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In-app shopping rises above 2019 peak levels across the UK and Europe in lockdown

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In-app shopping activity has risen to new heights amid the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, seeing a 35% rise in ecommerce app installs – 12% higher than 2019 Q4 holiday season activity.

Data from AppsFlyer’s The State of Shopping App Marketing, 2020 Edition report, the pandemic has seen spikes in app download, app usage and app-based spending across the UK and Europe.

It finds that, in the UK, overall shopping app usage spiked to a reported 7.6% in May 2020 and increased to 8% in June 2020, overall surpassing the 7.1% of shopping app usage in November 2019. The picture is similarl in Europe, with overall shopping app usage spiked to 7% in May 2020 versus only reaching 6.7% at its peak in November 2019.

Demand for ecommerce apps also surged in EMEA during COVID-19 lockdowns, with the UK seeing a 156% surge in iOS non-organic installs between February 2020 and May 2020; while Android grew by 142%. EMEA saw a 56% jump in non-organic installs during the pandemic, between February and May 2020. 

There were resulting spikes in spending too. The UK saw a 166% increase in ad spend between March and June, with consumer shopping spend in the UK surpassing Q4 retail rush across all shopping categories. Consumer spend overall reached 13% in May 2020 compared to 11.5% in November 2019, while in fashion consumer spend reached 14% in May 2020 compared to 10.3% in November 2019. General retail saw spend reach 12.5% in May 2020 compared to 12.3% in November 2019.

“Given that in-app shopping activity skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2, surpassing even the 2019 Q4 rush, we can expect the 2020 holiday season to be one for the record books,” says Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Content & Mobile Insights, AppsFlyer. “This year, more than ever, it is critical that marketers prepare a carefully-planned strategy to ensure consumers are able to find, explore, and shop within their app instead of turning to a number of alternatives. Special attention should be given to messaging that relays a sense of empathy to rekindle the holiday spirit during troubled times.”

Doug McMillen, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy, AppsFlyer, adds: “The opportunity is tremendous for brands and marketers, with added pressure to not only provide access to ecommerce via shopping apps, but to also implement creativity, compassion and understanding throughout marketing efforts and UX. With this report, coupled with a recognition that a frictionless experience is essential as brick and mortar physical shoppers navigate a new-to-them mobile experience, marketers are now armed with the data and direction needed to create positive impact and ROI this holiday season.”

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