Retail App Engagement Rates
Engagement rates for retail apps among U.S. consumers are increasing, with retention rates and penetration showing growth in the past years. Hispanics are more likely to have multiple retailer apps on their phones and use them more often than the general population. Below is an overview of the findings.
- According to a survey conducted in February 2019, 51% of mobile devices owners had used a mobile retail app in the month before the survey. Even though it is increasing in popularity, the value of purchases via smartphone and tablet devices were still lower than those of online shopping orders through PCs.
- In 2018, U.S. consumers opened a digital-first retail app approximately 22 times per month, which is 10% more frequent than in 2016. For brick-and-mortar retail apps, this average is 15 sessions per month, a 35% increase from 2016.
- Twenty-one percent of users use their retail apps only once, while 38% use it for 11 sessions or more.
- A survey estimated that nearly 7 in 10 smartphone users have at least one shopping app. Of the consumers that used their shopping apps more than once a month, 54% used them each week and 28% used them each day.
- Among those surveyed who use shopping apps more than once a month, more than one-third (35%) are inclined to engage with e-commerce apps 2-5 times a week. Nineteen percent of those surveyed use shopping apps at least once a week, 18% use them 2-3 times a month, and 16% use them several times a day.
- Mass-market retailer apps are the most popular as 81% of those surveyed use them, followed by pure online retailer apps which are used by 77% of those surveyed, food and beverage apps with 61%, apparel apps with 35%, and convenience store apps with 33%.
- Features that increase the likelihood an e-commerce app will be used are discounts on products similar to past purchases, which is the front runner among features with 85%. This feature is followed by in-app purchases with 84%, discounts from push notifications with 84%, loyalty rewards with 81%, product recommendations with 70%, personalized experiences with 59%, AR features with 54%, and social media integration with 41%.
- Retention rates are increasing. In 2018, retention levels reached 48% after using the app for one month, 37% after two months, and 32% after three months. In comparison, in 2016 these levels were 36% after one month, 25% after two months, and 20% after three months.
- The usage metrics, however, are showing a slight decrease. The average time in-app went from 32 minutes and 52 seconds in 2017 to 29 minutes and 36 seconds in 2018.
- Eight in ten U.S. Hispanics use the internet and approximately 70% use smartphones. Each week, Hispanics are almost two hours longer on their phones than the general U.S. population.
- Hispanics are the youngest ethnic group in the U.S. with a median age of 28 and approximately 6 in 10 Hispanics in the U.S. are 35 years old or younger and digital-natives.
- As specified by PwC, Hispanic consumers are more likely to use their mobile devices to make online purchases, with 55% using it at least once per week to purchase merchandise online.
- Nielsen discovered that the internet has "a strikingly high reach among U.S. Hispanics" (30.6 million for apps). Hispanics are also avid deal seekers as 36% "only purchase products online when they have a coupon or promotional code". For the general population, this statistic is 27%.
- As reported by ICSC’s Shopping Center Technology Survey, Hispanics "are twice more likely to have 11 or more retailer apps on their phones," 26% use retailer apps once per week, and 35% once per day. These are higher rates than non-Hispanics.
- U.S. Hispanics also utilize technology in conjunction with brick-and-mortar shopping, 82% of those surveyed say they have used click-and-collect and 18% said they do so frequently. In comparison, 71% of non-Hispanics use click-and-collect and 11% use it frequently.
In our search for information on the engagement rate for retail apps, we found some insights on the rates for the general U.S. population. Unfortunately, we were unable to find reports for the East Coast specifically or the exact number of daily/monthly active users overall, as it is a very volatile number and the information publicly available only addresses specific companies, like Amazon or Walmart. Unsure if this number would be relevant to this research, we did not include it in the findings, however, the total number and reach for some companies are, in fact, available. Still hoping to address the geographic scope, we broke down engagement rate in different metrics such as retention rates and time in-app as some sources pointed out these would be the key metrics to measure engagement. This approach led us to more details about the general engagement, but we were still unable to track East Coast statistics.
Next, we focused on the demographic requirement and looked for information regarding the engagement of the Hispanic community with retail apps. We found several reports about the internet usage and preferences of the community, but very few insights about retail apps. The information we considered to be relevant to the proposed topic was included in the report.