“And we’re developing a smartphone app, too” is officially the 2010 marketing equivalent to “let’s do lunch.” Everybody, it seems, is developing an app, has an app or just released an app for their clients. Although apps aren’t the new little gizmos they once were ages ago (like 2008), apps are certainly becoming a crucial part of online marketing and business development. So it isn’t surprising that this Christmas looks to be the app-iest holiday season to date.
The Postcards From Santa app is charming bit of holiday marketing. The app sends fancy postcards to kids from Kris Cringle himself. Using the app, parents can choose pictures of Santa and whip up a personalized message to children who await his arrival. In a short period of time, children receive a glossy postcard from Santa and the secret can be kept for a little while longer. The app is free but in order to get your hands on correspondence from the North Pole, it’ll cost you $1.99.
Hallmark Channel continues to surprise us. I mean, here’s a cable network synonymous with cornball holiday movies featuring Tom Wopat and Valerie Bertinelli and yet Hallmark keeps pulling out all of the digital stops. Take, for example, the genius Ultimate Holiday App. Hallmark has taken all of the things its audience loves placed them in one handy roll of Christmas app-ing. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, the app features a daily holiday app which shines the spotlight on holidays (and greeting card buying opportunities) around the globe, a gift list organizer and a feature that allows users to pimp out their pictures in holiday attire. The app is the latest move of genius from a company that also has one of the better Facebook campaigns we’ve seen.
By far the biggest holiday trend in app development is barcode scanning. Large retailers like Toys “˜R’ Us, Target and others have been using barcode tech for a while. This season already has seen a jump in usage of these applications. ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner by Big in Japan is one of the original barcode reading apps and it keeps getting bigger. With coverage on Bloomberg and nearly everywhere else, ShopSavvy is seeing record downloads this season. And now, thanks to the release of ShopSavvy 4, retailers of every size can get in on the action. Apps like ShopSavvy speak to shopaholics and are dreams come true for retailers. Scanning apps are set to be the thing retailers and marketers will be bragging about developing long after the holidays are over.