Study of retailers’ apps shows mobile’s growing influence on holiday shopping
The retail industry is still trying to collect itself after the busy holiday shopping weekend, and data is still coming in as to just how successful they were (or were not). One thing, though, is clear from the Black Friday shopping weekend, and that’s the continued growth of the mobile shopping trend—which, at this point, is really less of a trend and more of a full-on movement.
To add to the retail space’s depth of knowledge around the impact of mobile shopping on holiday sales, Urban Airship, a mobile engagement platform, announced the preliminary results of the organization’s third-annual Cyber Week study, which highlights year-over-year trends in mobile app engagement for retailers.
The study’s top-line findings: Retailers promoted holiday deals earlier and more often in 2015 than they have the past two years in which the study was conducted. More specifically, Urban Airship said retailers significantly ramped up their activity in the two weeks prior to the holiday shopping weekend. Overall, retailers sent 63 percent more holiday notifications in 2015 than they did in 2014, and that’s after 2014 saw a 34 percent increase in notification volume over 2013.
Urban Airship said consumers responded to the increased notification volume. Average consumer notification engagement rates rose from 16 percent in 2014 to 18 percent in 2015. The days with the highest engagement rate were November 1 and November 3, when initial promotions are just being launched, the group said. The Thursday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday before Cyber Monday were also big engagement days, “highlighting mobile’s role in pre-shopping activities,” Urban Airship said.
The study found that, in all, one third of all app opens during the 2015 holidays came from a push notification. Here’s a look at some of the other major findings from the Urban Airship study:
- The gap between high- and low-performing apps is widening. 90th percentile apps grew average notification opt-in rates from 55 percent to 58 percent, while the 10th percentile went from 26 percent to 22 percent opted in year-over-year
- Medium-performing retail apps (the 50th percentile) saw average notification opt-in rates improve slightly from 38 percent to 39 percent year-over-year
- Retailers dramatically increased use of in-app message centers to reach all app users, opted-in or not, delivering 152 percent more in-app messages than in 2014
- Daily app downloads increased 21 percent month-over-month after 11/7 likely due to app-exclusive deals, general marketing or in-store holiday promotions
“Whether it’s the growing percent of online sales completed on mobile devices, or mobile’s broader influence on all offline sales, which has doubled every year for the past three years, it’s very clear that mobile is changing how retailers market and how consumers buy,” Erin Hintz, CMO, Urban Airship, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to see retailers adopting opportunities highlighted by last year’s findings, and look forward to partnering with them on additional best practices coming out of this year’s analysis.”