As a result, the company tripled sales during the first month with the app.

But here's the thing: after the holiday shopping season ended, the benefits didn’t stop. After all, the Messi Store had built a solid app user customer base to retarget. In the same way ecommerce brands develop their email and SMS lists, the Messi Store now had an entirely new way to directly reach its top customers since push subscribers could now be messaged at no additional charge with free, engaging notifications.

So, just how important is it for the company to keep customers on the app? Have a look at the numbers. The Messi Store app converts 2.4x better than the website and generates 1.6x higher revenue per session.

“It’s a mobile-first world. Especially for our demographic. These young people are on their phones all the time. Our app just gives them the best overall experience, not only with shopping but with that exclusive content that we can offer as well.”

Maria Reask, Communications Manager at MGO Global

This couldn’t be more true that younger generations are on mobile. According to the 2023 BFCM Consumer Trends Report data, 43% of Gen Z shoppers prefer to download mobile shopping apps rather than shop on a mobile-responsive website. Younger generations are flexing their (increasing) buying power, and brands without mobile apps risk falling behind.

How Reason Clothing snagged 7.5x higher orders per session

Meet Reason Clothing, a New York City-based streetwear brand known for its stylish, limited drops. In the months leading up to the holiday season, Reason Clothing sought a new way to amplify BFCM sales that actually resonated with its customers. Just before Black Friday, the company reached out to Tapcart.

After Reason quickly launched an app with Tapcart’s plug-and-play solution, the company began to reap the benefits, including a 42% increase in overall BFCM revenue the year of the launch.

Reason Clothing drove customers to download the app to take advantage of exclusive promotions and deals shared with push notifications. The company understood the value of app users and treated them like VIP customers by integrating app benefits and gamification. Perks like early access to Black Friday sales not only gave the shoppers what they wanted sooner but also provided them with a seamless mobile experience.

“We were always looking to enhance our ecommerce strategy and be able to communicate directly with our customers. We thought Black Friday would be a perfect time to launch a mobile app and give people early access to our sales and drops, rewarding customers with exclusives and special promos.”

Rob Farella, Associate Director of Marketing at Reason

But Reason’s success didn’t stop at increasing BFCM revenue. Reason Clothing also unlocked a goldmine of data that helped the brand better understand its customers and how to communicate with them.

Another major benefit of launching an app for Reason was leveraging push notifications. The company runs promotions to maximize revenue from all that traffic. When app activity is slow, the company sends push notifications to generate new interest.

Each year, Black Friday gives the brand a perfect opportunity to drive more app downloads so the company can boost the LTV of those new app customers for years to come.

How LSKD’s genius marketing strategy drove their app to the top of the App Store

LSKD’s BFCM strategy was epic. In 2022, the Australian-based athleisure brand shut down its site right before BFCM, leading to an influx in customers downloading the app and spiking revenue. This built so much hype for the company’s BFCM sales that LSKD’s app rose to the top of the App Store chart, beating big names like Nike and Amazon for the top shopping spot.

How’d LSKD do it? Take notes. 

The company sent out a push two days before its biggest sale of the year to alert app users that the entire store will be CLOSED until the sale is live. This incentivized users to keep their push notifications on to ensure first access. The LSKD team sent push notifications as a countdown to continue building the hype, and when it dropped, let’s just say it all truly paid off… high-key genius. 

“We played a bit of hard-to-get by hitting the pause button on our app 48 hours before BFCM, stirring up a whirlwind of curiosity. Meanwhile, our website worked in tandem, driving app downloads to build hype. This surge of activity catapulted us to #1 on the iOS App Store. It just goes to show harnessing the buzz of peak seasons can really dial up download numbers and keep the community hungry for more.”

James Reu, Ecommerce Manager at LSKD

Why are push notifications so valuable? According to our 2023 BFCM Consumer Shopping Trends Report, customers are more likely to elicit a purchase via a deal with a mobile app compared to other channels. And according to recent research, push notifications outperform other channels in driving purchases. What really stands out here is that push notifications, in particular—and to a lesser extent, SMS text messages—drive shoppers to purchase much more efficiently than email and online ads.

Shoppers indicate that relative to reach, mobile app push notifications are :

  • 181.5% more likely to elicit a purchase than paid ads
  • 94.9% more likely to elicit a purchase than SMS

These notifications drive instant spikes in traffic and conversions. This can also help offset high CAC and help retarget customers. And if you’re willing to get creative like LSKD, your marketing efforts to drive app downloads can lead to a long-term cohort of customers who are eager to get their hands on your next product. 

Why brands like Messi, Reason, and LSKD made an app the center of their retention tech stacks

Unsurprisingly, BFCM prep lists typically start with ensuring your mobile web experience is optimized. A new pro hack is launching a mobile app. A shopping app is a sure thing when it offers your customers the seamless mobile experience they want. 

If you’ve considered leveling up your mobile experience with an app, now’s the time. After all, you can make a serious impact when you leverage all that BFCM buzz. Shoppers are expecting promotions and are ready to take action. Driving customers to the app will not only boost BFCM revenue but will also supercharge those customers since mobile app users have higher LTV and AOV rates. 

Even though these brands had many other successful marketing channels, they knew an app would add to their retention stack. With a big focus on retaining their customers, these brands wanted to zero in on a holistic marketing approach. They knew retargeting was about more than an SMS message or paid ad—it was about incremental touch points across the brand.

This is why an app isn’t just a gimmick. It’s all about playing the long game. The app is the perfect tool for building loyalty and growing your community. By investing in a mobile app in time for BFCM, you’ll get the chance to build an owned marketing channel teeming with high-interest shoppers who really want to hear from you. Literally, after all, they opted to receive your company’s messages directly on their home screens—the most valuable real estate on their devices. 

Curious if adding a new mobile app sales channel can add incremental revenue for your business? We’ll give it to you straight. Hop on a quick call and you’ll get a walkthrough of how an app can boost your company's holiday revenue while helping create a long-term, high-value customer retention strategy.

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