How to Optimize Your App for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Georgia Shepherdby 
Product Marketing Manager at AppTweak

8 min read

The holiday season is huge for the retail sector with major marketing events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and much more coming up. With tons of promoted sales and deals online, Black Friday and Cyber Monday typically drive a huge number of downloads to shopping apps on both the App Store and Google Play. Read this blog to understand how to prepare your app to fully leverage the potential of these seasonal events!

How to prepare your app for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday is one of the best days of the year for e-commerce and a key moment for customer acquisition. Here are some best practices that apps should consider to get the most out of this busy period:

  • Adapt your app’s metadata accordingly. As well as ensuring your metadata is generally optimized using app store best practices, we recommend adding relevant keywords to your title, subtitle (iOS), keyword field (iOS), and short & full description (Android) to start ranking higher for these words. In the past years, keywords like “Black Friday,” “discounts,” “deals,” and “coupons” have typically seen popularity increase during November. However, remember to avoid adding any keywords that promote deals or discounts in Google Play metadata since they will be flagged by Google!
  • To prepare for the additional influx of traffic and maximize your conversion rate, make sure to update your app creatives (screenshots, videos, etc.) to promote more relevant messages to those in your Black Friday ad campaigns.
  • Speaking of ads, Black Friday is a great time to leverage custom product pages (CPP) on the App Store. Custom product pages allow you to tailor your app page (screenshots, video, and/or promo text) to align with more specific user intents. For example, you could use CPP to showcase different screenshots to users coming from a particular marketing campaign or searching for the keyword “clothes deals”.
  • You could also try using Apple’s in-app events for Black Friday. In-app events are a great way to reach new users, engage current users, or reconnect with lapsed users. They might also help your app get featured on the App Store and gain an extra visibility boost.
  • Don’t forget to update your promo text (iOS). You can change your app’s promo text whenever you like (these changes don’t require an entire app update) and you’re able to promote whatever you like (promo text is not indexed). This can be a great way to increase customer engagement by promoting special features, deals, and beyond.
  • Finally, your app must be ready to handle an increased number of users. Avoiding app malfunctions and bugs is key to customer satisfaction – you don’t want to lose any potential customers just before the Christmas period!

Find more expert tips to prepare your app for the holiday season

In the US, the hype for Black Friday is seen every year; search volumes for the keyword start to increase drastically towards the end of October. As we see in the following graph, search popularity for the keyword “Black Friday” in the US was highest in 2022, reaching a volume of 66 at its peak in November. We also see that consumers started looking for Black Friday deals and offers as early as September! The importance of getting your ASO strategy ready on time for Black Friday is clear – these peaks represent a unique opportunity for apps to show they are responsive to their communities and capture part of this search traffic by optimizing their metadata.

Search volume for the keyword “black friday” on the US App Store (2019-2023)

Why optimize your app for Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

Each year, Rakuten is a great example of how shopping apps can update their metadata to capture the search traffic related to Black Friday. The day before Black Friday 2021, Rakuten updated its title to include the keywords “Black Friday deals” and updated its subtitle to include its top-priority keywords. The app also refreshed its screenshots to promote its Black Friday participation.

Immediately after this update, Rakuten began ranking for the keyword “Black Friday,” reaching the 10th position in search results.

Rakuten’s metadata updates for Black Friday promotions on the US App Store (2021)

The year after (having again updated its description, screenshots, and more), we noticed another keyword visibility boost for Rakuten leading up to Black Friday 2022. For many e-commerce apps, seasonal events like Black Friday are a huge opportunity to capture increased traffic and downloads.

Rakuten’s ranking history for the keyword “black friday” (2022)

Learn more about the impact of Black Friday on shopping apps

To really take advantage of the increased search volume for “Black Friday,” apps should be willing to experiment (i.e. by adding the keyword “Black Friday” to their title). When we look at past search results, we see that lesser-known apps showcasing ads and deals rank at the top for the keyword “Black Friday.” To compete with these apps in the search results, brands need to show Apple that their app is relevant to this specific search term by also adding it to the title.

Search Results History for the keyword “black friday” (2023)

Expert Tip

As of September 2021, Google’s metadata policy no longer allows keywords indicating promotional information in app titles. You can still implement “Black Friday” in your title, but make sure to avoid any prohibited words like “free” or “30% off”.

Each year, Rakuten is rewarded for its consistent ASO updates with increased downloads on the US App Store. For example, in 2022 we estimated that Rakuten’s daily downloads increased by over 7x on Black Friday, compared to the month before.

Rakuten’s download estimates increased significantly after the app executed ASO updates and a well-planned advertising campaign (US App Store, 2022)

Rakuten’s performance also stands out in comparison to the top shopping apps in its category. Thanks to a well-prepared ASO and advertising strategy, Rakuten managed to move from #59 in the Shopping category to #12 on Black Friday, overtaking major e-commerce apps like eBay.

The success of shopping apps during Black Friday relied on a well-prepared marketing strategy. As all advertising efforts eventually lead to the app stores, it is crucial to correctly optimize your app page and match it with your overall promotional campaign messages.

Discover what your direct competitors are doing for Black Friday with AppDNA, our AI app taxonomy

Category rank of Rakuten and the top 10 Shopping apps in November 2022 (US, App Store)

Use in-app events to maximize visibility during the holidays

In-app events and promotional content are a great way to increase your app’s engagement and visibility on the App Store and Google Play. In-app events are timely events within games and apps, such as challenges or competitions, live-streamed experiences, movie premieres, and more.

As in-app event cards rank in App Store search results, including strategic keywords such as “black friday deals” in your in-app event title will increase your chances of ranking for these search terms. For example, in 2022 Temu promoted an in-app event dedicated to Black Friday deals. Thanks to the keywords included in the event metadata, this in-app event was able to rank in search results. The large font size and distinctive colors used to showcase “Black Friday” and “70% off” would highly appear to users searching for these deals.

Temu’s in-app event promoting Black Friday deals in 2022

Increase appeal & downloads with custom product pages

Custom product pages (CPP) allow iOS app and game developers to showcase different screenshots, videos, and/or promotional text to more relevant user segments. CPPs can be used in Apple Search Ads and external marketing campaigns via unique URLs. As a result, CPP can help app developers increase their apps’ appeal by aligning specific user intents with the app pages these users see.

To find CPP inspiration, use CPP Explorer to see all the custom product pages your competitors are targeting (or all the apps running CPPs on your target keywords). For instance, below we see Temu increase its appeal to users interested in furniture shopping by replacing its Halloween screenshots with furniture images, and targeting furniture-based competitors with keywords like “wayfair” and “overstock”.

Learn more about our powerful CPP Explorer

Temu’s CPP showcasing black friday deals specifically around furniture deals (October 2023)

Dive into our e-commerce market report for valuable insights and trends for shopping apps in H1 2023


The holiday season is busy for shopping apps! Apps that don’t optimize their metadata for Black Friday and Cyber Monday miss a huge opportunity to rank high and increase their downloads. To prepare for the Black Friday period, follow these recommendations:

  • Add keywords related to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to your app metadata to boost your app/game’s chances of ranking for these words.
  • Update your app/game screenshots to feature valuable deals in the first positions and maximize conversion.
  • Leverage in-app events or promotional content and don’t forget to add important keywords to your event card title to rank high in the search results.
  • Use custom product pages to increase appeal to users looking for specific Black Friday deals

In AppTweak, find valuable insights to gain more visibility during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Start free trial

Georgia Shepherd
by , Product Marketing Manager at AppTweak
Georgia is a Product Marketing Manager at AppTweak. She works daily to highlight the value of our industry-leading ASO tools. She loves music, dancing, and food!