Mobile shopping habits are changing holiday season retail advertising trends

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. June 26, 2019

The traditional holiday shopping period could be less of a boon for mobile brands and retailers as mobile shoppers tend to purchase goods all year round. This means that for the first advertisers may not wish to wait for the holiday season to schedule impactful campaigns.

That’s according to new research from mobile app marketing company Liftoff which analysed over 90.9 billion ad impressions across 13.6 million installs in partnership with fraud prevention company Adjust.

Averaged across the entire year, the cost to acquire a first-time retail app user is estimated to be around $30 to $45 in 2019. The estimate marks a stabilising trend within user acquisition profiles, whilst costs dropped one third year-on-year.

Meanwhile, install-to-purchase rates have jumped by almost 50%.

The changes are partially driven by retailers organising year-round shopping events such as Amazon Prime Day in July or Alibaba’s Singles Day in November. At the same time, mobile commerce is a convenient way to redeem coupons and receive exclusive discounts from retailers.

“Winter holiday shopping is still alive and well, from mobile to brick-and-mortar,” explained Liftoff co-founder and CEO Mark Ellis. “But our data shows consumers now spend steadily all year long, suggesting the traditional holiday shopping season won’t make or break a brand as it might have in the past.”

The report also revealed a surprising new trend – mobile window shopping. This is led by the APAC and NAR regions where users continue to lead in terms of downloading retail apps.

APAC cost-per-first-purchase was $31.26 marking a 13.3% increase year-on-year. Conversion rates were also 10.1% higher. Meanwhile, NAR saw cost-per-first-purchase rates double whilst purchase rates dropped almost 60%.

It’s unclear why purchase rates dropped off so steeply, however, the revival of brick-and-mortar brands may part of the reason.

“For marketers looking to boost purchase rates, the key is to utilize the data they have, understand potential drop-off points and to segment and target properly,” commented Christian Henschel, co-founder and CEO at Adjust. “Brands can then create and deliver the perfect user interaction strategies for their marketing initiatives. This personalisation is key to winning over fickle consumers and building long-term loyalty.”

According to the report, retail marketers would be advised to link their shopping apps to larger marketing efforts by offering exclusive deals in-store or via an app.