By Alexandre Pham, Vice President, EMEA at Adjust
2021 saw dramatic changes to consumer behaviour globally, with consumers relying on their mobile phones more than ever before for everything from ordering groceries and food delivery to online shopping. The surge in mobile ordering consequently boosted ecommerce apps’ revenue. This trend has continued into 2022, furthering transitions to a mobile-focused world that brick and mortar companies must keep pace with.
According to data from Adjust’s 2021 Ecommerce App Report, mobile revenue continued to increase significantly, with May 2021 outperforming Q4 of 2020. Not only were shoppers spending more money in-app, but they were spending more of their time in-app overall per day. Globally, average session lengths rose from 10.07 minutes in 2019, to 10.42 minutes in 2020, to 10.56 minutes in 2021.
What’s most impressive about this growth is that ecommerce apps managed to retain the users they acquired while continuing to grow and acquire even more new customers. This is testament to mobile’s ability to provide convenient and user-optimized experiences.
In 2022, retaining loyal customers will be key, and will set brands up for continued growth throughout the year.
What now for mobile ecommerce (aka mcommerce)?
Although the lifting of lockdown restrictions means consumers are less reliant on their devices, mobile has emerged as the leader in e-commerce. It seems we are set to continue on this path, with eMarketer predicting that retail mcommerce sales will more than double by 2025, accounting for 44.2% of total retail e-commerce sales.
To navigate this increasingly competitive space, app marketers and developers will need to focus on creating convenient and seamless cross-device experiences, and on successfully incentivising and retaining their users. Brands like Sephora, as a great example, actually changed their internal budgeting and planning so that a ton of the brand’s investment from brick and mortar is now on the mobile team.
Advertisers and marketers should look for opportunities to acquire new users — and provide experiences and journeys that result in user loyalty. Diversifying the number of networks an app works with is one key example of how to potentially find a new swath of users, but the user experience can also be adapted and enhanced to push for engagement, participation, and conversions. By developing strategies including gamification and conversational AI, users will be more enticed to open an app, and their overall experience will be more seamless and rewarding.
Sustaining growth with social commerce
Branching out to new channels and platforms to find and engage with users will also be essential for sustained growth. Social commerce, where potential customers can reach your app or products via social media app integrations or direct-to-purchase links is a significant way to do so.
According to Sprout Social’s latest social shopping study, 98 per cent of consumers said they plan to make at least one purchase through social apps or influencer commerce this year. One of the major drivers of this social commerce growth is short-form video, of which TikTok is the undisputed leader, with 1 billion active users. Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter have all introduced new shopping features to expose platform users to products and create paths for them to make direct purchases.
New advertising opportunities with CTV
Connected TV (CTV) will provide a relatively new space for advertisers to explore. According to Strategy Analytics, the number of UK households using CTV devices reached 19.2 million in 2020, compared to 17.3 million in 2019. New data from Statista, furthermore, found that households with CTV in the U.S. alone are estimated to reach 113 million by 2024.
Adjust’s Lead Product Strategist and CTV expert Gijsbert Pols predicted that it is likely we will see a lot more options for free channels that are ad-supported. Therefore, a lot more advertising inventory will surface that hadn’t before, giving advertisers more opportunities to advertise on CTV.
This is a huge opportunity for ecommerce brands. Roku and Shopify, for example, recently announced a partnership to bring a Roku app for CTV ad creation and campaign management to the dashboard of all Shopify merchants.
Furthermore, YouTube has expanded their video action campaign ad format to CTVs. By doing this, YouTube aims to make ads more e-commerce-friendly by inviting users to shop on a brand’s website or app from their mobile device without disrupting their viewing session.
Looking to the future
With mobile ecommerce growth projected to steadily continue, advertisers and marketers should look for opportunities to acquire new users and retain user loyalty. Continuing to adapt, measure, and analyse in these changing times is crucial. It’s the marketers, developers, and advertisers who continue to make smart, data-driven and UX-focused decisions that will gain the edge in this increasingly competitive and multi-dimensional space.