It’s officially Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. While many holidays and occasions are specific to certain countries or religious and cultural groups, Valentine’s Day is actually the second most celebrated holiday in the world, next to New Year’s Day. What this means is that of all the holidays to celebrate within your app, Valentine’s Day is the one most likely to resonate with your merchants globally.
In an ideal world, you could send flowers or cards to all the merchants who have been going steady using your app, but we know this isn’t very feasible for most app developers. Instead, we’ve compiled some simple ideas for acts that can bring a smile to merchants’ faces, and in turn help increase user loyalty to your app.
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Add festive cheer to the app experience
Although the ca-ching of new sales can be thrilling, not all aspects of being an entrepreneur are as exciting. Just like glitter makes everything feel more festive, adding small festive tweaks to your app can bring cheerful disruption to the mundane parts of running a business.
1. Update the illustrations in your app UI
You may already be using illustrations on your app homepage to help guide merchants through how to navigate the app effectively. While we don’t recommend swapping out the illustrations your merchants are already accustomed to, adding a few holiday touches can be fast and easy. A simple sprinkling of hearts or a color palette switch to pink and red tones is enough to give your app a festive feel.
2. Add festive animations
Several app developers use animations for common app UI elements such as loading bars. Instead of the standard filling bar, a shooting cupid’s arrow or filling tube of hearts can be a dynamic and engaging way to acknowledge the holiday within your app.
3. Thank you banners
Perhaps you don’t have the design or animation resources to make holiday updates to your app UI. Thankfully, an announcement banner at the top of your app homepage is straightforward implementation. You can use this banner to share a word of appreciation. Even a simple, “We love what a loyal user of our app you’ve been, and hope you’re having a great Valentine’s Day” can be enough to convey your appreciation towards the merchants who use your app. As well, you can also use this real estate to link to any special assets or reports you may want to serve to your app users. Which brings us to our next grouping of ideas:
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Serve up special insights and resource lists
Some of the best gifts are the ones that have a practical use. While holiday updates to your app UI will bring a smile to merchants' faces for the year, information and insights that help them grow their business will keep them smiling year round.
4. Industry Insight Report
While merchants may have spent a fair amount of time researching their industry before they opened shop, now that they’re in the thick of it they may no longer have the same time to dedicate to seeking industry updates. Especially if you’ve noticed that most of your app users operate within the same industry (eg. Fashion and Apparel, Food and Beverage), they may appreciate you doing the trend digging for them, and serving up the most relevant stats you’ve found.
5. In-depth data about how your app can help them grow their business
In looking at how merchants across the board use your app, you’ve probably picked up on some usage patterns. Maybe it’s that your merchants' customers tend the click through more often on pop-ups that are a certain color. Maybe it’s that merchants who stick with a certain frequency of email distributions have the highest conversions. To keep merchants using your app successfully, package these insights up and serve them as a bonus on this special occasion. Whether it’s a simple statement in a banner such as “Happy Valentine’s Day! We’d like to sweeten your day with this special insight,” or the creation of a PDF doc they can click through to, no one’s ever been turned off by information that can help them grow their business.
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6. List of free resources for running their business
One thing that Shopify merchants and you Shopify app developers have in common is that you’re both entrepreneurs. In running an app business, you likely have some similar struggles and processes as merchants, whether it’s running an ad campaign, hiring support staff, or accounting and financial planning. If there are some really great tools and resources you’ve found for running your business, why not create a list and share with your app users? This can not only help your merchants in keeping their businesses healthy and growing, but can also help them bond with you as a peer who’s also trying to build a successful business.
Get them involved in product improvements
When merchants have been loyal users of your app for a long time, it’s likely that they’ve developed thoughts and ideas on how your app could be even better. While it may seem like an odd gift to give app users, by showing merchants how much you value their idea and inputs, you can really win over their hearts and loyalty.
7. Share the product roadmap for your app
If you’ve completed a roadmap for expanding your app’s features, this may be a great time to share it. This will help give users an inside scoop on what’s coming and why they should stay invested in your product. You can even share your roadmap in a project management app like Trello or Product Board, where merchants can provide feedback on new features.
8. Allow them to vote on the next feature to be added
Sometimes it’s hard to prioritize which new feature to launch first. To show how much your app users mean to you, why not put this power in their hands? With platforms such as SurveyMonkey and Doodle, you can create and distribute simple online surveys.
9. Offer one of your other apps for free
Everyone loves a freebie! Not only is this a nice little gift for your users’ loyalty, it’s also a great way to get exposure for some of your other apps you offer in the Shopify App Store.
10. Name a feature or function after them
This is a true show of utmost appreciation to your most loyal app users. We know that some apps have huge merchant fans who love talking about their favourite app to other merchants. If you have one of these merchants who’s been a big part of helping you build your app business, why not reward them by naming a feature in your app after them?
We do recommend that you ask their permission first before naming this product update. Even if they’re shy and don’t want you to rename something on their behalf, they may really appreciate knowing how much their loyalty means to you. If they do give you the okay to rename part of your app after them, it’ll also be a signal to other app users of how much the merchants who use your app mean to you.
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Celebrating holidays with merchants is a great way to build app loyalty
Just as both merchants and app developers go through similar struggles in creating a successful business, you can also go through good times together during the holidays. By making some app interface tweaks, providing useful insights, and involving your most valued users in the creation of app features, you can further your bond and celebrate your growing businesses together.
Do you have a go-to tactic for showing appreciation to the merchants who use your app? Let us know if the comments below!