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Mobile commerce, in-app shopping to hit an all-time high: Adjust report

Adjust’s latest report detects the reason behind the success of e-commerce apps in 2020, with insights from the Sensor Tower.

Mobile commerce, in-app shopping to hit an all-time high: Adjust report

Thursday December 16, 2021 , 5 min Read

Seemingly within an arm’s reach, our smartphones dictate our daily habits. It is no wonder then that mobile commerce trends are evolving with changing consumer buying behaviour. The latest report by Adjust, complete with insights from Sensor Tower, zeroes in on the metrics behind the vertical’s continued success, equipping advertisers with essential data required to make smart decisions about campaign spend and budget allocation, as more markets recover from the pandemic.

By the end of 2021, 54 percent of total e-commerce sales are predicted to come from mobile, leading to a rise of the global mobile e-commerce sales to hit $3.56 trillion, much higher than 22 percent from 2020, as stated by the E-commerce App Report, 2021.

While a major part of the shift to m-commerce can be attributed to demand and pandemic-related necessities, developers have continuously improved, diversified, and expanded the reach and potential of their apps.

Since 2020, lockdowns have drastically shifted the way consumers interact with mobile while accelerating the move towards mobile commerce. In 2021, as restrictions have started to progressively ease in many markets – allowing ‘brick and mortar’ brands to resume trading – mobile e-commerce has instead gone from strength to strength.

“The e-commerce vertical has experienced immense growth since the start of the pandemic. It hasn’t just been about new users turning to mobile to shop and make purchases, but the kind of services people require from mobile has also changed,” added Paul H Müller, Co-founder, and CEO, Adjust. “What’s most impressive is that even as shops slowly open up globally, e-commerce apps have managed to hang onto the users acquired while continuing to grow and acquire even more new customers. It’s a testament to the longevity and robust nature of the business models, and how successful they are in providing customers with convenient and user-optimised experiences,” he added.

Key findings

Adjust’s E-commerce App Report 2021 has successfully accumulated data from almost 2631 e-commerce apps and provides an in-depth overview of the vertical’s performance, its trajectory throughout 2021, and insights into how m-commerce has successfully built upon its 2020 growth. The top three takeaways from the report are:

  1. Installs in the e-commerce vertical have grown 10 percent so far in 2021, as and when compared to 2020, and sessions have jumped by 12 percent.
  2. Session lengths have steadily increased from 10.07 minutes in 2019 to 10.42 minutes in 2020 to 10.56 minutes in 2021 so far. EMEA had the highest session lengths in 2021, with 10.97 minutes per session.
  3. In-app revenue has increased significantly in 2021, with May outperforming Q4 of 2020, and is set to reach an all-time high considering the holiday season.

Alex Malafeev, Co-founder, Sensor Tower, said, “While we're still fully coming to terms with the lasting impact of COVID and social distancing on the way we live our daily lives, it's clear that we're entering a new phase of digital and especially mobile commerce. Major brands are leveraging all the channels at their disposal to engage with consumers and build loyalty, from online to in-app to in-store, and that follow-through is creating a brand new context for shopping. All signs point to a new era where multi-touchpoint commerce can grow and thrive.”

The future growth

Social commerce has established itself as a major player in the e-commerce and m-commerce industries where potential customers can reach your app or products via social media app integrations or direct-to-purchase links, or by developing strategies including gamification and conversational AI. The report also outlines new ways on how developers can entice users to open their app more often and ensure a rewarding experience.

When it comes to navigating this highly competitive space, there’s an increasing need to focus on creating convenient and seamless cross-device experiences, and on successfully incentivising and retaining users. The global mobile coupon industry, for example, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 56.5 percent by 2025.

With mobile e-commerce growth projected to continue, advertisers and marketers should seek opportunities to acquire new users from rising channels such as Connected TV (CTV), but also prioritise the enhancement of their experiences and user journeys to push for engagement, participation, and conversion, to ultimately drive user loyalty.

Lou Hong, Vice President of Marketing, Sensor Tower, added, “It is remarkable that e-commerce apps have achieved such rapid growth while also greatly enhancing the user experience. As more and more consumers make purchases on their mobile devices, retailers have reduced friction in mobile shopping, resulting in quick transactions that fit in our busy lives and lead to frequent repeat engagement.”

Branching out to new channels and platforms to find and engage with users is essential for sustained growth. From social commerce where potential customers can reach your app or products via social media app integrations, or direct-to-purchase links, to new advertising opportunities on CTV, brands must continue to adapt, measure, and analyse to retain their edge.

Download the full report from Adjust and Sensor Tower for in-depth insights into the continued success of mobile e-commerce.