Liftoff: Mobile shopping is up 30% since January despite global re-opening of stores

Mobile shopping app use continues to grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Android shopping apps are outperforming iOS in key marketing metrics. That’s according to the annual mobile shopping apps report released today from app marketing plaform, Liftoff, analytics company, App Annie and native mobile app platform Poq.

Liftoff’s data draws on more than 95 billion ad impressions, 1.1 billion clicks across 14 million installs, and 39 million in-app events between June 1, 2020, and June 1, 2021. It found that:

The pandemic put the booming retail app industry into hyperdrive – and it’s not slowing down

The analysis highlights that consumers flocked to mobile retail amid COVID-19 restrictions, boosting a years-long trend of increased adoption in the sector. Globally, the report shows mobile users spent 49% more time on these apps since January 2020, reaching nearly 18 million hours spent weekly in April 2021. Regionally, APAC experienced the most significant growth in time spent (54%), followed by the Americas (40%) and Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) (38%).

Mobile buying has persisted despite the initial global reopening period, a promising sign that these growth trends are here to stay. Specifically, the analysis revealed a 30.1% increase in purchase rates from Jan 2021 to May 2021 (growing from 15.3% 19.9%). Purchase sizes also spiked, with baskets hitting a high $88 in June 2021, compared to January’s $74 — a 15.8% increase.

Android edges out iOS as the leading platform for retail

In the ongoing “platform wars,” Android shows great promise—especially in retail. Android users were highly engaged with shopping apps, spending a collective 2 billion hours a week on these apps as of May 2021, a 51% increase year-over-year.

The report found that Android’s $2.13 cost-per-install (CPI) was 55% less expensive than the $3.85 of iOS, while simultaneously offering a greater install-to-action rate: 16.5%, compared to the 11.3% of iOS.

We are living in an era that will be defined by mass adoption of new technologies, and retail apps are reaping the benefit—our analysis over the last five years has shown a strong and continuous trend of consumers racing to these platforms and forming new shopping habits. Continued interest in mobile shopping—even amid physical reopening – suggests that this isn’t an ephemeral trend but a new normal that will outlast these Covid times.

 Mark Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Liftoff