Cyber Monday, or Cyber Week as some are beginning to call it, is just around the corner. It’s one of the biggest sales days of the year, beating its own forecast and topping $3B in 2015. If last year is any indicator, revenue is projected to grow 9.4% to hit $3.36B this November 28 -- the largest online shopping day of all time, according to Adobe.

Adobe also predicts that mobile devices will outpace desktop in shopping visits, for the first time ever this year. Naturally, app developers might assume that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are restricted to e-commerce sites and apps, but this is not the case. In 2015, according to AppsFlyer, organic game installs picked up significantly around Thanksgiving, with in-app purchases peaking that weekend as well.

Clearly, this isn’t a weekend that app developers want to sit out. But since it’s Thanksgiving, and we all want to relax, we figured we’d help by rounding up six of the most critical Cyber Monday tips. Get this done, and the rest of the holidays will be smooth sailing.

1. Optimize for speed

There’s no doubt, especially if you offer deals and sales, that more users than usual will be installing and running your app during the weekend of Thanksgiving. It’s important that you do everything you can to optimize load times and speed. If content is only ready to go after a few seconds, frustrated users will drop off and perhaps even immediately delete your app. You risk getting negative app reviews as well as losing in-app purchase revenue.  

That’s not a chance you can take -- especially during the busiest time of year.

Android offers several ways Android developers can increase launch-time performance as well as overall performance.

And here are the same tips but from Apple for iOS developers.

2. Get mobile app analytics

We don’t necessarily mean user behavior analytics. Rather, it’s more crucial that your app analytics solution offers insight into performance, crash, usage analytics, and more.

If, for example, users are dropping off at a certain point, you’d want to know if it’s a technical issue or an appflow issue. You won’t be able to recreate your appflow in just a weekend. But you can easily tackle a network or operating system problem, which could make or break your app this holiday season.

3. Deals, deals, deals

Go on sale! If you’re a premium app, lower the price point on Cyber Monday for users who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford your app. You can attract a completely new user base by lowering the price point by just a dollar or two. If users feel they’re getting something high-value for cheap, they’ll flock to purchase your limited-time only $1.99 app.

Even freemium apps can take advantage of holiday sales. Lower IAP prices. But make sure you let users know that prices are slashed through either push notifications or in-app messages. Again, they’ll be more driven to get in-app purchases that they know were once out of their price range.  

4. Segment users to define your price points

You should always be segmenting your users. So if you haven’t set up your user segmentations yet, now is the time to do it.

Before Black Friday, open a general segment for “couponers,” or users who regularly purchase discounted IAPs, so you can better identify the right prices that convert the majority of your “couponers.” (If you don’t already offer discounts every once in awhile, run a few in A/B tests this next week to catch up.) In the end, if you find that $1.99 converts your spend thrifty users, it will likely convert the rest of your userbase on Cyber Monday too.  

Perform some A/B tests on your “couponers” before rolling out your discounted IAPs on Thanksgiving. This way, you can be sure that everything goes according to plan on the big day.

5. Re-engage inactive users through holiday sales

This is the perfect time to re-engage inactive users since they’re likely sitting around at home, relaxing with more free time to play on their phones. Now that you’ve got your user segmentations in place, you can identify your inactive users, or users who haven’t opened the app in 30, 60, or 90 days. (It’s up to you to decide what constitutes an inactive user.)

The best way to get them back on your app is to make them an offer they can’t refuse. Good thing you’ve already tested your “couponers” to determine the best discount prices.

Send your inactive users push notifications informing them of any sales your app is having. Have their email? Send that too. Anything to get their attention - just don’t be too aggressive of course.

If you can further segment your inactive to users to understand where they initially dropped off or if they’ve ever made IAPs in the past, you can more easily personalize the push notifications. Tell users who got stuck on Level 3 that a weapon to help them get through it is discounted 60%. You’re bound to turn a decent amount of inactive users this way.

6. Deep link your social media posts and ads

If you’re doing any promotion around Thanksgiving (which we of course highly recommend), make sure you are using deep links. Deep links link to a specific piece of content within in the app, rather than just the app’s main page.

For example, a tweet promoting your super discounted IAPs could deep link straight to your in-app market. If users click on the tweet’s link, they’ll be redirected to the content that caught their attention in the first place.

It’s a great engagement and retention tool that should never be neglected, especially during high sales times like the holiday season.


It’s not too late to start preparing for the biggest sales days of the year. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas are sure to bring you increased installs and revenues, as well as a fresh new user base. Take advantage of analytics and creative sales tactics to get the most out of your users. Happy Turkey Day!

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