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Student discount platform moves to shoppable widgets with latest iOS update

Unidays: just one way to leverage mobile

Flash sale student discount platform UNiDAYS has become one of the first retailers to exploit the use of widgets in iOS15 to drive sales.

The company, which operates in 114 markets globally with 7 million active users is now offering quick access to its site from the home screen to more than 800 UK brands.

Widgets are similar to apps in that they sit on your device’s home screen, but unlike apps, they offer information at a glance – similar to your clock or weather app, or your calendar reminders. Widgets were introduced with the iOS14 update and have continued to evolve in the latest iOS15 update to include branded widgets, like that recently launched by UNiDAYS.

Arber Pllana, Product Manager at UNiDAYs says: “Widgets were added to the iOS system update in 2020, and last September’s iOS15 update saw Apple doubling down on them being a core part of the iPhone user experience. We decided then that it was time we took advantage of this software feature, by offering our own widget to the millions of iOS Members.”

UNiDAYS members are now able to create a widget on their home screens to see limited time only benefits. The feature is available to both student and graduate members in all the UNiDAYS iOS15 app regions – more than 20 million globally.

Pllana goes on to explain that a “limited time only” benefit (LTO) is defined as a “perk, offer or giveaway which expires shortly after it has launched. These are collected and pushed into a feed for the widget, which ensures we are always showing the hottest content to our Members, so they open it and engage with us more often.”

At any given time, the widget has access to up to 8 LTO benefits that can be displayed to the user, which are selected at random in 15 minute rotation cycles. The widget will be updated every hour with a new batch of LTOs to keep the content as fresh as possible.

Members can personalise their widget by selecting the category of LTO benefits being displayed. When the widget is initially installed, it will default to the category the member selected as their first choice during the app onboarding flow. If the user hasn’t made a preference in onboarding, it will default to the first category returned from the app’s backend, which is currently Fashion.

Pllana adds: “Another cool feature of the UNiDAYs widget is that members aren’t just limited to one LTO widget, they can install as many as they want, displaying different categories in each one. Users can then stack one on top of each other, making the most out of the functionality provided by Apple.”

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