Mobile retail is “new normal that will outlast Covid times” as it grows 30% this year

Mobile & Apps

Mobile retail sales have grown over 30 per cent so far this year despite a widespread reopening of retail as the medium becomes “a new normal that will outlast these Covid times.”

The global shift towards mobile retail has largely been driven by a staggering rise in the use of retail apps during the pandemic, according to new research from Liftoff, App Annie and Poq.

The new research, which analysed 95 billion ad impressions, 1.1 billion clicks and 14 million installs in the year to June 1 2021, reveals a historic and prolonged surge in mobile shopping app use in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since January 2020, mobile users have spent 49 per cent more time on retail apps, topping 18 million hours per week in April 2021.

READ MORE: UK mobile retail spend to double to £33.2bn by 2024

Between January 2021 and May 2021, mobile purchase rates increased by 30.1 per cent, seeing growth accelerate from 19.9 per cent in the previous period, alongside a 15.8 per cent rise in basket sizes from $74 to $88 between January and June this year.

By platform, the research also revealed that Android users far outpaced their iOS counterparts in terms of mobile shopping, seeing a 51 per cent year-on-year increase in weekly time spent in-app to 2 billion.

“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,” Liftoff chief executive Mark Ellis said.

“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.”

App Annie’s senior vice president of field operations Sam Yang said: “Retailers have heavily relied on mobile commerce over the past year to make up for the decrease in in-person purchases.

“Even as the pandemic restrictions are lifted and stores open to in-person shopping, we predict that mobile commerce will continue to rise and present a key element for retailers to capitalize on.”

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