COVID-19 continues to keep people away from shopping malls and off the High Street. As a result independent retailers are seeing a spike in sales made through mobile apps. Research from m-commerce agency JMango360 shows a quarterly jump of 54% in Q2 2020 for purchases made through independent eCommerce retailers’ mobile apps. App downloads increased by 36% from Q1 to Q2 2020. The numbers suggest COVID’s impact on mobile shopping extends beyond big brands like Amazon to the broader retail economy.
Year-over-year, from September 2019 to September 2020, retailers’ also saw a 58% increase in in-app transactions. The biggest spike happened in the early months of the pandemic when in-app orders jumped by 88% in June.
The biggest one-month increase in app downloads happened in April when mobile app downloads grew by 109%.
COVID’s mobile effect touches the real retail economy
Earlier this year, major US retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, and Home Depot reported huge growth in app downloads and in-app purchases in the early months of the pandemic. The numbers from JMango360 suggest the shift to mobile shopping is affecting independent retailers too.
“Big eCommerce brands like Amazon get all attention. However, we should not forget that the biggest part of the online economy is still driven by independent retailers. Fortunately, they are growing as well,” said Berry de Kort, CEO of JMango360.
“During the pandemic, shoppers were avoiding bricks and mortar shops, so eCommerce benefitted. But eCommerce now is largely driven by mobile. The Ubers and Netflixes have made apps the first stop when people want to do something important with their smartphones.”
De Kort adds that independent retailers have also been encouraging shoppers to use their apps with app-only discounts. In addition to using marketing tools like app push notifications to drive increased sales. That could explain why the average order value in-app hasn’t grown at the same pace as downloads and in-app purchases.
“Even before the pandemic the majority of traffic to web retailers was coming from smartphones,” adds de Kort. “We’ve been seeing steady increases in app usage over the year. However, the year-on-year figures prove it’s more than a short-term blip.
“Mobile shoppers are impatient and have high expectations. All retailers will need to continually demonstrate that their app shopping experience can make life better or easier for them.
“If they don’t, competitors might lure their customers away. Shoppers have embraced mobile apps and they won’t be going back to the slow and cumbersome purchase journeys offered by mobile responsive websites.”
JMango360 analysed download and purchasing data from over 300 independent retailers worldwide, between September 2019 and September 2020.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business.
The ongoing global coronavirus pandemic is driving more smartphone users to shop with mobile apps. With the dramatic growth in in-app sales year-on-year, retail apps have become a must-have for retailers who want to protect growth or stop losing customers to competitors. As a result, the findings of this report is not surprising to anyone with a pulse, who has visited any high street.
A batch of global research shows retail apps are growing in popularity. The pandemic has simply accelerated this trend, pushing more and more consumers towards mobile shopping. The end of the pandemic is still nowhere in sight. This research shows mobile apps are a great way to protect revenues and maintain future growth.