AppsFlyer Prepares Marketers for Upcoming Holiday Season as eCommerce App Usage Rises 25% Globally

New report emphasizes importance of shopping app strategy Q4 2020 is expected to shatter records due to shift online driven by COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AppsFlyer, the global attribution leader, today released The State of Shopping App Marketing, 2020 Edition, outlining the key trends across the globe driving shopping patterns and behaviors as we enter the end-of-year Q4 holiday season.

In-app shopping activity has risen to new heights amid the coronavirus pandemic globally, seeing a 25% rise in eCommerce app installs – 7% higher than 2019 Q4 holiday season activity. With this momentum and the fact that buyers are seeking safer 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.

Given that in-app shopping activity skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2, surpassing even the 2019 Q4 rush, we can expect the 2020 holiday season to be one for the record books,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Content & 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.”

U.S. Leads eCommerce App Demand

With data trends being central to many marketers’ strategic decisions, notable U.S. insights from the report include:

  • Demand for eCommerce apps surged in the US during COVID-19 lockdowns. The U.S. saw an 80% jump in installs during the pandemic (February vs. May 2020).
  • Despite overall economic downturn, consumers are still looking to spend, with unused funds available that previously may have gone to travel and culture. There was a 65% increase in the number of retail app in-app purchases from July 2019 to March 2020, and Android revenue generated by fashion apps increased 55% in April 2020 compared to February. iOS growth reached 40% during the same time frame.
  • Investment in shopping apps drives greater conversion. AppsFlyer’s data shows a 55% higher share of buying users among apps of retail brands with a brick & mortar presence compared to online-only eCommerce – showing that traditional brands that invest in apps and in-app marketing drive strong performance.
  • Apple’s iOS and Android users show different patterns. While revenue distribution was similar between Android (43%) and iOS (47%) during lockdown, iOS saw two times the revenue generated via general retail apps, while Android growth was modest in comparison (33%), indicating iOS may have a more predictable user base.
  • Retail apps see high average purchases per user as consumers grow more comfortable with buying based on descriptions. The average number of purchases per user in general retail apps was higher every month of pandemic (March-June) than the Q4 peak of 2.70 (rising to a high of 2.86 in March).

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 UX,” said Doug McMillen, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy, AppsFlyer. “With this report, coupled with a recognition that a frictionless experience is essential as brick and mortar physical shoppers navigate a new-to-them mobile experience, marketers are now armed with the data and direction needed to create positive impact and ROI this holiday season.”

The State of Shopping App Marketing, 2020 Edition is available at


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 U.S.

About AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer, the global attribution leader, empowers marketers to grow their business and innovate with a suite of comprehensive measurement and analytics solutions. Built around privacy by design, AppsFlyer takes a customer-centric approach to help 12,000+ brands and 7,000+ technology partners make better business decisions every day. To learn more, visit


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