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Consumers to spend 50 billion hours in shopping apps in 2023


The years impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed a significant rise in the usage of shopping apps, and this trend continues to gain momentum even after the easing of lockdowns. In the current year alone, consumers are estimated to dedicate an astonishing 50 billion hours to shopping apps on Android devices. This marks a notable 42% increase over the figures recorded in 2020, signifying a substantial shift in consumer behaviors and preferences.

The Role of Features

The most recent report from underscores that the increase in mobile shopping activity has been primarily driven by companies that have embraced a mobile-centric approach. Notably, apps linked to retailers, supermarkets, and pharmacies have also experienced substantial growth. Moreover, the adoption of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) apps saw a surge, although there was a slight dip in the first half of 2023 following their initial rise.

Downloads of shopping apps on iOS and Google Play


Deciphering the Success of Shopping Apps

What distinguishes a successful shopping app? When analyzing the top 10 shopping apps, it becomes evident that they stand out by offering a more extensive array of features compared to the other 20 apps in the top 30. These features encompass popular elements such as third-party payment options, curated shopping content, daily or hourly deals, buy-now-pay-later functionality, and member rewards programs. The key differentiator lies in the top 10 apps' higher adoption rate of these critical features in comparison to their counterparts in the top 30 apps.

User Engagement Dynamics

From the first half of 2022 to the same period in 2023, nine out of the top 10 shopping apps witnessed substantial growth in the global time spent by users. Notably, eCommerce apps like SHEIN, AliExpress, and Temu played a pivotal role in driving this growth. In particular, Temu demonstrated remarkable momentum in 2023, ultimately surpassing SHEIN to become the leading app by global downloads on both iOS and Google Play in August 2023.

Must-have features of shopping apps


Additionally, several of these apps secured a place in the top 10 shopping apps list based on the total time spent during the first half of 2023, reinforcing their dominant position in the mobile shopping landscape. These apps not only attracted a substantial user base but also succeeded in keeping users engaged for extended periods, showcasing their prominent status in the mobile shopping industry during this period. This underlines the dynamic and competitive nature of the mobile shopping market.

Key Takeaways

  • Shopping app adoption continues to thrive post-pandemic, with Android users projected to spend 50 billion hours in these apps in 2023, reflecting a significant 42% increase.

  • Leading shopping apps excel by offering features such as third-party payments, curated content, deals, buy-now-pay-later options, and member rewards.

  • The top 10 shopping apps have demonstrated substantial growth in user engagement, with Temu emerging as the global leader in downloads.

Source: Anne Freer for App Business

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