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App Seasonality Trends for the Holiday Season

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2021 has got here an finish, at this yr, and also you could most likely dashing by means of your final tasks to complete 2021 on a very good notice. The top of the yr is a time with excessive seasonality results on the App Retailer and Google Play; relying on the sector you’re in, you’ll count on both a rush or a a lot calmer interval.


Table of Content

What’s seasonality on the App Retailer and Google Play?

Seasonality on the app retailer refers to fluctuations in person conduct, akin to site visitors, spending, and conversions, attributable to time-based exterior components. As with every market, app shops are impacted by seasonality and its consequential modifications in person conduct.

For instance, prospects may care extra about offers and reductions round holidays like Black Friday and Christmas, making these occasions prime alternatives for purchasing apps to advertise their vacation promotions. Equally, prospects may care extra about getting in form, dropping pounds, or hiring a coach through the weeks main as much as and following New Years’, on account of their New 12 months’s resolutions. Journey apps, conversely, might even see a downtick in site visitors through the winter vacation season when many individuals are spending time at residence with household; however those self same journey apps may discover natural curiosity for his or her product rise in direction of the tip of spring, because the summer season season approaches.

Past the time of yr, there are additionally category-specific seasons; for instance, streaming companies may observe a particular present whereas it airs and need to advertise of their screenshots whereas a season is stay. Equally, apps within the sports activities class may select to function basketball through the NBA season, soccer through the NFL season, and the Olympics main as much as and through the occasion of their app creatives.

In the end, incorporating seasonality into your product web page facilities round curating your content material to match your prospects’ particular pursuits at any given time.

Why does seasonality matter to App Retailer Optimization?

An app’s product web page is commonly the final level of contact prospects have earlier than deciding whether or not or to not obtain the app; each aspect in your product web page has the potential to make a distinction in a person’s choice. Failing to align your app’s product web page with exterior advertising campaigns and seasonal choices represents an enormous missed alternative to spherical out a cohesive advertising expertise at a vital touchpoint for patrons.

The affect of optimizing your product web page to mirror seasonality will be seen within the actions of the highest 10 “purchasing” class spots through the 2020 Black Friday and Christmas season:

  • Firstly of November, purchasing apps that ranked within the high 10 have been the identical as in earlier months. By the twenty ninth, nonetheless, half of these apps not ranked within the high 10 (Poshmark, eBay, Shein, Arrive, and OfferUp), as many opponents had risen in rankings, fueled by Black Friday and vacation key phrases and campaigns.
  • Whereas each Amazon and Walmart didn’t make investments particularly in ASO, they each ran seasonal advertising campaigns and made certain to align their app retailer pages with their holiday-branded imagery. They each maintained their high positions in class rankings.
  • Finest Purchase and Adidas invested extra particularly in ASO modifications, as they up to date their screenshots, promotional textual content, and descriptions to mirror their seasonal campaigns on the App Retailer. In consequence, each of those apps noticed their highest development in downloads (Adidas +582% and Finest Purchase +454%) between the fifteenth and twenty ninth of November, touchdown them within the high 10 class spots main into December.

Finest Purchase up to date its screenshots and outline to mirror vacation offers and items.

  • Apps that dropped out of the highest 10 class spots through the vacation weeks by and huge missed out on alternatives to align their app product web page with their seasonal advertising campaigns throughout a excessive development interval.

As seen with Amazon and Walmart who maintained their positions, aligning an app’s product web page to match or resonate with its seasonal campaigns is a crucial piece in delivering a cohesive person expertise and sustaining class rankings. Taking the additional step to optimize your app’s metadata and have season-specific content material creates a singular alternative to develop natural site visitors and improve visibility through the vacation season, as seen with Finest Purchase and Adidas.

Methods to get your app prepared for the vacation season

1. Analysis seasonal themes, offers, in-app content material, and so on

Step one in getting your app prepared for the vacation season is analysis. Think about your alternatives:

  • Are you planning to run any promotions, like Black Friday offers or vacation reductions?
  • Are you updating your in-app options to mirror the vacation season, akin to winter environments, visible options, or holiday-themed challenges?
  • Do you will have holiday-specific content material to supply, like vacation music or films?
  • What has your competitors carried out to face out prior to now through the vacation season? What potential alternatives are there to face out in opposition to them?

2. Think about methods to replace your app metadata for the vacations

When you lock down what you intend to supply, take into account the modifications you’d wish to make. Icons and screenshots are extremely seen and impactful in serving to apps stand out; copy modifications are particularly influential in including new key phrases and optimizing your metadata for the vacation season:


Icons are extremely seen property you’ll be able to replace through the holidays as they permit your app to face out amongst its high class opponents. Icon modifications are notably impactful on Google Play, the place solely the icon and duplicate seem within the search outcomes.

“Phrases with associates 2” (above) and “Sweet Crush” (beneath) icon updates for the vacation season.


App screenshots ought to spotlight your app’s worth proposition and key options; optimizing these photos is vital for app installs and standing out in opposition to opponents. Screenshots is usually a good spot to visually replace your app with season-specific content material. You may fully refresh your creatives like Rowme did throughout Black Friday and Christmas final yr, or you may make delicate modifications, like how Starbucks merely up to date the featured drinks proven in its first screenshot:

Rowme up to date its screenshots and featured photos for Black Friday and Christmas.

Whereas Starbucks didn’t make an enormous change to its photos, the crew switched the featured drinks of their graphics in addition to some copy (“This approach to holi-yay”) to mirror Starbucks’ seasonal choices with out detracting from its conventional branding.

Copy & Key phrases

Incorporating key phrases like “Christmas”, “Black Friday”, “items”, and so on. to your metadata will be notably influential for purchasing apps through the vacation season. That stated, except your app has a particular give attention to holidays like “Christmas” or “Black Friday”, concentrating on key phrases like “vacation”, “Christmas”, or “Santa” possible won’t work effectively in your app.

For instance, when you looked for “Christmas music” on the app retailer through the month of December 2020, mainstream music apps weren’t on the high of the rankings. Regardless of selling holiday-themed music to their prospects inside their app listings, their general class positioning prevented them from placing an excessive amount of emphasis on a particular vacation inside their app metadata with out dropping their place of their foundational market.

In such instances, it could not be worthwhile in your app so as to add vacation content material to your key copy slots (title, key phrase checklist, and so on); as a substitute, you possibly can replace your screenshots and creatives with holiday-themed content material, and spotlight vacation affords in your promotional textual content or quick description discipline, as each will be up to date with out considerably impacting your general ASO technique.

Skilled tip: As of September 2021, Google Play not permits apps so as to add key phrases to their titles or quick descriptions that displays “promotional info, for instance, ‘greatest,’ ‘#1,’ ‘high,’ ‘new,’ ‘low cost,’ ‘sale,’” and so on. You may nonetheless add “Black Friday” to your title or subtitle, however ensure that to keep away from these newly-prohibited phrases.

Promotional Textual content

Promotional textual content is a strong potential lever to drag with iOS, as you’ll be able to change the textual content everytime you’d like with out updating your app and having to resubmit it to the App Retailer. Promotional textual content shouldn’t be listed however will be helpful to advertise affords that maybe don’t draw back out of your major app’s function and key phrases used within the title and subtitle/quick description (a great way to advertise particular offers, options, and so on). Think about including a way of urgency to your seasonal replace, akin to “countdown to christmas” or “flash sale for black friday”.

Panera’s 2020 vacation updates to its App Retailer promotional textual content.

3. Plan (KPIs to watch, A/B exams, localization, and so on)

Subsequent, plan. The vacations can get loopy quick; individuals take off time for work, schedules are packed, and customers’ ears are stuffed with advertising campaigns and promotions. Planning your questions, copy, creatives, and timeline is vital to efficiently navigating the vacation season. Ensuring you have your KPIs locked down upfront is equally vital so you’ll be able to analyze the efficiency of any modifications you make. Be sure to have solutions to those questions:

  • What do you need to change in your product web page?
  • When will you make these modifications?
  • What do you hope to see from these modifications? (Elevated conversion charge, elevated rankings, elevated natural site visitors, and so on).
  • Are you working any A/B exams?
  • Will your modifications be localized to completely different markets?
  • When will you are taking down your vacation modifications and what’s going to they alter to?

Skilled Tip

Skilled Tip: Don’t overlook to plan your expiration date upfront for seasonal campaigns and app retailer updates, because it doesn’t look skilled to maintain seasonal messaging up previous the vacations.

4. Make seasonal modifications to your App Retailer Optimization

Lastly, it’s time to execute your seasonal modifications. Listed below are a few issues to bear in mind alongside the best way:


No matter whether or not you make loads of modifications to your app’s product web page or only a couple, it’s essential to align your app web page along with your general seasonal marketing campaign messages. Assembly buyer expectations issues; which means you probably have a social marketing campaign with a seasonal provide or imagery, then your app icon and screenshots ought to mirror the model imagery and messaging of your exterior campaigns. Thus, when customers click on by means of to your app itemizing, your product web page will ship on its guarantees and mirror the vacation imagery that led them to your itemizing within the first place.

As seen in this case research of Deezer through the 2019 vacation season, Deezer labored with French artists to cowl a number of well-known Christmas songs and created a playlist referred to as ‘Le Grand Noël’, which it launched alongside updating its app creatives to align with a broader vacation advertising marketing campaign executed exterior the App Retailer. This marketing campaign was notably profitable and Deezer’s app downloads elevated by 300+ extra installs every day, for 2 weeks straight.

Deezer up to date its app screenshots for the Christmas vacation, and importantly, matched these creatives to its Christmas TV marketing campaign working on the time.


Seasonal updates are an amazing alternative to shine through the vacation season, however ensure that the content material stays trustworthy and related to the expertise and worth of your app; merely tossing just a few snowflakes into your screenshots is unlikely to make a big distinction, so don’t waste your time on meaningless modifications. Ideally, when you use vacation imagery or messaging to guide individuals to your app, you should have truly included some associated seasonal options, content material, or promotion into your app setting as effectively. Altering your textual content and pictures to be holiday-focused with out reflecting any modifications in your app can simply come throughout as an inexpensive advertising ploy if you’re not thoughtful of product relevance in your updates.


In the event you’re uncertain about updating your creatives for the vacation season, run A/B exams (or A/B/B exams) on Google Play or the App Retailer to check out your seasonal messaging on a smaller viewers, with out committing your entire branding to a vacation theme.

Methods to use Apple’s in-app occasions for the vacations (iOS 15)

As of October twenty seventh, in-app occasions at the moment are out there inside the App Retailer. In-app occasions are well timed occasions inside video games and apps, akin to challenges or competitions, live-streamed experiences, film premieres, and extra. Now you can function these occasions immediately inside your app itemizing on the App Retailer, supplying you with a brand new approach to attain present, lapsed, and potential prospects alike. They could additionally assist in getting your app featured, permitting for added App Retailer visibility. Think about using Apple’s in-app occasions for the vacation season this yr.

For instance, as a health app, you possibly can spotlight a group problem to exercise ten days in a row, following New Years’. As a enterprise app, you possibly can spotlight a stay stream supplied to customers questioning methods to stability their finances going into the New 12 months. As a purchasing app, it might be a reduction code you obtain for Black Friday when you save ten objects in your ‘want checklist’.

Which apps are most affected by end-of-year seasonality?

As we are able to count on, purchasing apps see their greatest numbers on the finish of the yr. Particularly, we are able to determine two spikes in downloads for these apps:

  • The primary improve in downloads occurs between the center and finish of November. As individuals get nearer to Black Friday, they have a tendency to obtain increasingly more purchasing apps. The pattern continues with Cyber Monday after which slowly begins to fade in December.
  • The second wave (not as large as the primary one) is said to the Christmas season and winter holidays. It begins round mid-December and lasts till mid-January, with a robust peak in downloads sometimes on December twenty sixth.

The top of the yr can also be the time for New 12 months’s resolutions. Most individuals give attention to resolutions that can assist them lead a more healthy way of life, together with:

  • Train extra
  • Drop some pounds
  • Meditate day-after-day
  • Give up smoking

And what higher approach to fulfill resolutions than to obtain an app to maintain observe of purpose progress? Because of this the interval between mid-December and mid-January is the busiest season for well being and health apps. We are able to clearly determine two spikes in downloads: one on Christmas Day and a good stronger one proper after New 12 months’s.

One other in style New 12 months’s decision is to study a brand new talent, like a brand new language or a brand new music instrument. Let’s discover whether or not this pattern can also be translated within the seasonality for the Music and Training classes.

January is certainly the very best month for the Music class. Nevertheless, we additionally see a robust spike in downloads on Christmas Day which might be defined by two components:

  1. Individuals obtain new gadgets like telephones, tablets, and audio system for Christmas. Naturally, one of many first apps they obtain could also be devoted to streaming music, akin to Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, YouTube Music, or Sonos.
  2. Individuals obtain new musical devices for Christmas. This is able to result in an elevated demand for music studying apps akin to Yousician, Merely Piano, and Final Guitar, but in addition guitar tuners and different instruments for musicians.

The most effective month for the Training class is September (“again to highschool”). Nonetheless, we additionally see a second wave in downloads beginning on January 1st, most likely due to New 12 months’s resolutions (Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, Busuu) in addition to the return of scholars in lecture rooms (Photomath, Kahoot!, Moodle, Mathway).

Whereas the market tendencies between these classes are related round January, the weekly tendencies are fully completely different. Music apps are predominantly downloaded on weekends whereas Training apps are primarily downloaded on weekdays.