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… and apps boom across the Cyber shopping period

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With mobile doing surprisingly well across the Cyber Five-day weekend, apps appear to have been key.

According to research by Poq, 64% of purchases are made on a mobile device, which in turn is largely fuelled by retail apps. Poq, the UK’s leading app commerce platform, analysed Black Friday data from across more than 20 retail apps powered by the platform to understand how consumer behaviour has evolved.

The research found that the average app revenue per user was 24% higher than desktop and 175% higher than the mobile web.

Oyvind Henriksen, CEO and Co-founder of Poq, summarised: “Black Friday is always a very important time of the year for retail apps, but this year in particular, we have seen the greatest growth. App revenue across the Poq platform has increased by over 200% for our clients, compared to last year.”

He continues: “The number of app downloads during Cyber week increased by over 350% from last year. Following this, our clients used push notifications with promotion reminders to further engage their shoppers and drive transactions.”

Poq also found that commuter commerce played a large role on the day. 25% of sales were generated between 7am and 10am. This differs from last year, where the platform found shoppers making a large amount of purchases late in the evening as well as in the early morning.

Black Friday beat Cyber Monday across the platform, with revenue almost 300% higher. One third (33%) of transactions were achieved between 7pm and 11pm on Cyber Monday, so shoppers were most likely to make their final purchases of the period just before going to sleep.

This has also been borne out by data from rival app platform NoNeedForMirrors (NN4M), which has found that discount distribution – from the Monday before Black Friday up until Cyber Monday – was paramount to success. Retailers who choose to start their discounting on the days running up to Black Friday saw an increase in mobile app sales of up to 700% higher than their daily average.

On Black Friday itself, retailers with NN4M apps achieved a sales increase of 470% higher than the average Friday. While this was lower than last year, overall for the entire Black Week mobile app sales were 25% higher than last year and retailers raked in over one month’s worth of revenue in one week.

NN4M’s mobile app results are in line with the 25% increase that the industry predicted, while other online channels fell short with a 6.7% growth on last year.

“Retailers are staggering discounts across the entire week and consumers are taking advantage by spending more across a longer period of time,” says Caitlin Meecham from NN4M. “Interestingly, in line with app consumer spending patterns, Sunday was a strong day for those still discounting with some of the highest revenue being captured on this day.”

Apps were also key to the pre-, post- and within Cyber week too. Analysis of mobile app engagement using aggregate data from hundreds of retailers’ apps carried out by Urban Airship shows retailers promoted holiday deals earlier and at greater scale than years prior, significantly ramping up mobile app messaging two weeks in advance of the big holiday shopping weekend.

Retailers sent 56 percent more holiday notifications in 2016 than 2015, and 2015 was a 63 percent increase over 2014 volumes. The big difference this year: retailers embraced targeting. Preliminary Android analysis found 88 percent of notifications were highly targeted to shoppers’ location, preferences and behaviors and only 12 percent of messages were broadcast to everyone. These highly targeted notifications saw engagement rates that were more than three times higher than broadcast messages.

With notification volumes growing each year, consumers have responded with higher average notification engagement rates, reaching 19 percent in 2016, up from 18 percent in 2015 and 16 percent in 2014. In addition, average notification opt-in rates for iOS apps have continued to grow, reaching 41 percent in 2016, up from 39 percent in 2015 and 38 percent in 2014.

Throughout November, notification engagement rates exhibited a similar pattern as past years, where shoppers are most engaged with messages in advance of big shopping days rather than during those days. This year-over-year view vividly shows mobile’s role in pre-shopping research.

According to the data, daily app installs averaged more than 696,000 per day in November, up 24% from the average daily rate in October. Retail app installs spiked above 900,000 on Thanksgiving and the following Saturday, with Black Friday peaking at more than 1.2 million app installs.

The gap between high- and low-performing apps is widening, according to the study, with 90th percentile iOS apps see 58 percent of users opted in to receive notifications, while 10th percentile apps have 21 percent of users opted in. Similarly, high-performing apps see more than five times greater notification engagement rates than average apps.

“Whether it’s the growing percentage of online sales completed on mobile devices, or mobile’s broader influence on all offline sales, it has never been clearer that mobile is changing how retailers market and how consumers buy,” said Erin Hintz, CMO, Urban Airship. “We’re pleased to see retailers thoughtfully expanding their direct reach to customers and placing more emphasis on mobile, and we look forward to partnering with them on additional mobile growth best practices.”

Further to this, other studies released this week support the success for mobile this year. The National Retail Federation found more people shopped online than in stores for the second year in a row, and mobile drove the majority of visits to retail websites on Black Friday per Adobe. Impact to offline sales is also massive with Deloitte finding digital influences 56 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores and mobile accounts for two-thirds of that $2.1 trillion impact.

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