Shopping via mobile apps rose by 93% in South Africa from April to May

AppsFlyer, the global attribution leader, has released The State of Shopping App Marketing Report, 2020 Edition, which shows a 93% growth in in-app purchases between April and May 2020 in South Africa, following the lockdown at the end of March. These measures drove consumers from brick and mortar  to online stores. This is compared to a 43% increase between September and November 2019.

Outlining the key trends across the globe driving shopping patterns and behaviors, the report shows in-app shopping activity has risen to new heights amid the coronavirus pandemic globally, with a 25% rise in eCommerce app installs – 7% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2019 Christmas season activity.

Data from the report also shows that the average number of purchases per user in South Africa in general retail apps increased by around 20% between March and April and the signs look positive for SMEs looking to acquire more customers through their mobile devices. With this momentum and the fact that buyers are seeking convenient shopping options, marketers need to meet consumers where they are to drive sales and mimic the in-person shopping experience as physical shoppers increasingly become digital shoppers.

“The opportunity is tremendous for brands and marketers, with added pressure to not only provide access to eCommerce via shopping apps, but to also implement creativity, compassion and understanding throughout marketing efforts and user experience,” said Daniel Junowicz, AppsFlyer’s MD for LatAm and Africa. “Just as marketers need to meet consumers where they are, it’s important the shopping industry follows suit. With this report, coupled with a recognition that a frictionless experience is essential as shoppers navigate a new-to-them mobile experience, marketers are now equipped with the data and direction needed to create positive impact and ROI as brands across Africa slowly recover from the impact of lockdown.”

With data trends being central to many marketers’ strategic decisions, notable South Africa-related insights from the report include:

  • Activity in shopping apps surged during COVID-19 lockdown. Monthly percentage of in-app shopping sessions grew by 93 percent between April and May 2020

  • Lockdown positively impacted the amount of customers looking to spend. Share of buying users dropped by 34% between January and March 2020 but rose again by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

  • More purchases per user for shopping and retail apps. 30% more purchases per user in December among overall shopping and retail apps compared to fashion apps

  • Fashion apps see increase in purchases per user in the fourth quarter of the year. 45% growth in the number of purchases between October and December among fashion apps

“Given that in-app shopping activity skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2, surpassing even the 2019 Q4 rush, we can expect Christmas 2020 to be one for the record books,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Content and Mobile Insights, AppsFlyer. “This year, more than ever, it is critical that marketers prepare a carefully-planned strategy to ensure consumers are able to find, explore, and shop within their app instead of turning to a number of alternatives. Special attention should be given to messaging that relays a sense of empathy to rekindle the holiday spirit during troubled times.”

The State of Shopping App Marketing, 2020 Edition from AppsFlyer is an anonymous aggregate of proprietary global data from 2.3 billion non-organic app installs across 1,800 apps, 14 billion retargeting conversions, and 390 billion sessions. Of this, 610 million non-organic app installs across 400 apps, 4 billion retargeting conversions, and 20 billion sessions, were specific to the US.


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