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Shopping on mobile goes from strength to strength in 2022

Shopping on mobile is more popular than ever. During the early days of the pandemic, e-commerce app usage saw huge growth as online shopping provided a practical alternative to closed brick-and-mortar stores. But now, despite many markets reopening, mobile is still a preferred channel for shopping. A recent survey found that 68% of U.S. consumers say they shop on mobile more often now than two years ago. The continued growth in e-commerce app usage is largely due to technological advances globally, including improvements in everything from digital payments to logistics. But it’s also a reflection of the value the vertical continues to demonstrate as options for shopping and purchases diversify.

According to Adjust’s Mobile app trends 2022, e-commerce app installs increased by 12% year-over-year in 2021, and sessions rose 15%. Our recent data shows that the growth has continued into 2022. In this article, we look at global installs, sessions, and in-app revenue of e-commerce apps over the last two years to assess year-over-year performance and help app marketers prepare for the upcoming festive shopping season.

E-commerce app installs are higher than early pandemic levels

While installs of e-commerce apps slowed down slightly overall in the first half of 2022 they’re still higher than the early pandemic levels. Compared to H1 2020, installs of e-commerce apps are up by 3% in H1 2022. Additionally, May has been the best month for e-commerce apps in 2022, with installs 5% higher than the H1 2022 average. Overall, installs have been relatively consistent and no huge post-pandemic drop occurred.

E-commerce app usage continues to grow in 2022

Sessions of e-commerce apps have been steadily increasing in 2022 so far. In H1 2022, sessions were 8% higher than the average of 2021 and 6% up from the H1 2021 average. Impressively, e-commerce app sessions were also much higher than in the early pandemic days. In H1 2022, sessions were 31% higher than the average of H1 2020. This shows that the shift to shopping on mobile is not a temporary trend but a mainstay for the vertical.

We also broke down the e-commerce session growth percentage by sub-vertical. Deal discovery apps charted the highest growth in the first half of 2022, with a session increase of 9% compared to H1 2021. The increasing popularity of deal discovery apps is likely due to rising inflation costs. Shopping and marketplace apps also charted growth of 7% and 5% in H1 2022 year-over-year, respectively.

Along with sessions, time spent in e-commerce apps has also climbed over the last two years. Session lengths for all e-commerce apps grew from 10.4 minutes in 2020 to 11.3 minutes in H1 2022. Session lengths of shopping apps have increased the most, jumping from 9.1 minutes in 2020 to 11.3 minutes in H1 2022. The average session lengths for marketplace and deal discovery apps have remained more or less the same. Session lengths of marketplace apps were 11.1 minutes in 2020, 11.6 minutes in 2021, and 11.5 minutes in H1 2021. Deal discovery session lengths jumped from 6.4 minutes in 2020 to 6.5 minutes in H1 2022. All in all, the increase in sessions is not resulting in less time per session, which is great for driving revenue.

Users spend more money in-app year-over-year

Additionally, in 2022 so far, in-app revenue for e-commerce apps is down (which grew 46% year-over-year in 2021), but it exceeds the average in-app revenue of 2020. Compared to H1 2020, in-app revenue increased by 91% in H1 2022. In-app revenue for May 2022 was also the highest this year, with the month charting 12% higher than the H1 2022 average.

Fun fact: E-commerce in-app revenue for May 2021 was the highest ever tracked by Adjust. The month came in 9% higher than November 2021 and 18% higher than the yearly average.

How to grow your e-commerce app in 2022?

While overall economic activity is slowing down, key trends suggest that e-commerce apps still have room to grow, especially during the upcoming holiday season as users spend more time and money on gifts for their loved ones. In 2022, m-commerce sales in the U.S. alone are expected to exceed $432 billion, a figure that represents double the 2021 sales ($222.1 billion). Here are some of the top ways to help your e-commerce app attract more customers, increase user engagement, and boost sales in 2022’s peak season:

Personalized shopping experience is key

Personalized user experiences are an effective way to drive conversions, sales, and leads. Consumers want a personalized experience across all customer journey touchpoints, from personalized ads to personalized product recommendations. However, customer needs are ever-changing, and the user experience needs to be continually optimized. TodayArtificial Intelligence (AI) takes the guesswork out of experimentation.

With AI-powered product recommendations and search optimization based on real-time data,  brands can guarantee relevant content and tailored search experiences that immediately meet customer needs. By analyzing browsing data, AI can recommend new products to shoppers. This keeps the customers engaged and can encourage them to purchase an item spontaneously.

You can also leverage automated chatbots to provide a personalized customer experience. Chatbots can help answer all the frequently asked questions about products and orders, provide tips, capture requests, and route users to customer service agents if required.

Understand your users better with app analytics

App analytics provide key insights into your users and are essential to ensure your app succeeds in this competitive market. It also allows you to identify the best ways to spend resources and reach your goals. For instance, app analytics shows when users churn, return on ad spend (ROAS), and your users’ lifetime value (LTV). This allows you to make smart, fast, and data-driven decisions to improve your app’s performance.

However, the analysis process is a lot more complex now due to an increasing number of data sources. That’s why a unified visualization and reporting platform is more critical than ever. Adjust’s advanced analytics solution—Datascape—helps solve this by providing time-saving data reporting, visualization, and analysis tools across all campaigns and channels, in one place. With Datascape, marketers have a complete overview of the performance metrics as well as a granular level of insights, allowing them to optimize campaigns quickly and focus on growth.

Make it easy for customers to get what they want

It’s crucial to make the buying process as simple as possible to reduce cart abandonment. You need to think about how to help your customers get to checkout faster and in fewer steps. One-click checkout allows users to make a purchase in a single click with the payment information they entered previously. This maximizes convenience and minimizes friction.

However, for first-time customers, you can offer guest checkouts. Once they trust your brand, they are more likely to return and create an account. It’s also essential to provide several payment options. You can also enable multi-recipient functionality, which allows customers to send specific items to other addresses, making it easier to send gifts to loved ones.

If customers are still hesitant to place an order, remind them to complete their purchase via email or push notifications. You can also persuade customers with a discount or free shipping.

Reward loyal users

Focusing on user retention is a cost-effective way to increase sales. One way to boost retention is by rewarding loyal customers and big spenders. You can create a customer loyalty program with extra incentives to make a purchase or referral. It’s also possible to develop a point-based program with its own currency that can be redeemed for discounts, free shipping, and free gifts. For the holidays, you can offer existing customers early deals. This way, your most valuable customers will get the first pick on best-selling items.

Unique advertising opportunities on CTV

CTV adoption is increasing exponentially, making it a crucial channel for reaching new consumers. Watching TV is now a multi-device and multi-purpose experience which presents an exciting opportunity for marketers and advertisers to create innovative campaigns. For example, marketers can integrate QR codes into commercials bringing users to a campaign landing page, the app store, or an app. You can also create shoppable CTV ads where viewers can buy what they see while watching a movie.

You might be hesitant to invest in CTV as a marketing channel because the CTV advertising ecosystem used to be fragmented and difficult to measure. However, with Adjust’s CTV AdVision, marketers can now accurately measure, analyze and optimize CTV campaigns and see how CTV channels perform compared to other channels. It also allows you to view the impact of CTV campaigns on your other channels to convert and improve ROI.

A bright future for e-commerce apps

The e-commerce industry has transformed over the last few years and continues to evolve, providing a multitude of opportunities for brands. By balancing great creatives with excellent UX that creates a seamless shopping experience, new users can quickly be transformed into loyal customers. Add a loyalty program into the mix and you’ll quickly see the benefits of user retention and incentivizing for lifetime value.

Brands are also making the shopping experience more interactive by leveraging augmented reality (AR) and voice search. AR can help customers try products before buying them. And by using voice search, customers can efficiently multitask while shopping. With advancing technology, shopping on mobile will only be easier and more fun.

To succeed in this expanding landscape, brands and apps need to implement strategies that distinguish them from the competition and optimize for conversion.

Looking for more tips for your e-commerce app? Check out our resources section on E-commerce apps for our latest articles, e-books, and reports.

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