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In-app native ads led app installs during holidays, study says

In-app native ads led app installs during holidays, study says

Author: Robert Williams

Source: Retail Dive 

  • Brands that ran in-app native ads during holidays among a broad range of app publishers were the most profitable, per a report that programmatic mobile bidding platform Appreciate shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. In-app native ads generated the most app installs, the most sales compared to installs and the lowest cost per purchase, the firm said.
  • Video generated the highest cost per purchase — 60% more than in-app native ads — and the lowest number of installs during the 2018 holiday season. Mobile in-app banner ads were nearly as effective as native ads, per Appreciate.
  • E-commerce campaigns with seven to 11 versions of creative generated 128.6% as many installs as campaigns with one to four versions. Similarly, campaigns that ran on more than 500 publishers across five to seven app categories hit 45% greater engagement than those with 100 publishers in just one to four app categories.


Appreciate said marketers seeking the best e-commerce conversion need to use native ads, more creative and a list of more publishers among five to seven app categories.

"Historically, we've seen that e-commerce campaigns with more diverse types of creative performed better, but that trend was even stronger this holiday season. In other categories, most notably games, entertainment, and utilities, the number of different creatives plays a smaller factor," said Shiri Lahat, VP client success North America for Appreciate.

The high performance for in-app native ads and the high cost of video could mean that mobile marketers should be careful when opting for video over native ads. However, the growth of video on mobile seems likely to continue, with social video ad spending set to grow 44% from this year to reach $14.9 billion by 2021, according to eMarketer. 

In addition, the research found that weekends were the best-performing days for e-commerce apps, with Saturday showing the most frequent app installs and Sunday boosting sales to 127% of key performance indicators (KPI). Prime time (8 to 11 p.m.) and the time just before (4:30 to 8 p.m.) were the best times to convert with e-commerce apps, Appreciate said. Mobile marketers must continue to target the right consumers at the right time of day to ensure the highest KPIs for their campaigns.

Retailers seeking holiday shoppers were the biggest buyers of mobile ads in the second half of 2018 with a 49% share of the market, a separate study by mobile ad platform Smaato said. Retailers were ahead of industries such as media (23%), finance (6%), automotive (5%) and telecom (4%), among others. Within the retail category, the biggest share of spending (28%) was among marketplaces that include retail chains with an online presence and e-commerce websites, such as Amazon, Wish and Walmart. Retail marketplaces had a bigger share than consumer packaged goods (9%), electronics (6%) and fashion (5%).

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