Mobile Minute

Mobile Minute: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Weeks — Shoppers Expected to Spend over 110 Million Hours Shopping on Mobile

Lexi Sydow

As consumers are expected to spend more than one billion hours in shopping apps this holiday season, retailers are cashing in on mobile advertising channels.

What’s Happening: 

Mobile is proving to be a key component of this year’s holiday shopping season. Americans spent over 61 million hours shopping on mobile during the week of Prime Day 2020 (an increase of 30% year over year), as well as over 51 million hours the first week of November across shopping apps on Android devices. Nevertheless, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will still be major events for retailers as consumers are expected to break records spending over 110 million hours in shopping apps on Android devices during the two-week period. Given that the pandemic has accelerated average mobile device usage to 4 hours and 20 minutes daily, it's no surprise that mobile is the key channel for consumer engagement and advertising.  

weekly time spent in shopping apps mobile App Annie Black Friday 2020

As we head into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, demand is high for shopping apps — with top Shopping apps by downloads featuring brick-and-mortar retailers gone digital, digital-first retailers, peer-to-peer marketplaces and shopping companion apps. Walmart was #1 Shopping app by downloads during the first two weeks of November as we head into the heavy mobile shopping period, followed by Amazon, Target, OfferUp and Wish.

top shopping apps by downloads United States black friday 2020

Package tracking app Shop was in #7 among all shopping apps, and #1 for companion apps, showing the power of smaller retailers or direct to consumer brands coupled with demand for tracking deliveries. Klarnaranking #10 among all Shopping apps — and AfterPay were top financing options within the Shopping category.

Why It Matters: 

Over the last few months, we’ve already seen retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart and Macy’s begin early holiday promotions. We turned to our friends at MoPub to discuss how advertisers are capitalizing on increased mobile traction this holiday season. In October, according to data from MoPub mobile advertising spend among retail and apparel apps grew 32% year-over-year. This growth highlights retailers’ efforts to remain competitive amid pandemic challenges and close out Q4 with strong growth to make up for lost time due to pandemic shutdowns. 

ad spend on retail and apparel mobile apps MoPub Exchange

According to John Bonanno, Revenue Manager at MoPub, “In looking at a year-over-year comparison from October 2019 to 2020 on our platform, we saw a 32% increase in spend from the Retail and Apparel app categories. This data suggests that despite everything that happened in 2020, there is still increasing interest in the retail/apparel sector and the holiday shopping on mobile should be at full swing.”

Currently ranking #1 by downloads among digital-first shopping apps, Amazon saw monumental growth in October with its Prime Day (Oct. 13-14) event that drove $3.5 billion in sales. Big box retailers also invested heavily in mobile advertising in October — aiming to compete with Prime Day and promote sales leading into Black Friday. 

John Bonanno of MoPub noted, “In the second half of October 2020, we saw a big jump from Big Box Store advertisers when compared to October 2019. This is likely a preemptive bump from the general growth in online shopping during the pandemic, where these advertisers are getting a head start on Black Friday / Holiday shopping in comparison in comparison to a traditional in-person Black Friday push.”

big box store mobile ad spend MoPub Exchange holiday season 2020

And what about the efficacy of ad formats in these campaigns? According to data from MoPub, full and rewarded video mobile advertising efforts proved most fruitful for Big Box retailers during October 2020, with rewarded video click-through rates growing by 7.2x year-over-year.

mopub big box store click through rate mobile ads shopping apps

“One interesting trend MoPub has noticed in recent months,” John Bonanno noted, “ is an increase in CTR for Big Box Stores for app-endemic full-screen ad formats including rewarded video. This tells us that advertisers are successfully expanding into newer ad formats to engage audiences.”

Go Deeper:

Advertisers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the extra time spent on mobile during key holiday shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, long-term investments in mobile promotions should also be considered as device usage is anticipated to remain high even after these holidays pass. 

For more information on how mobile will shape the holiday shopping season, please see our blog post here: Mobile Minute: US Consumers to Spend 1B Hours Shopping on Mobile This Holiday Season

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This post is the latest in a Mobile Minute series that features App Annie’s perspective on how mobile is impacting current events and consumer trends. Check in weekly for our take on the latest news cycles and how mobile transformation is shaping industries around the world.



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November 23, 2020

Mobile Minute

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