GPShopper, the leading mobile commerce platform for retailers and brands, announced that mobile application usage and sales were at an all-time high this holiday season, with traffic, revenue and number of orders increasing up to 392% year-over-year. Furthermore, in-store app usage reached an all-time high, clocking in at 5-times the amount of in-store visit typically reported during the holiday.
Here are three lessons learned about mobile app shoppers this holiday, based on the analytics from GPShopper’s retail client apps:
1) App usage peaks on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
App users have self-selected as a retailer’s most loyal customer base. They shop more, spend more, and are evangelists for the brand. As such, they turn to their favorite retail apps immediately while waiting for the Turkey to hit the table. They’ve already downloaded these apps on their phone, already targeted their “must-have” products and are excited to shop the deals from specific brands, whether in-app or in-store.
These loyal shoppers expect to be in-the-know about a retailer’s offers and promotions on Thanksgiving. Leading up to, and on Thanksgiving, smart retailers took advantage of this behavior by releasing exclusive “first look” previews of Black Friday deals and gift ideas to their app user base. Many successful retailers used push notifications to drive timely digital promotions over Thanksgiving evening, increasing in-app and online conversion. By the time the table was cleared, and into the wee hours of Black Friday morning, many loyalists were quickly racking up sales at preferred retailers.
2) Black Friday the app becomes a tool of shopping efficiency in-stores.
Although in-store traffic witnessed some slow-down this holiday, those braving the crowds came armed with their mobile apps in tow. On Black Friday, in-store app usage reached an all-time high, clocking in at 5x the amount of in-store visit typically reported during the holiday.
App users were all about efficiency by relying on mobile apps for their in-store navigation tool and shopping checklist. Popular behaviors included reviewing in-app wish and shopping lists, checking offers and local coupons, checking loyalty specific offers in store and using the app to validate local inventory and pricing with barcode scanning.
Black Friday visits to GPShopper’s client apps increased 353% year-over-year while unique visits increased 172%. The number of orders placed in-app increased 270%, bringing revenue to a 309% increase over last Black Friday.
3) Cyber Monday is all about the deals – and mobile web usage.
Interestingly, Cyber Monday activity – while still experiencing year over year increases in visits, revenue and number of orders placed – was outshined by the app activity on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Maya Mikhailov, CMO and Co-Founder of GPShopper, explained, “Cyber Monday primarily draws in customers who are just searching for the best deals and will check multiple sites, from less frequently visited retailers, to achieve the most savings. They are driven in through social media and forwarded emails offering bargains.
These are transient deal-hungry shoppers are eager to buy Cyber Monday, but the challenge for retailers is retaining their loyalty after the mark-down.”
Apps still performed well, however. Cyber Monday visits to GPShopper’s client apps increased 275% year-over-year while unique visits increased 215%. The number of orders placed in-app increased 137%, bringing commerce to a 169% increase over last Cyber Monday, resulting in strong performance, but clearly showing Thanksgiving and Black Friday are where store apps shine.