What’s in store for shopping apps? mCommerce growth boosts app availability

As mobile has officially overtaken desktop in terms of digital ad spending, the eCommerce mobile marketing business is expected to offer some exciting possibilities for app developers in 2017. According to new research from Clickky and Appfigures, shopping apps have quickly crowded the app stores. Indeed, the Apple App store and Google Play store have seen quite the increase in new apps being offered across the Shopping category between 2016 to 2017.

The rapid rise in shopping apps is due to consumers increasingly using their devices to search for products online, as well as make purchases. It’s further driven by businesses adopting a more mobile-focussed strategy by launching their own apps and advertising on mobile screens.

According to the research, the number of mCommerce apps varies not all that much by country, hovering around the 30k mark across most. China has the highest number of iOS shopping apps at over 32,000, followed by the US and the UK. Saudi Arabia ranks at the bottom with over 29,000 shopping apps. Hardly surprising, countries with a higher GDP per capita tend to have more shopping apps available.

So which are the top shopping apps? Clickky says to identify the leading apps it ranked the five largest app markets worldwide: the US, China, Japan, UK and Germany, and then searched through six months worth of data to see the number of days an mCommerce app ranked at the top and the average rank of each app.

Top shopping apps tend to vary quite widely between countries, however the eBay app featured across four of the five nations as a top app in the Android store. Wish and Amazon enjoy greater dominance across Western markets, whilst China is undoubtedly dominated by Taobao and Japan by Rakuten.

When it comes to the top third-party SDKs installed, the research found that both iOS and Android developers tend to use Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics, Flurry, Fabric and Crashlytics.

The cost per install overview based on Clickky’s market data highlights just how much CPI varies by country, but also between app stores. For most of the countries, iOS tends to be a little more expensive than Android. However, that difference has recently shifted to narrow the gap. Marketing costs for iOS shopping app promotion are also higher than for Android.

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that larger players such as eBay and AliExpress attract more attention. That makes it significantly harder for smaller developers and advertisers to cut through. However, it pays to know more about each app market to allocate budgets wisely.

Whilst the rise in shopping apps across stores signals the growth in demand for such apps, over-saturation looms and competition is already fierce. To succeed, app developers and advertisers are having to tailor their strategies according to markets.