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2020 becomes the biggest m-commerce shopping year to date, with $115bn spent

Pinterest helps merchants get more social (Image: AdobeStock)

2020 has become the biggest year yet for mobile commerce, with some $115bn being spent globally through the channel. In Europe, the UK leads the way, with more shopping hours spent on mobile than anywhere else.

According to App Annie’s latest The State of Mobile 2021 report, 2020 has accelerated mobile adoption as consumers used their mobile devices to connect, work, learn, play and escape COVID-19 restricting their way of life. In fact, consumers spent 30% more time on mobile shopping apps than in 2019 on average with those outside of early adopter China logging as much as a 45% increase.

In the UK, shoppers spent a whopping 51 million hours on shopping apps in one week in November, twice as much as spent by shoppers in Turkey and Germany and more than three times that of France. Only China, the US and Brazil saw more.

Social and live trends

Much of the growth in mobile shopping has been driven by the shoppers embracing social commerce and live shopping, says the study. According to App Annie’ data, social commerce and live shopping present a $2 trillion market globally by 2024.

This has been seen in global downloads of Pinterest and Instagram worldwide growing 50% and 20% YoY, respectively, while downloads of live shopping TaoBao Live in China, Grip in South Korea and NTWRK in the US grew 100%, 245% and 85% respectively. China was a first-mover in the live streaming shopping market.

The market is budding in the US, as evidenced by NTWRK nearly doubling in size. While further along in South Korea, it is still nascent. The YoY growth rates are early indicators of market demand, says the report.

Macro trends

The report also outlines some key macro trends across mobile in 2021. Social networking apps take centre stage, with time spent per user increased by up to 325% YoY.  TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion monthly active users in 2021 as consumers look to stay connected as well as entertained.

Mobile gaming remains unrivalled, with the sector is on track to surpass $120 billion in consumer spend in 2021, capturing one and a half times the overall gaming market, while mobile also fuels the ad industry, which saw spend on mobile up 26% compared to 2019, reaching $240bn.

Mobile use is also cross-generational, with Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X/ Baby Boomers spending 16%, 18% and 30% more time per user YoY in their most-used apps.

Commenting, James Cordery, Head of Performance Marketing Strategy, Deliveroo, says: “In 2020, we were able to focus on executing mobile strategies that really delivered incremental growth for Deliveroo. We were able to couple consumer insights with market context from App Annie to make decisions that have had a high impact on our performance.”

“The world has forever changed. While people stay at home across the world, we saw mobile habits accelerate by three years,” adds Theodore Krantz, Chief Executive Officer of App Annie. 

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