Shopping apps thrive during Cyber week

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge shopping events and this year was no exception. With consumers likely being somewhat reluctant to visit physical retail stores, this year expectations of Black Friday e-commerce sales were even higher than usual.
Thijs van Schadewijk

Thijs van Schadewijk

Founder & CEO

According to industry reports, those expectations were fully delivered upon. Mobile devices have been driving that growth for years. Data from the Highstreet platform shows that smartphones and tablet devices accounted for an average of 69% of November revenue of several leading European fashion retailers. Looking more closely, branded shopping apps turn out to be the real surprise here.

Shopping apps boost mobile growth

Based on Cyber Week data from our customer G-Star RAW, a global jeans brand, we see that the app is responsible for more than 40% of all mobile revenue and almost 30% of the total online business. A remarkable number given that the app was only launched in the summer of last year. The app is by far the fastest growing channel for the renowned jeans brand’s direct online business. What is even more striking however, is how much better the app numbers are. Let’s take a closer look at this performance and compare it to mobile users of the website.

600% higher conversion rates

When we compare typical Key Performance Indicators for e-commerce businesses it’s clear that the app has a unique position:

App customers convert better
Customers using the G-Star RAW official app convert at a seven(!) times higher rate than customers on the mobile site.

App customers buy more
Over the course of cyber week app customers spend 3.6 times as much as mobile web customers.

App customers stay longer and come back more frequently
The time spent per session is 2.3 times as long and they come back 2.5 times more often.

These numbers are convincing by itself.  What’s even more striking is that the gap between mobile web and app performance is growing over time as is clear from the graph below. As consumers spent more time with the app they’ll become bigger buyers too. This means that brands moving consumers over from web to the app not only benefit from better performance right away, but will also see that performance rise over time.

Why? Apps meet customer expectations

There are many reasons why well-made apps perform better than their mobile web counterparts. For example, they offer compelling features like push notifications to reach customers directly in their pocket. They have a high performance because they are optimized for the device they’re running on. They can store user data persistently on-device so that the second time checkout becomes very easy.  All of that matters. In the end,  the overarching reason is this: apps do a better job in meeting the expectations customers have of a mobile experience. Well designed apps simply work better. It’s the key reason why consumers prefer apps over websites.

In a mobile-first world, brands need to offer choice

As mobile slowly but surely grows to 90% of traffic in e-commerce, brands need to re-think their mobile strategy. It’s clear they will need the best mobile site possible to acquire customers and drive a huge part of their business. However, for the many customers that prefer using an app, there is a huge opportunity to invest in that. As the brand moves consumers from web to app they can significantly grow their mobile business and the app will become the best performing online channel they have. For years online retailers have been trying to get their mobile conversion up to the level of desktop conversion rates. With an app, they can move above and beyond.

Get in touch

Do you still think shopping apps are just ‘nice to have’ for your fashion brand? Or do you believe it can make a significant business impact? We’d love to discuss the business opportunities of a shopping app for your brand. Let’s get in touch!

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