Market Data

Mobile Minute: data.ai Forecasts “Digital Foot Traffic” to Approach 450 Billion Sessions in Q4 2022 Amidst Black Friday Sales, Up 22% YoY

Lexi Sydow

data.ai’s latest market trends shows retailers need to double click on mobile apps this holiday season. To combat rising prices, consumers flock to apps to research, compare prices and seek discounts.

What is Happening:

Black Friday 2022 — and the rest of the holiday season — is just around the corner, a crucial period for retailers that can account for as much as 40% of a company's annual sales.

However, many retailers don’t have a view of the landscape. They aren’t equipped to benchmark themselves in the mobile landscape and create a mobile-first strategy to win over customers. And retailers find themselves in an even more difficult position this holiday season: inflation is impacting consumer wallets.

Due to ongoing inflation, consumers are feeling the squeeze heading into this holiday season with the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) at record high —, up 8% YoY in August 2022. Even as gas prices have begun to soften, prices of groceries and other necessities remain high. 

Despite rising prices however, mobile shopping levels are at an all-time high. As of August 2022, US mobile shopping hours experienced 10% YoY growth. 

This trend, accelerated by the pandemic, highlights the fact that more than ever before consumers are shopping on their mobile devices. This means that having a mobile strategy will be critical for retailers and publishers to hit growth metrics this holiday season. It’s critical for retailers to have a holistic view of the market and its anticipated movements. High prices will likely mean that shoppers will do their research, price compare and hold out for deals and discounts this holiday season.

Why It Matters:

To help retailers succeed, we’ve forecasted mobile shopping during the peak holiday season including Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022.

Key forecasts include: 

  • Global “digital foot traffic” outside of China — measured as mobile sessions during Q4 2022 — is set to surpass 450 billion mobile shopping app visits this holiday season, up nearly 22% YoY. 
  • Including China, that number jumps to nearly 850 billion sessions, +15% YoY. 
  • In Q4 2022 we forecast that digital traffic in shopping apps will approach 28 billion sessions in the US alone on Android phones, up nearly 10% YoY. 
  • Specifically, during the two weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we expect Americans to spend over 150 million hours on android phones, up 41% from pre-covid levels in Q4 2019.

As noted in data.ai’s recent retail report, consumer engagement on shopping apps has grown nearly 2x as fast as downloads. Increased app engagement indicates habit formation.

In other words, consumers are returning to the app and finding consistent value over time. Across the board, consumer time spent in mobile apps directly correlates to greater retail sales — highlighting opportunities for brands to engage with customers via mobile devices. Loyalty programs, timely pushed notifications and strategic partnerships are all great ways to keep consumers coming back to your app.

Brick-and-mortar retailers should prioritize a custom mobile strategy in order to compete with mobile-first companies. They can also use their physical locations to their advantage, highlighting the option for consumers to pick up purchases versus dealing with possible shipping delays — which may be enough to sway a significant cohort of shoppers!

Go Deeper:

Despite a more challenging retail climate in Q4 2022, where will sectors of growth be? We can look to H1 2022 for indicators of consumer behavior this holiday season:

The 3 key areas of anticipated growth include: 

  • Demand for coupons and rewards and exclusive deals and perks
  • Apparel is well-situated for strong success this holiday season
  • Luxury brands anticipated to be resilient

Amidst rising inflation, American consumers looked for ways to save. We expect this to behavior to be a driver of consumer shopping behavior during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Ahead of the holidays according to data.ai’s App IQ, downloads of Coupons and Rewards apps saw the highest growth rate of all shopping subgenres in the US in H1 2022, up 31% YoY. In H1 2022, Upside and Fetch Rewards were ranked #5 and #6 of the top shopping apps in the US in H1 2022. Globally, downloads of coupons and rewards apps grew 24% YoY in H1 2022. Brands can consider strategic partnerships with coupons and rewards apps to grab shoppers’ attention and drive consumer traffic.

In addition to coupons and deals, we expect apparel to do well during the holiday season, as ‘post-pandemic’ consumers swap out the sweatpants. In the US SHEIN ranked #2 by downloads, second only to Amazon (#1) and ahead of Walmart (#3). Even more, the top apps in US by year-over-year breakout downloads for E-Commerce Retailers in H1 2022 vs H1 2021 were all apparel apps: SHEIN, Nike, and Cider

Another key sector poised for growth is luxury goods. Despite inflation luxury good are likely to perform well this holiday season due to “continued strength in spending of higher income consumers”. 

As we head into this year’s holiday season the impacts of inflation cannot be ignored. However, given time spent in shopping apps is at its highest level yet (adjusted for seasonality) heading into the holiday season, brands and publishers should fully understand the mobile landscape to improve their success with shoppers. It is imperative to look for ways to attract, engage and reward shoppers who are prioritizing ways to save money as they spend more of their customer journey on mobile than ever before.

This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Maximize Your Growth with Ease:

Amidst tightened marketing budgets and lower consumer spend, it’s incredibly important to stretch your marketing dollar. Download data.ai’s latest retailer guide to maximize your growth this holiday season: 

 

DISCLAIMER: 

data.ai is a mobile market estimate service provider. data.ai is not registered in any investment advisory capacity in any jurisdiction globally, and does not offer any legal, financial, investment or business advice. Nothing contained in this communication, or in any data.ai products, services, communications, or other offerings, should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security or investment, or to make any investment decisions. Any reference to past or potential performance is not, and should not, be construed as a recommendation or as a guarantee of any specific outcome. You should always consult your own professional legal, financial, investment and business advisors. Additionally, by providing the information herein, data.ai does not make any representations or warranties and does not undertake any legal or contractual obligations whatsoever. No liability may accrue to data.ai as a result of providing this information to you.

October 7, 2022

Market Data

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