Market Data

Singles Day and Holiday Season to Drive Record Shopping App Downloads Across APAC

Randy Nelson

Expect time spent in shopping apps to grow as well, towards levels not seen since the height of the global pandemic.

Retail’s transition to mobile is never more pronounced than during the holiday season, with Singles Day and Black Friday driving record app usage across the globe. Our latest analysis reveals that this holiday shopping season will drive record-breaking 1.7 billion shopping app downloads globally in Q4 2023. Key Asia-Pacific markets like China and Japan show a similar pattern including new projected highs for downloads and increases in time spent.

Singles Day Is a Major Focus for Mobile Retailers in China

Chinese consumers will flock to their favorite retail apps this holiday season, with a projected nearly 13.5 billion hours spent in shopping apps on Android devices alone in Q4 2023. This is an increase of 10.6% from Q3 2023 and a solid 3.3% rise year-over-year. Only Q4 2021 saw more time spent at nearly 14.5 billion hours, likely due to the global economy being in a stronger position.

Meanwhile, iOS shopping app downloads have come roaring back after a lull in 2020. Expect downloads to climb more than 30% quarter-over-quarter for the third straight holiday season, surpassing 150 million for the first time in five years. Mobile shoppers in China have a chance to break the record of 151 million downloads from Q4 2018. 

Japan and South Korea Also Set for Record Downloads in Q4

Shopping apps in Japan have seen steady growth in both time spent and downloads over the past four years. Japan’s time spent in shopping apps on Android devices is projected to reach 350 million hours in Q4 2023, an increase 4.2% year-over-year and up nearly 20% compared to the holiday season in 2020. Downloads across iOS and Google Play have also continued their steady rise upwards, climbing 1.8% year-over-year and 14.4% from Q4 2020.

While South Korea shopping experiences less of a boost during the fourth quarter, we still forecast a new high for shopping app downloads in the country. Downloads are expected to grow about 1% to 43.3 million. Time spent, on the other hand, will decline slightly quarter-over-quarter  in Q4 2023, though the 3.3% YoY growth suggests that mobile shopping is still trending in the right direction.

Temu is on the Rise This Year – See Which Other Apps are Poised for a Big Holiday Season in APAC

Chinese companies have unlocked growth across the globe this year. No app has disrupted the mobile shopping space in 2023 more than Temu, the retail app launched by Chinese-based publisher PDD Holdings last year. Other top apps by downloads growth in the first three quarters of 2023 include SHEIN, AliExpress, TikTok Seller and Poizon, all of which are currently based in China or originated there. 

Temu was the top breakout app in Japan, followed by Shimaura and 7sGood. Temu was also among the top breakout apps in South Korea, only trailing Nike and AliExpress.

Looking to See How You Can Boost Sales During this Holiday Season?

The big shopping holidays like Black Friday and Singles Day are fast approaching, and has the solutions you need to help your app stand out. How can you get your app to rank among the shopping leaders this holiday season? Explore our Retailer’s Guide, a free, in-depth report, to see how top-performing global retailers harness the power of to maintain a competitive edge. Get it below.


November 6, 2023

Market Data

Related blog posts