Shopping apps reap ‘Golden age of m-commerce’ as shoppers go mobile in lockdown

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Retail is entering a ‘Golden age of m-commerce’ driven by apps, according to a new study that finds customer engagement has gone up 40% through the channel and cost of acquisition has halved.

Analysing more than 53 billion ad impressions across 10 million installs and 2 million first-time events between April 2019 and April 2020, the report finds that, at $19.47, the cost to acquire a user who completes a first purchase has decreased by more than half year-over-year.

Meanwhile, engagement has surged 40%, as 14.7% purchase rates tower over last year’s 10.5%. According to  the data over the past two years and the trend is even more apparent, with purchase engagement up 110%. 

In addition, with COVID-19 driving stay-at-home orders, consumers seem to be leaning on mobile shopping even more readily: while install costs are relatively stable throughout the year, they drop to their annual low of $2.48 in March 2020 — just as shelter-in-place peaked.

“Last year, our analysis found that the rise of sales bonanzas from retail giants like Amazon, Flipkart and Alibaba were tilling the soil for other retailers, priming mobile users to shop year-round, and this trend is only continuing,” explains Mark Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Liftoff. “As consumers adapt to the changing retail landscape, they’re leaning on mobile more than ever. It’s never been a better time to be a retail app marketer.”

In a world where physical touchpoints are reduced, apps position brands to keep driving growth. And according to Adjust, companies have already stepped up their game by focusing on re-engaging and retaining their users.  

“The e-commerce industry as a whole got a bit shell-shocked in the first few weeks of March in the wake of COVID-19, with marketers dialing back ad spend,” says Paul H. Müller, co-founder and CTO of  Adjust. “But as we saw the vertical start to rebound in April, there’s been a broader push toward re-targeting and re-engagement —  in line with bringing customers back into the funnel and keeping their existing ones engaged.”

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