The Top Social Networks for Holiday Gift Inspiration

Pinterest is the top social network for holiday gifting inspiration.

Social media isn't just for humble bragging and funny cat videos. Retailers, take note—1 in 3 shoppers plan to get holiday gifting ideas from social media this season. This shouldn't come as a surprise as social outlets are easily accessible and part of daily life.

Whether it's curated or original content, social networks give brands an opportunity to engage shoppers while marketing their products. Let's zoom in on the top social outlets for gifting inspiration and why they're so successful. 


Pinterest ranks as the top social outlet for holiday gift ideas—27% of shoppers say they plan to find gifting inspiration on the social network. The visually aesthetic site gives consumers context—they're able to see how a product could be used, styled, or gifted. There's several ways retailers can establish themselves as a go-to for Pinspiration: 

  • Anthropologie, 82 BBI
    This brand uses Pinterest to establish itself as a leader in the fashion industry and a source of inspiration for shoppers. Instead of solely pinning their own products, they pin content from several sources, which builds their credibility as a reputable lifestyle brand. 

  • Target, 73 BBI
    Target only pins their own products, but it works. They don't just use images of items on a shelf or screenshots from their site—products are photographed in a home or on a model, which gives consumers context and inspiration for gift and personal purchases. 

Regardless of whether a brand pins their own content or draws from multiple sources, retailers should seize the opportunity to establish themselves as a source of inspiration on Pinterest by providing context for their products. 


35% cite this social network as a source of gift inspiration. Facebook is a great way to advertise and get discovered—80% of people remember seeing an ad for a retailer's app on the site. Because of this, it's not surprising that Facebook ranked as the second-highest social channel for gift inspiration. As users scroll through their feed, targeted advertisements provide gift ideas organically. 


YouTube appeals to niche communities like gamers and make-up gurus—18% say the video streaming site is where they'll go for gift ideas. Individualized audiences on YouTube make it the perfect place to search for a gift tailored to someone with specific hobbies or interests. YouTube reviewers are also popular and could heavily influence a consumer's likeliness to purchase a product—6 out of 10 teen users say a YouTuber has changed their lives or how they see the world.

Wrapping Up

Other social outlets ranked as follows:
  • Instagram (15%)
  • Twitter (9%)
  • Snapchat (7%)

While Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat aren't the top ranked social platforms, they shouldn't be overlooked. Compelling digital content across social networks contributes to the overall perception of a brand and builds cross-channel consumer engagement. For example, Anthropologie's beautiful Instagram feed matches their aesthetic Pinterest page, which helps build customer relationships while marketing their products. 

Holiday 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

We discovered what people plan to browse and buying during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Check out what we found in the survey results. 


Cyber Five 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

People who purchased holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday revealed what they thought of their online and in-store experiences. Take a look at the survey highlights to find out how shoppers felt about this year's Cyber Five.


Topics: Trends Survey Holiday Solutions Marketing

New Apple Search Ads Are Changing the Way People Find Mobile Apps

Search Ads are significant for retailers because iPhone and iPad shoppers—particularly those who browse and buy in apps—are more valuable.Source: Apple

Remember the days (specifically back in 2000) when Google introduced the world to AdWords and instantaneously changed websites from a nice-to-have to a must-have? The company did it again last year with apps when it launched Search Ads for Google Play.

Something big is happening again. Only this time, Apple is taking a page out of Google’s book.

App Store Search Ads

Why is it so significant that Apple joined in the app ad revolution when Google Play has had it for over a year? Because for the majority of retailers, iPhone and iPad shoppers—particularly those who browse and buy in apps—are more valuable. They spend more money per visit and convert more often.

With both major app stores featuring paid search ads, mobile apps are no longer a bonus; they’re a necessity.

Current state of mobile app promotion

Retailers often turn to social media to get the word out about their apps, but a paid mobile app ad is a better and easier way to remarket and increase your mobile app downloads for this year’s biggest shopping season.

Currently, Facebook is king of app discoverability, where 80% recall seeing an ad for a retailer’s mobile app, but according to Apple, over 65% of downloads come directly from a search on the App Store, which makes a strong case for paid ads.

How Search Ads work

Creating a mobile app search ad for iPhone and iPad apps is very simple because the App Store uses the metadata you already provided for your app to generate the ad. All that’s left for you to do is set your budget. Search Ads runs on a cost-per-tap price model, so you only pay when someone interacts with your app ad.

“It’s more important than ever to make sure the information you provide in your metadata is the best representation of your app,” Apple says. “The quality of your metadata matters for another reason, too. In Search Ads, relevance takes priority over bidding.”

The company isn’t the only one who depends on a well-crafted app description. Users rank it as one of the top 3 deciding factors when downloading a mobile app.

Finding the right audience

In addition to keywords, choose who should see your ad by using filters for age, gender, and geographic location and whether you want your paid campaign to focus on attracting new customers or target a mix of new users and people who already have your mobile app.

Apple’s Search Match automatically pairs ads to users searching for apps like yours. Fear not, iOS owners. There’s no user tracking or data sharing with Search Ads, including HealthKit data.

Who’s already on board?

Boxed Wholesale, RetailMeNot, and Yelp Eat24 are already using Search Ads to boost their mobile app discoverability.

E-Retailers of all industries have already started making their way onto the paid app ad scene, including Amazon, Gilt, and Rue La La, and by the looks of it, they’re going after both generic and branded keywords.

A search for "Dollar Tree" in the App Store returned a Search Ad for the fake Big Lots mobile app.Unfortunately, developers creating fake shopping apps are also taking advantage of Apple's new Search Ads. Imposter mobile apps are flooding the App Store and hijacking the names, likeness, and content of top retailers, including Nike, Converse, Pandora, and more. 

Not only are the imitation apps appearing for non-branded terms, but they're also showing up for branded keywords, making it imperative for retailers to represent themselves in app stores.

Contact us to learn more about Search Ads, fake apps, and how we can help.

Let’s make your mobile app discoverable.

Topics: Trends Solutions Apps Marketing

Why You Should Be Promoting Your Mobile App on Facebook

4 in 5 shoppers recall seeing a retailer’s app on Facebook.

Getting people to download and use shopping apps is a common problem among retailers. While there are many ways to promote your mobile app, one in particular stands out among the rest.

In a survey, we found that Facebook tops the list of ways people discover apps—80% of people recall seeing a retailer’s app on Facebook. With over 1.7 billion monthly active users, it's obvious why retailers see this social network as a powerful platform to promote and remarket their apps.

Sneak Peak! How to Get People to Download and Use Your App

Facebook ads are unique because they appear in a user’s News Feed with the title “Suggested App.” Facebook makes it easy for you to design and launch your own mobile app ads. Optimize your ad for installs or for another app event, like add to cart or purchase, and target your audience further by interests and demographics.

Facebook breaks mobile ads down into 2 categories: app install and app engagement.

App Install

These ads help people find your mobile app and help you convince them to download it. The “Install Now” CTA takes users directly to the smartphone’s native app store.

App Engagement

This type of ad remarkets your mobile app to people who have it downloaded but haven’t used it or purchased from it in a while. You may choose from several CTAs, like “Use App” or “Shop Now,” which loads your mobile app when tapped.

As more retailers try out Apple's Search Ads, it's a waiting game to see if Facebook keeps its number one ranking for mobile app discoverability. Regardless, advertising your app on Facebook is a proven way to get your app noticed by shoppers.

Download our survey highlights to find out why people download and use shopping apps.
Download the Report

Topics: Trends Solutions Apps Marketing

How to Look Your Best in the App Store

According to over 1,000 app shoppers, reviews, ratings, and descriptions are what they look at most before downloading a mobile shopping app.

Getting people to download your app is one of the hardest parts about creating mobile apps. Have you ever wondered what helps them decide? 

Here's how over 1,000 people ranked what matters most in the App Store when downloading a mobile shopping app:
  1. Reviews
  2. Ratings
  3. Description
  4. Quality screenshots
  5. Demo video
  6. Corresponding Apple Watch app

To figure out how top shopping apps are getting tens of thousands of downloads each day, let’s take a look at a few of the most downloaded retail apps to see what they have in common.


Even though App Store reviews are meant to give brands an understanding of how they can make their apps better or where they're already exceeding expectations, many people use this forum as a way to give their shopping experience feedback.

Positive reviews often credit retailers with good customer service and fast shipping.


Like reviews, people commonly make the App Store a place to rate their experiences with retailers. Many of the most downloaded and Apple-featured apps have 4.5- or 5-star ratings from their users. 


Top shopping apps typically include the following information when writing their app descriptions:
  • Discounts you'll find
  • What you can accomplish
  • How you'll benefit
  • Unique features

This isn't just important for potential downloads. Apple uses your metadata to create Apple Search Ads. Leave your brand's boilerplate out of it, or save it for the end.

Quality screenshots

Many of the most downloaded shopping apps in the App Store display about 10 images, which are frequently captioned to highlight the app's features.

Demo video

Most mobile shopping apps don't provide a demo video, but featured shopping apps seem more likely to have one. Although this could be a coincidence, including a demo video with your iOS app could help you get featured by Apple.

Corresponding Apple Watch app

Only a handful of popular shopping apps have an Apple Watch app. Although shopping on an Apple Watch app may not provide the best user experience, notifying your customers of their order status or sales with a simple but smart push notification is a great way to keep your brand top of mind.

Learn more about mobile shopping apps. Get a sneak peek of what else people had to say about mobile shopping apps or download the highlights from the survey.

Topics: Solutions Apps Marketing

4 Ways Push Notifications Are Getting More Useful in iOS 10

There are 4 big ways push notifications are getting an upgrade in iOS 10. (Photo by iDownloadBlog)Source: iDownloadBlog

In September, Apple will host their annual event to unveil their new line of devices, which all come equipped with the latest version of its operating system—iOS 10 is this year’s newest for the iPhone.

During the company’s developer conference in June, Apple released the iOS 10 beta to developers. In addition to app extensions, Apple Pay on the web, and proactive suggestions, iOS 10 brings new opportunities for retailers to engage people through push notifications and understand how people interact with your messages.

Leanplum outlined 4 big ways push notifications are getting an upgrade in the latest iOS version:

Updated notifications

Retailers and other brands will be able to replace old, unread messages with new, updated information.

Customizable layouts

With titles, subtitles, and rich media, app owners will be able to provide more context within a simple push notification.

Actionable notifications

Consumers will be able to take direct action to reply, like, and even buy from the notification.

Advanced insights

Mobile marketers will see how when users dismiss their push notifications and use this information to tailor future messaging.

Read the full article.

These updates will be especially helpful for retailers preparing for holiday and during the shopping season itself.

If last year is any indication of how iOS 10 will be adopted, we saw 41% of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus owners update their smartphones to iOS 9 within the first 5 days of release. Should iOS 10 experience similar rapid adoption rates, retailers may see half of their holiday traffic on the latest version of iOS.

Stay up-to-date on Apple’s announcement by signing up for our event recap.

Sign up for the Apple event recap

Topics: Trends Solutions Apps Marketing