Across categories, most consumers aren’t downloading new apps. Month to month, 51% of smartphone users don’t download a single app, comScore recently found.
Yet shopping apps appear to be bucking this broader trend, according to fresh findings from App Annie.
Compared to the first half of 2016, downloads of shopping apps increased by 20% during the first half of 2017, the measurement firm found.
Among other implications, we can expect to see some massive m-commerce numbers this coming holiday season.
Indeed, App Annie estimates that consumers will spend more than 12 million hours on top digital-first Android apps this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
And, while Amazon and other tops apps continue to dominate the space, there do appear to be opportunities for other players. In major locales around the world, for example, average users of shopping apps split their time between two to four apps during the first half of the year.
On a monthly basis, meanwhile, the average U.S. consumer spent about an hour using shopping apps during that same period.
Looking ahead this coming shopping season, how can app makers expand their footprints?
Key steps include improving your app store optimization (ASO); boosting your paid advertising campaigns; and refining your strategic in-store marketing tactics.
App Annie also recommends cross-app usage, which can aid your ASO and paid marketing efforts by highlighting potential partnerships, and identifying audience interests to funnel into your marketing strategy.
At the moment, digital-first apps like Amazon are running circles around “bricks-and-clicks” apps like Walmart or Target.
Compared to the first half of 2016, digital-first apps saw average monthly sessions per U.S. consumer grow nearly 25% during the first half of 2017. That was significantly better than the 15% growth bricks-and-clicks apps saw during that time frame.
Comparing the first half of 2016 to the first half of 2017, the U.S. saw 60% growth in total sessions in the top five digital-first apps -- better than the 50% growth experienced by bricks-and-clicks.
In other words, digital-first apps are currently doing a better job at getting current users to engage more frequently, and attracting new users.
By App Annie’s reckoning, bricks-and-clicks also have fewer opportunities to convert users to purchasers, while they may believe that fewer in-app sessions is normal given physical visits to their stores.
Along with smaller businesses, retail giants like Walmart or Target would be wise to leverage their apps for in-store use in order to drive more app sessions overall.