Ecommerce apps start to attract more sales as online consumers switch to mobile

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As the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new phase and consumer habits shift amid loosening restrictions in daily life, and now ecommerce apps are starting to see a bounce-back.

According to data from global app marketing platform Adjust, ecommerce apps are beginning to see growing installs and rising in-app sessions as more online shoppers turn to mobile.

The data also reflects an up-tick in ad spending on user acquisition on apps within retail as retailers shift to make the most of the continuing hegemony of online retailing, despite the lifting of lockdown.

Although the app economy was largely resilient in the face of COVID-19, with people turning to apps more than ever, e-commerce apps fared poorly by comparison. As reported in Adjust’s recently released App Trends report, e-commerce app installs trended down 12% week-on-week through March 2020, as companies pulled advertising, with a decrease in paid installs of 35% from March to April. 

Yet new data by Adjust suggest these key indicators have risen back to near pre-COVID levels. This follows an overall recovery in digital ad spending in general, as the economy prepares for more activity.

“Consumption patterns may not change as much after the lockdown as some are assuming,” says Sven Arn, CEO of Happy Thinking People, a global marketing research and strategy company. “The reason is that many consumers expect behavioural changes in others and less in themselves. They criticize someone flying halfway around the world just to attend a business meeting, but are already anticipating taking a flight for their next vacation. So, we can probably expect quite a high degree of bounce-back in terms of consumer behaviour.” 

Companies have already stepped up their game by focusing on re-engaging users. Comparing the last week of March to the last week of April, users returning to their favoured e-commerce platforms have increased by 43%, thanks to a combination of paid campaigning and users finally ready to purchase again.

Commenting on the data, Paul H Müller, co-founder and CTO at Adjust, says: “The e-commerce industry got a bit shell-shocked in the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown in March, with marketers dialing back ad spend. Yet we’ve seen the vertical rebound in April, as marketers and consumers alike are learning to live with the situation and return to more established consumption patterns. So, there’s been a broader push toward re-engagement and re-targeting, in line with bringing customers back into the funnel.”

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