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US retailers face Chinese competition for shoppers’ attention on mobile in Europe

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Chinese retailer AliExpress is climbing rapidly in the app stores, poised to make its mark on mobile shopping during the week of Black Friday 2017.

Seeing strong gains in downloads leading up to Singles’ Day on 11 November, AliExpress claimed the top spot for shopping apps by daily iOS and Google Play combined downloads in the UK, France and Germany on Single’s Day. This could bode well for AliExpress during Black Friday, as its app is top of mind for consumers.

The week of Black Friday is pivotal for retailers. App Annie, the leading app data company, forecasts over 6 million hours will be spent in the top five digital-first apps on Android in the US on the day of Black Friday – that’s 40% growth from last year.

In the UK the company expects 45% growth of time spent in shopping apps (on Android phone), from two years prior, to over 6 million hours in the week of Black Friday.

How retailers are preparing for Black Friday

  • Walmart’s iOS changes (updates to their description, screenshots, logos and version updates) have already paid off, with the app ranking in the top 10 for the keyword “black friday” as of November 12, 2017.

  • Nike took defensive measures to retain the #1 Spot for its branded keyword “Nike” on the iOS App Store.

Not just one day

  • Last year, retailers like Sephora and Walmart, who prioritised app-exclusive deals during the 2016 shopping season, saw lasting gains in app engagement weeks after the promotional period ended.

Black Friday poised to make waves overseas

  • Amazon’s Prime Day set the bar high for mobile shopping in 2017 with nearly 8 million hours spent on July 11, 2017 across the US, UK and Japan in the Android phone app alone.

  • In Japan, we predict total time in shopping apps on Android phone to grow 30% to well over 15.5 million hours

  • In the UK, we expect over 20% growth to over 6 million hours.

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